Passive Voice (Past Future)

In English, we use Passive Voices in many cases.

  • When we want to change the focus of the sentence.

Example: My bike was stolen.

  • When we are not interested in the doer of the action as much as in the action itself.

Example: A mistake has been committed.

  • In scientific or formal writings.

Example: A murder has been committed.

Rules for Changing from Active to Passive Voice

1. Auxiliary Verbs decide the tense in the Passive Voice.

  • The main Verb always takes its past participle form or V3.
  • The Object of the Active Voice become the Subject in the Passive Voice sentence.

Grammatically speaking, Past Future tense is used to denote all those verbs which technically will take place in future using modals like ‘would’ / ‘was going to’.


Therefore actions that are going to take place in the future from a past perspective is known as ‘Past Future’.

Ø  It is used to denote actions that were planned, proposed or promised in the past to be initiated in the future and does not matter whether it culminated or not.

Ø  Future in the past follow certain premises:

·         “Would” is used to volunteer / promise.

·         “Was going to” is used to plan.

·         Both can be used to make predictions about the future.


SENTENCE STRUCTURE in case of “Would”

Active Voice: Subject + would + V1 + object.

Passive Voice: Object + would+be+ v3+ by Subject(optional).


SENTENCE STRUCTURE in case of “was going to”

Active Voice: Subject + was going to + V1 + Object.

Passive Voice: Object + was going to + be+ V3 + by Subject (optional).



Active Voice:     He promised he would write a letter.

Passive Voice:   He promised a letter would be written.


Active Voice:     He said last year he would buy a house.

Passive Voice:   He said last year a house would be bought.


Active Voice:     I proposed I would go.

Passive Voice:   I proposed I would be going.


Active Voice: I knew Ram would help Shyam.

Passive Voice: I knew Shyam would be helped by Ram.


Active Voice: I thought you were writing the thesis paper.

Passive voice: I thought the thesis paper was being written by you.


Active voice: He planned he would send a postcard from Greece.

Passive Voice: He planned a postcard would be sent from Greece.


Active Voice: Sam was going to bring his sister.

Passive Voice: Sam’s sister was going to be brought by him.


Active Voice: I knew my husband would finish work by 5 p.m.

Passive Voice: I knew the work would be finished by my husband by 5 p.m.


Active Voice: I thought Sara was going to sing a beautiful song.

Passive Voice: I thought a beautiful song was going to be sung by Sara.


Active Voice: My mother would bake the cake.

Passive Voice: The cake would be made by my mother.


Future in the past is thus used to express the idea that something you thought or conceptualized in the past to take place in the future. Now, it does not matter whether it has actually come to fruition ornot.

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