Present Simple Passive

Present Simple Passive is used to talk about some actions that are performed in the present or repeatedly (habits), simple statements of fact or universal truth.

The agents of such actions may be denoted with ‘by’:

  • This work is performed by a new company.
  • The beach is cleaned every morning.
  • Oranges are imported from Paraguay.

Present Simple Passive structure

Let’s compare active and passive structures in Present Simple.

present simple passive
via http://englishgu.ru/present-simple/

The Present Simple Active is formed like this:

[subject] + base form of the verb (in third person singular, we add ‘-s’ to the verb)

To make statements with the Present Simple Passive, use:

am/is/are + the Past Participle form of the verb

Note: We use ‘am‘ for first person singular (I), ‘is‘ for third person singular and ‘are‘ for second singular and plural nouns and pronouns.

SingularPlural
I am visited
You are visited
He/she/it is visited
We are visited
You are visited
They are visited
  • Glass is made from sand.
  • English is spoken all over the world.

When to use Present Simple Passive

We use the Present Simple to express the idea that an action is repeated or usual. The action can be a habit, a hobby, a daily event, a scheduled event or something that often happens. In passive voice, we focus attention on the person or thing affected by the action, when the subject is unknown, unclear or irrelevant.

Compare:

  • They wash the floors every day. – The floors are washed every day.
  • He runs the company. – The company is run by him.

In these examples, the focus is on the effect of the action, it’s not important who performs the action.

We use Present Simple Passive with the same meaning as Present Simple in the active voice except for the fact that Present Simple Passive makes focus on the effect (or the object) rather than the doer (the subject) of an action. Read more about the uses of Present Simple here.

Negative forms of Present Simple Passive

Making a negative Present Simple Passive form is easy. Just insert ‘not‘ between ‘am’, ‘is’ or ‘are’ and Past Participle (the contracted forms are ‘isn’t’ and ‘aren’t’).

  • Spanish is not spoken in China.
  • His words aren’t relied on.

Questions in Present Simple Passive

To make a question in Present Simple Passive, swap the subject and ‘am’, ‘is’ or ‘are’. The structure for asking questions in Present Simple Passive is:

am/is/are + [subject] + Past Participle

  • Are US dollars accepted at Dubai airport?
  • Is coffee served here?

To make a wh-question, insert a question word before ‘am’, ‘is’ or ‘are’:

  • What is this pie made of?
  • When are these items usually brought here?

Here’s a good video to summarize what you have learnt here:

Read more about:

Future Simple Passive

Past Simple Passive

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