Passive Voice

Example: These cars are produced in Japan.
                 The car has been fixed.
                 My bike was stolen last night.

Use: when we don'r know or it is not important who does the action. What matters is the action, not the doer.

Form: "be" + Past Participle

Present     is written  is being written has been written
Past was written  was being written     had been written
Future will be written   
 will have been written
modal can be written
 might have been written   

- If we mention the doer, they are introduced with "by":
The first automobile was invented by Karl Benz, not by Henry Ford.

- Often the same idea can be expressed with both the passive and the active, in which case it matters what information we want to focus on. For example, the following two sentences are equally correct:
Pippi Longstocking was written by Astrid Lindgren. 
Astrid Lindgren wrote Pippi Longstocking.
If we are talking about the book, we are more likely to choose the first one (passive), but in a text about Astrid Lindgren we would rather go for the second (active).

Compare the active and the passive:

Present Simple These cars are produced in Japan. They produce these cars in Japan.
Past Simple My bike was stolen last night. Someone stole my bike last night.
Present Continuous We are being followed! Someone is following us!
Past Continuous We were being followed. Someone was following us.
Present Perfect The car has been fixed. They have fixed the car.
Past Perfect He had been given detailed instructions. They had given him detailed instructions.
modal verbs This can't be fixed.
All the money will be spent.
I can't fix this.
We will spend all the money.


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