Adults|Grammar|Intermediate|25. Is done / was done

pic1_Adults|Grammar|Int|L25


This house was built in 1935.

Was built is passive.


Compare active and passive:

1. Somebody (subject) built this house (object) in 1935. (active)

2. This house (subject) was built in 1935. (passive)


When we use an active verb, we say what the subject does:

1. My grandfather was a builder. He built this house in 1935.

2. It’s a big company. It employs two hundred people.


When we use a passive verb, we say what happens to the subject:

1. This house is quite old. It was built in 1935.

2. Two hundred people are employed by the company.

Read the rules

When we use the passive, who or what causes the action is often unknown or unimportant:

1. A lot of money was stolen in the robbery. (somebody stole it, but we don’t know’ who)

2. Is this room cleaned every day? (does somebody clean it? — it’s not important who)


If we want to say who does or what causes the action, we use by…

1. This house was built by my grandfather.

2. Two hundred people are employed by the company.

Read the rules

The passive is be (is/was etc.) + past participle (done/cleaned/seen etc.): (be) done, (be) cleaned, (be) damaged, (be) built, (be) seen etc.

Study the active and passive forms of the present simple and past simple:

Present Simple

active: clean(s) /see(s) etc. Somebody cleans this room every day.
passive: am/is/are + cleaned/seen etc. This room is cleaned every day.

1. Many accidents are caused by careless driving.

2. I’m not often invited to parties.

3. How is this word pronounced?


Past Simple

active: cleaned/saw etc. Somebody cleaned this room yesterday.
passive: was/were + cleaned/seen etc. This room was cleaned yesterday.

1. We were woken up by a loud noise during the night.

2. «Did you go to the party?» «No, I wasn’t invited

3. How much money was stolen in the robbery?

Read the rules

If a verb is regular, the past simple and past participle end in -ed. For example:

infinitive clean, finish, use, paint, stop, carry
past simple

past participle

cleaned, finished, used, painted, stopped, carried

For the past simple (I cleaned / they finished / she carried etc.)


We use the past participle to make the perfect tenses and all the passive forms.

Perfect tenses (have/has/had cleaned):

1. I have cleaned the windows. (present perfect) 

2. They were still working. They hadn’t finished. (past perfect)


Passive (is cleaned / was cleaned etc.):

1. He was carried out of the room. (past simple passive)

2. This gate has just been painted. (present perfect passive)

Read the rules

When the past simple and past participle do not end in -ed (for example, I saw / I have seen), the verb is irregular.

With some irregular verbs, all three forms (infinitive, past simple and past participle) are the same. For example, hit:

1. Don’t hit me. (infinitive)

2. Somebody hit me as I came into the room. (past simple)

3. I’ve never hit anybody in my life. (past participle — present perfect)

4. George was hit on the head by a stone. (past participle — passive)


With other irregular verbs, the past simple is the same as the past participle (but different from the infinitive). For example, tell → told:

1. Can you tell me what to do? (infinitive)

2. She told me to come back the next day. (past simple)

3. Have you told anybody about your new job? (past participle — present perfect)

4. I was told to come back the next day. (past participle — passive)


With other irregular verbs, all three forms are different. For example, wake → woke/woken:

1. I’ll wake you up. (infinitive)

2. I woke up in the middle of the night. (past simple)

3. The baby has woken up. (past participle — present perfect)

4. I was woken up by a loud noise. (past participle — passive)

Read the rules

The following verbs can be regular or irregular:

burn → burned or burnt smell → smelled or smelt
dream → dreamed or dreamt [dremt]* spell → spelled or spelt
lean → leaned or leant [lent]* spill → spilled or spilt
learn → learned or learnt spoil → spoiled or spoilt

* pronunciation

So you can say:

1. I leant out of the window. or I leaned out of the window.

2. The dinner has been spoiled. or The dinner has been spoilt.


In British English the irregular form (burnt/learnt etc.) is more usual.

Read the list of irregular verbs

infinitive — past simple — past participle

* pronunciation

  • be — was/were — been
  • beat — beat — beaten
  • become — became — become
  • begin — began — begun
  • bend — bent — bent
  • bet — bet — bet
  • bite — bit — bitten
  • blow — blew — blown
  • break — broke — broken
  • bring — brought — brought
  • broadcast — broadcast — broadcast
  • build — built — built
  • burst — burst — burst
  • buy — bought — bought
  • catch — caught — caught
  • choose — chose — chosen
  • come — came — come
  • cost — cost — cost
  • creep — crept — crept
  • cut — cut — cut
  • deal — dealt — dealt
  • dig — dug — dug
  • do — did — done
  • draw — drew — drawn
  • drink — drank — drunk
  • drive — drove — driven
  • eat — ate — eaten
  • fall — fell — fallen
  • feed — fed — fed
  • feel — felt — felt
  • fight — fought — fought
  • find — found — found
  • flee — fled — fled
  • fly — flew — flown
  • forbid — forbade — forbidden
  • forget — forgot — forgotten
  • forgive — forgave — forgiven
  • freeze — froze — frozen
  • get — got — got
  • give — gave — given
  • go — went — gone
  • grow — grew — grown
  • hang — hung — hung
  • have — had — had
  • hear — heard — heard
  • hide — hid — hidden
  • hit — hit — hit
  • hold — held — held
  • hurt — hurt — hurt
  • keep — kept — kept
  • kneel — knelt — knelt
  • know — knew — known
  • lay — laid — laid
  • lead — led — led
  • leave — left — left
  • lend — lent — lent
  • let — let — let
  • lie — lay — lain
  • light — lit — lit
  • lose — lost — lost
  • make — made — made
  • mean — meant — meant
  • meet — met — met
  • pay — paid — paid
  • put — put — put
  • read — read [red] * — read [red] *
  • ride — rode — ridden
  • ring — rang — rung
  • rise — rose — risen
  • run — ran — run
  • say — said — said
  • see — saw — seen
  • seek — sought — sought
  • sell — sold — sold
  • send — sent — sent
  • set — set — set
  • sew — sewed — sewn/sewed
  • shake — shook — shaken
  • shine — shone — shone
  • shoot — shot — shot
  • show — showed — shown/showed
  • shrink — shrank — shrunk
  • shut — shut — shut
  • sing — sang — sung
  • sink — sank — sunk
  • sit — sat — sat
  • sleep — slept — slept
  • slide — slid — slid
  • speak — spoke — spoken
  • spend — spent — spent
  • spit — spat — spat
  • split — split — split
  • spread — spread — spread
  • spring — sprang — sprung
  • stand — stood — stood
  • steal — stole — stolen
  • stick — stuck — stuck
  • sting — stung — stung
  • stink — stank — stunk
  • strike — struck — struck
  • swear — swore — sworn
  • sweep — swept — swept
  • swim — swam — swum
  • swing — swung — swung
  • take — took — taken
  • teach — taught — taught
  • tear — tore — torn
  • tell — told — told
  • think — thought — thought
  • throw — threw — thrown
  • understand — understood — understood
  • wake — woke — woken
  • wear — wore — worn
  • weep — wept — wept
  • win — won — won
  • write — wrote — written

