The bottle contains two liters.

How do I convert it to "passive voice"? I think it should be:

Two liters are/is contained in the bottle.

What are your remarks? Is it possible to make it "passive"?

  • 1
    Yes, that is indeed a passive phrasing. However, I think this is usually used when there is implication of the possibility to escape. In other words, "The Hydrogen gas was contained in the bottle" is a much more common/natural phrasing than "The water was contained in the bottle," because the gas could/would escape (and is actively pushing to escape).
    – Alex K
    Commented Jan 29, 2016 at 8:55

2 Answers 2


Two liters are contained in the bottle.

The sentence is correct grammatically. Some state verbs can't be formed in the passive, but others can be put in the passive. For example: He is known to me. You are loved by us. This house is owned by me.

The word contain in the sentence presented is also a state verb that is usually followed by the preposition in/within in the passive, especially when you want to say that something is included to be part of a book. document. report or speech, etc. For Example:

The information you want is contained in this report.

Different new sections are contained in the bill.


You're correct, the sentence in passive voice is:

Two liters are contained in the bottle.

(are instead of is because "liters" is plural)

  • 1
    One of my friends told me that we cannot make its "passive".as far as my knowledge is concerned that my teacher also made its passive as I did. My friend's statement, see. Thank you for your comments. There is no passive voice of this sentence. #Details: The sentence cannot be changed into the passive voice because, although the verb is transitive, the verb represents a state, rather than an action, and thus accordingly, there is no agent in the given sentence (the one who performs the action). Commented Jan 29, 2016 at 9:42
  • 2
    @Magsi - Why didn't you include that information in your question? It would have made your question more interesting.
    – J.R.
    Commented Jan 29, 2016 at 15:39

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .