I have encountered a problem while converting "This is impossible to do this" in passive voice. What can be its passive form Can you say "This is impossible to be done" ?? Or " it can not be done" is more correct . Please help.

  • Sentences containing transitive verbs with obviously referenced direct objects (John saw Ali) are the ones that passivise readily (or at all). Commented Nov 2, 2017 at 17:58
  • @EdwinAshworth “Jack gave Jill a pail“ > “Jill was given a pail by Jack” promotes not the direct but rather the indirect object into subject position. Seems readily passivated to me.
    – tchrist
    Commented Nov 2, 2017 at 18:49
  • @tchrist You're saying that 'a pail' isn't an obviously referenced direct object? I'm referring to sentences like 'The piano seemed an antique [to us].' Commented Nov 2, 2017 at 20:47

1 Answer 1


First, you should not repeat 'this'. Use "It is impossible to do this" or "This is impossible to do."

The main verb in your sentence is "is". This is a copula and cannot be passive (nor can stative verbs like "seem").

The other verb ("do") is part of an infinitive. One good way to make it passive is "It is impossible for this to be done."

  • Yeah! sentence was "it is impossible to do this". And passive form provided by you is grammeratically correct. But my main question is out of these two options which one should be more preffered. Because it was asked in my exam. Commented Nov 9, 2017 at 13:37
  • An exam question with double "this" is bad, and 'passivating' in an exam would always be done on the main verb, unless specified otherwise (and there is no passive form of "is"); but the passive form of "to do" is "to be done" -- and (in an exam) you shouldn't change anything beyond what was asked for.
    – AmI
    Commented Nov 13, 2017 at 21:30

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