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When I was studying for my CELPIP exam I got material from them. Unfortunately, I can not put the PDF to the public because it has a watermark with my personal email. But I can put you here what it says.

CELPIP's twelfth error as they state:

A common CELPIP error is using the wrong form for the passive voice. It is important to understand when and how to use the passive voice correctly. Usually, we choose the passive when the receiver of the action is more important than who did it. The passive is useful for describing processes (how something is done).

English has two voices: active and passive. In the active voice, the subject does the action. (Alex damaged the computer.) In the passive voice, the subject receives or experiences the action. (The computer was damaged.) Sometimes an optional “by” phrase tells us who or what does the action. (The computer was damaged by Alex.) The passive is a voice, not a tense, and it can be combined with modals, conditionals, negatives, and most common verb tenses.

How to Use the Passive Voice


Modal or Modifier

be Past Participle by a phrase
The food


was eaten by Miguel
it should have been managed by Miguel's owner
The starving likely will be satisfied by Miguel's owner


The passive voice is never used with intransitive verbs such as seem, belong, etc., or with perfect progressive tense.

  • It was happened.
  • It has been being broken.

Good luck!

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