Download PDF

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 beSubjectpast participleRestYes/NoSubjectAuxiliary (+ n’t)
Istiramisu madefrom eggs?Yes,
No,
No,
it
it
it
is.
is not.
isn’t.
Arecarsdesignedin Germany?Yes,
No,
No,
they
they
they
are.
are not.
aren’t.

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

Question wordForm of beSubjectpast participleRestAnswer
Whatistiramisu made fromTiramisu is made from eggs, sugar and cheese.
Whyarecarsdesignedin Germany?Cars are made in Germany because they are good designers.

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

Form of beSubjectpast participleRestYes/NoSubjectAuxiliary (+ n’t)
Wasthe manarrested? Yes,
No,
No,
he
he
he
was.
was not.
wasn’t.
Werethe childrentakenon a trip?Yes,
No,
No,
they
they
they
were.
were not.
weren’t.

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

Question wordForm of beSubjectpast participleRestAnswer
Whowasthe manarrested by?The man was arrested by the police.
Wherewerethe childrentakenon 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:

TenseAuxiliarySubjectVerb
Present PerfectHasthe roombeen painted?
Past PerfectHadthe roombeen painted?
will-futureWillthe roombe painted?
going to-futureIsthe roomgoing to be painted?
Future PerfectWillthe roomhave been painted?
ConditionalWouldthe roombe painted?
Conditional PerfectWouldthe roomhave been painted?

And here are two continuous forms:

TenseAuxiliarySubjectVerb
Present ContinuousIsthe roombeing painted?
Past ContinuousWasthe roombeing painted?

past participle:

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