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Questions in the Passive

How do we form questions in the Passive voice?

Questions in the Passive are formed with to be and the past participle *.

1. Yes/No questions in the Passive (Present Simple)

Form of be Subject past participle Rest Yes/No Subject Auxiliary (+ n’t)
Is tiramisu  made from eggs? Yes,
No,
No,
it
it
it
is.
is not.
isn’t.
Are cars designed in Germany? Yes,
No,
No,
they
they
they
are.
are not.
aren’t.

2. Questions with questions words in the Passive (Present Simple)

Question word Form of be Subject past participle Rest Answer
What is tiramisu  made  from Tiramisu is made from eggs, sugar and cheese.
Why are cars designed in Germany? Cars are made in Germany because they are good designers.

3. Yes/No questions in the Passive (Past Simple)

Form of be Subject past participle Rest Yes/No Subject Auxiliary (+ n’t)
Was the man arrested?   Yes,
No,
No,
he
he
he
was.
was not.
wasn’t.
Were the children taken on a trip? Yes,
No,
No,
they
they
they
were.
were not.
weren’t.

4. Questions with question words in the Passive (Past Simple)

Question word Form of be Subject past participle Rest Answer
Who was the man arrested  by? The man was arrested by the police.
Where were the children taken on a trip? The children were taken to the zoo.

5. Other tenses

Here are some more examples in other tenses. Let’s start with the simple forms:

Tense Auxiliary Subject Verb
Present Perfect Has the room been painted?
Past Perfect Had the room been painted?
will-future Will the room be painted?
going to-future Is the room going to be painted?
Future Perfect Will the room have been painted?
Conditional Would the room be painted?
Conditional Perfect Would the room have been painted?

And here are two continuous forms:

Tense Auxiliary Subject Verb
Present Continuous Is the room being painted?
Past Continuous Was the room being painted?

past participle:

  • regular verbs → infinitive + ed
  • irregular verbs → 3rd column of the table of the irregular verbs