Voice is a grammatical term which indicates the relationship between a subject and verb. There are three different voices in French and English. In the passive voice, the action described by the verb is being done to the subject by an agent, which is usually introduced by one of two prepositions:
1. When the verb expresses an action, the agent is introduced by the preposition par:
David fait le ménage.
David is doing the housework.
Le ménage est fait par David.
The housework is done by David.
Lise lit le livre.
Lise is reading the book.
Le livre est lu par Lise.
The book is read by Lise.
2. When the verb expresses a state of being, the agent is either introduced by de or left out entirely:
Tout le monde le respecte.
Everyone respects him.
Il est respecté de tout le monde.
He is respected by everyone.
Il est éminemment respecté.
He is highly respected.
Mes amis aiment ma mère.
My friends love my mother.
Ma mère est aimée de mes amis.
My mother is loved by my friends.
Page 2: How to conjugate the passive voice
Page 3: Using and avoiding the passive voice
Passive voice quiz