Can In Passive Voice: 5 Facts (When, How & Examples)


“Can” is one of the more versatile words in the English Language. Let us take a deep dive into this word under a very specific context.

“Can” may be used in passive voice in some cases. Passive voice is when the subject is subjected to the action of the verb rather than performing the said action.

Let us all get a better understanding of the word “can” in passive voice with more facts and examples as demonstrated below.

When to use “can” in passive voice?

“Can” as a word has many uses. Let us explore more in this specific context.

“Can” may be used in passive voice when one needs to change the voice of a particular sentence from active voice.

Let us dive deeper into this topic with the help of some examples given below.

ExamplesExplanations
1. The assignment can be finished by then.The word “can” has clearly been used in the passive structure of this particular sentence.
2. Time off can be granted to you all by the office.As one can see, the term “can” has been used as a qualifier to the verb that follows it, this making it a passive sentence.
3. The recipe can be written down by him.“Can” has been used right after the object and before the verb and object pronoun, which makes it a statement written in passive voice.
Some examples of “can” used in passive voice.

How to use “can” in passive voice?

“Can” as a term is a versatile one. Let us examine more in this specific case.

“Can” may be used in passive voice by placing the object before the verb and verb before subject in most cases. The formula for “Can” in passive voice is- Object + “Can” + Verb Phrase + Object Pronoun

With the assistance of some of the examples provided below, let’s explore this subject further.

ExamplesExplanations
4. Plastic utensils can be used by the baby.As one can examine, the verb that comes after it has been qualified by the word “can,” rendering the statement passive.
5. A movie can be watched by them to pass time.The word “can” has been utilized according to the aforementioned formula, thus qualifying this sentence to be in passive voice.
6. A book can be read to the kids at bedtime.Sometimes the object pronoun, which would have been the ‘subject’ in active voice is not directly written in a sentence used in passive voice. Words like “can”, when used may cause this effect in passive voice.
Some more examples of “can” used in passive voice.

Examples of “can” used in passive voice

Let us improve our understanding of this topic by looking at a more varied selection of examples and explanations, as given below.

ExamplesExplanations
7. Rice can be eaten with various types of gravies.The passive voice of this particular line makes it evident that the word “can” has been utilised.
8. Permission can be granted to only one of the students from this class.This particular line’s passive voice makes it clear that the word “can” was used.
9. Meetings can be held online as well.This is a statement written in the passive voice since the word “can” has been placed immediately after the object, before the verb, and before the object pronoun.
10. Food can be warmed up in the microwave by him.The word “can” has clearly been used in the passive structure of this particular sentence.
11. Tea can be drunk at any time of the day according to them.In sentences written in the passive voice, the object pronoun—which would have been the “subject” in the active voice—is occasionally omitted. Passive voice may have this impact when words like “can” are employed.
12. Water can be added by her to thin out the consistency of the sauce.As one can examine, the verb that comes after it has been qualified by the word “can,” rendering the statement passive.
13. This method can be applied only in some contexts.This line is in the passive voice because the word “can” was used in accordance with the aforementioned rules.
14. One book can be borrowed at a time from the library by you.As one can see, the term “can” has been used as a qualifier to the verb that follows it, this making it a passive sentence.
A few more examples of the word “can” being used in passive voice.

When to use “could” in passive voice?

“Could” as a word is also a flexible one. Let’s analyze this case in more depth.

“Could” may be used in passive voice when one needs to change the voice of a particular sentence from active voice.

Let’s study this topic in more detail using a few of the examples given below.

ExamplesExplanations
15. The recipe could be modified a bit by him.The word “could” has clearly been used in the passive structure of this particular sentence.
16. He could be taken to the doctor by his friend.As one can see, the term “could” has been used as a qualifier to the verb that follows it, this making it a passive sentence.
17. The task could be done only tomorrow according to her.“Could” has been used right after the object and before the verb and object pronoun, which makes it a statement written in passive voice.
Some examples of “could” used in passive voice.

Examples of “could” used in passive voice

With the more varied amount of  examples and explanations that are provided below, let’s gain a better comprehension of this subject.

ExamplesExplanations
18. Some insights could be provided by the boss.This is a statement written in the passive voice since the word “could” has been placed immediately after the object, before the verb, and before the object pronoun.
19. The outcome could be helped if we just put our minds to it.The word “could” has clearly been used in the passive structure of this particular sentence.
20. Clothes could be tried on in the trial room if you want.The passive voice of this particular line makes it evident that the word  “could” has been utilised.
21. Some corn flour could be added to the dish to better its texture.In sentences written in the passive voice, the object pronoun—which would have been the “subject” in the active voice—is occasionally omitted. Passive voice may have this impact when words like “could” are employed.
22. A phone could be used as a torch as well.As one can examine, the verb that comes after it has been qualified by the word “could”, rendering the statement passive.
23. The fish could be dried up by being kept out I the sun.This particular line’s passive voice makes it clear that the word “could ” was used.
24. A tree could be planted for every sale we make.This line is in the passive voice because the word “could” was used in accordance with the aforementioned rules.
25. Music could be played in the background to cut all the tension.Sometimes the object pronoun, which would have been the ‘subject’ in active voice is not directly written in a sentence used in passive voice. Words like “could”, when used may cause this effect in passive voice.
A few more examples of “could” being used in passive voice.

Conclusion

Therefore, it has been proven that “can” can very much function in passive voice along with the term “could” as well.

Vriddhi Kapoor

Hi.....I’m a graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature. I wish to do a Masters in the same field someday and continue my career in Academia. Let's connect through LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/vriddhi-kapoor-513bb4202

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