Passive Infinitive

Most verbs have an active infinitive form, with or without ‘to’:

Examples:           To catch, to help, to do, to wash.

Most verbs also have a Passive Infinitive form which consists of the infinitive ‘be’, with or without ‘to’ + the –ed form of the verb.

Examples:           (to) be caught, (to) be helped, (to) be left.


Active Infinitive:              The CBI is determined to track down the culprits.

Passive Infinitive:           The CBI is determined that the culprits will be tracked down.

Active Infinitive:              I do not want to drive in a foreign locale, I prefer taxis.

Passive Infinitive:           I prefer to be driven in a taxi on a foreign locale.


Active Infinitive:              Come on, there is work to do!

Passive Infinitive:           Come on, there is work to be done!


The Passive Infinitive is used when the focus is on the receiver of the action of the Verb.

Example:             I was hoping to be elected as the College President which did not happen.


Rule of Passive Voice of Infinitive

‘Be’ is added after ‘To’ and 3rd form of Verb is used for making Passive Voice.


In case of Positive Sentences:

Active:                  Subject + Is/ Are/ Am/ Was / Were / Has / Have/ Had + to + Verb (1st Form) + Object.

Passive:               Object of Active Form + Is/ Are/ Am/ Was / were/ Has/ Have/ Had+ To +Be + Verb (3rd Form) + by + Subject of Active Form.



1.       I am to finish this homework.

This homework is to be finished by me.


2.       Your son is to learn languages.

Languages are to be learnt by your son


In case of Negative Sentences:                

Active:                  Subject +Modal+ Not + Verb(1st Form) +Object.

Passive:               Object of Active Form + Is / Are/ Am/ Was / Were/ Have/ Had + By + Verb(3rd Form) + By + Subject of Active Form.



In case off Interrogative Sentences:

Active:  Modals+ Subject +(1st Form) + Object.

Passive:               Is/ Are/ Am/ Was/ Were/ Has / Have/ Had/ Object of the Active Form + to + be+ Verb  orm) + by + subject of the Active Form.


We use the Passive Infinitive primarily in the following cases:

1.       For present or future actions happening to the subject.

·         My computer is expected to be repaired today.

·         The school is supposed to be re-opened by tomorrow.

·         The play is going to be screened tomorrow.

·         These shoes will have to be immediately cleaned.


2.       For speculative statements.

·         Many PSUs hare believed to have suffered huge losses in the last few years.



3.       In newspaper reporting

·         The Indian economy is expected to increase by a margin of 6% in the next fiscal year.


4.       With verbs suchas think, allege, consider, believe, report, rumour , suppose, know, expect, understand, think etc. which leave behind a margin of error and is never quite certain and definite.

·         The company is claimed to have made a huge margin of profit in the last financial year.


5.       The perfect passive infinitive is also used for earlier actions.

·         The workers were hoping to have been paid yesterday.

·         It used to be done this way earlier.

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