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  Examples of sentences containing passives:  

Passive: The cake was baked by John.
Active: John baked the cake.

"be" auxiliary = was
past participle = baked
The cake was baked by John. Use "by ______" to indicate the doer of the action. This sentence says that John baked the cake.
The course may be offered to students in Europe next year. Modal + passive: may be offered

Passive sentence: It is believed that the course is very useful for students.

Active sentence: Everyone believes that the course is very useful for students.

Clause as subject of passive sentence: It + passive form: It is believed. In the passive sentence, "It" = "the course is very useful for students".


Verb tenses that use passive

The course is taught by a qualified professor. simple present
The course is being offered to international students. present progressive
The course was created by the English Language Centre. simple past
The students were being instructed over the phone and by regular mail before the course went on-line last summer. past progressive
The student's application has been accepted by the university. present perfect
The on-line system had been tested prior to being used for the course. past perfect
The course will be offered to students this summer. "will" future
The students will have been given over 80 hours of course work by the time they finish the course. future perfect
The course is going to be offered to students next year. "going to" future