pic4_Grammar act|El|L22


Complete the sentences using one of these verbs in the correct form, present or past:

pic1_Adults|Grammar|Int|L25


Write questions using the passive. Some are present and some are past.

Put the verb into the correct form, present simple or past simple, active or passive

his pen


pic2_Adults|Grammar|Int|L25


Rewrite these sentences. Instead of using somebody, they, people etc., write a passive sentence.

If you open the lesson plan you will be able to assign separate pages as homework or all the homework pages at once.

Урок Homework Курс
  • The example
  • By...
  • Active and passive forms
  • Regular verbs
  • Irregular verbs
  • The following verbs
  • List of irregular verbs
  • Verbs
  • How is glass made?
  • Present Simple / Past Simple
  • The room is cleaned every day
  • Homework
  1. 1. Adults|Grammar|Intermediate|1. I am doing and I do
  2. 2. Adults|Grammar|Intermediate|2. I am doing and I do
  3. 3. Adults|Grammar|Intermediate|3. I did
  4. 4. Adults|Grammar|Intermediate|4. I was doing
  5. 5. Adults|Grammar|Intermediate|5. I have done
  6. 6. Adults|Grammar|Intermediate|6. I have done 2
  7. 7. Adults|Grammar|Intermediate|7. I have been doing
  8. 8. Adults|Grammar|Intermediate|8. I've been doing / I've done
  9. 9. Adults|Grammar|Intermediate|9. How long have you (been)...?
  10. 10. Adults|Grammar|Intermediate|10. For/since; When/How long?
  11. 11. Adults|Grammar|Intermediate|11. I have done and I did
  12. 12. Adults|Grammar|Intermediate|12. I have done and I did 2
  13. 13. Adults|Grammar|Intermediate|13. I had done
  14. 14. Adults|Grammar|Intermediate|14. I had been doing
  15. 15. Adults|Grammar|Intermediate|15. The future: I am doing / I do
  16. 16. Adults|Grammar|Intermediate|16. I will and I'm going to
  17. 17. Adults|Grammar|Intermediate|17. Future: Continuous/Perfect
  18. 18. Adults|Grammar|Intermediate|18. Conditional I
  19. 19. Adults|Grammar|Intermediate|19. Can, could and (be) able to
  20. 20. Adults|Grammar|Intermediate|20. Have to and must
  21. 21. Adults|Grammar|Intermediate|21. If I do... and If I did...
  22. 22. Adults|Grammar|Intermediate|22. If I knew... I wish I knew...
  23. 23. Adults|Grammar|Intermediate|23. Conditional III
  24. 24. Adults|Grammar|Intermediate|24. Wish
  25. 25. Adults|Grammar|Intermediate|25. Is done / was done
  26. 26. Adults|Grammar|Intermediate|26. Be/been/being + done
  27. 27. Adults|Grammar|Intermediate|27. Passive 3
  28. 28. Adults|Grammar|Intermediate|28. Passive: He is said to...
  29. 29. Adults|Grammar|Intermediate|29. Have something done
  30. 30. Adults|Grammar|Intermediate|30. He said that...
  31. 31. Adults|Grammar|Intermediate|31. Say and Tell
  32. 32. Adults|Grammar|Intermediate|32. Do you know where..?
  33. 33. Adults|Grammar|Intermediate|33. Auxiliary verbs; so/neither
  34. 34. Adults|Grammar|Intermediate|34. Do you? Isn't it? etc.
  35. 35. Adults|Grammar|Intermediate|35. Gerund
  36. 36. Adults|Grammar|Intermediate|36. Verb + to Infinitive
  37. 37. Adults|Grammar|Intermediate|37. Verb + Object + to Infinitive
  38. 38. Adults|Grammar|Intermediate|38. -ing or to: change in meaning
  39. 39. Adults|Grammar|Intermediate|39. Try/Need/Help: -ing or to
  40. 40. Adults|Grammar|Intermediate|40. Like / Would like: -ing or to
  41. 41. Adults|Grammar|Intermediate|41. Some/any/no/none
  42. 42. Adults|Grammar|Intermediate|42. Much/many/few/little
  43. 43. Adults|Grammar|Intermediate|43. Both/either/neither/all/every