I ran across the following sentence and I want to change it into passive:

By next month, we expect to have bought a new house. By next month, a new house................ (complete)

  • Hello Yasser, and welcome to ELL. On this site we only accept questions about specific aspects of learning English, that's to say, a question that may be useful to other visitors to this site, which means not homework-style questions. It looks like you're interested in how to express "expect to have done" in the passive voice, but I may be wrong. So please edit your question to tell us what you expect to learn or be able to do, rather than a single example of it. ALSO, you need to tell us what you already know about constructing passives, and what work you've done to answer it yourself.
    – gotube
    Commented May 10 at 1:33
  • 1
    You should not change this sentence to the passive. The active form is better for this sentence.
    – James K
    Commented May 10 at 6:20
  • will be bought by us. Passive.
    – Lambie
    Commented May 10 at 18:36

2 Answers 2


You cannot convert that sentence to a passive form because it is not a SVO sentence.

The main verb is "expect", it is complemented by an infinitive clause "to have bought a new house". The subject of the main verb is explicitly "we" and this is also the understood subject of the infinitive clause. ("We" will buy the house).

You can't make the main clause passive because there is no object. It is ungrammatical to form "To have bought a new house is expected by us."

The infinitive clause can be made passive, but this changes the meaning. You can say "We expect a new house to have been bought" But in this sentence the person buying the house is no longer "we".

Finally is is possible to form a "double passive", that is "A new house is expected to have been bought by us". But this has a different meaning again. "we" are the people buying the house, but the expectation is not done. This just says it is generally expected, which is different from "we expect".

In conclusion, there are three possible "passive forms". The first is ungrammatical, and the second and third have subtly different meanings. And therefore it is not possible to write down "the passive form of the sentence".


"By next month, a new house is expected to have been bought."

From grammartop:

To make statements with the Future Perfect Passive, use: will have been + Past Participle form of the verb

  • 1
    This doesn't really work well, even if you add "... by us". In the original it is clear that the subject of the verbs "expect" and "buy" are both "we". But in your passive form (even with "by us") it isn't clear who is "expecting" and it seems that "there is a general expectation by undefined people".
    – James K
    Commented May 10 at 6:23
  • 1
    Yes, technically that is the correct passive version, but it is a very unnatural sentence. Commented May 10 at 9:45

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