Passive explanation

  • View

  • Download

Embed Size (px)


Passive explanation



2. ACTIVE VOICE 'Voice' refers to the relationship between the subject and the verb in a sentence. A sentence is said to be in the active voice if the subject is performing the action of the verb. 3. PASSIVE VOICE In English, as in many other languages, the passive voice is the form of a transitive verb whose grammatical subject serves as the patient, receiving the action of the verb. English's passive is formed using a form of the auxiliary verb be together with a verb's past participle.TenseSubjectAuxiliary SingularPluralPast ParticiplePresentThe car/carsisaredesigned.Present perfectThe car/carshas beenhave beendesigned.PastThe car/carswasweredesigned.Past perfectThe car/carshad beenhad beendesigned.FutureThe car/carswill bewill bedesigned.Future perfectThe car/carswill have beenwill have beendesigned.Present progressiveThe car/carsis beingare beingdesigned.Past progressiveThe car/carswas beingwere beingdesigned. 4. Use passive instead of active: If the agent is unknown. Denises computer was stolen from her office.If the agent is not focus. The new library was finished about a year ago.If the agent is obvious from context. I had an accident yesterday. This other car went through a red light and hit me. My car was completely destroyed.To focus on receiver. Did you hear the news? Matt was injured slightly in the earthquake, but Jeff was O.K.To make general explanations, statements and announcements, or in scientific and technical writing. Passengers are asked to refrain from smoking. 5. Because we most often use passive verbs to describe situations when the agent is not the primary focus, we usually do not include the agent (by noun phrase) in passive sentences. However, sometimes it is necessary to include the agent.When the agent gives us additional new information. Many important scientific discoveries have been made by women.When information about the agent is too important to omit. Radioactivity was discovered by Marie Curie in 1903.When the agent is surprising or unexpected. That picture was painted by a monkey. 6. PASSIVE VOICE EXAMPLES 7. PASSIVE VOICE EXAMPLES PRESENT: IS, AREPAST: WAS, WERE 8. The passive voice is typically contrasted with the active voice, which is the form of a transitive verb whose subject serves as the agent, performing the action of the verb.The subject of a verb in the passive voice corresponds to the object of the same verb in the active voice. 9. ActivePassiveTime ReferenceThey make Fords in Cologne.Fords are made in Cologne.Present simpleSusan is cooking dinner.Dinner is being cooked by SusanPresent continuousJames Joyce wrote "Dubliners"."Dubliners" was written by James Joyces.Past simpleThey were painting the house when I arrived.The house was being painted when I arrived.Past continuousThey have produced over 20 models in the past two years.Over 20 models have been produced in the past two years.Present perfectThey are going to build a new factory in Portland.A new factory is going to be built Future in Portland. intention with going toI will finish it tomorrow.It will be finished tomorrow.Future simple 10. If you want to change a passive-voice sentence to active voice, find the agent in a "by the..." phrase, or consider carefully who or what is performing the action expressed in the verb. Make that agent the subject of the sentence, and change the verb accordingly. Sometimes you will need to infer the agent from the surrounding sentences which provide context. 11. Special cases: Verbs with no passive forms and other verbs with no active forms Some verbs dont have passive form because they do not take direct objects. This category includes verbs such as: Occur, happen, take place, appear, seem, look, emerge, vanish, disappear, appear, resemble, consist of, collide, etc. Few changes have occurred at Stonehenge over the years. The discovery of Nazca Lines happened in the 1930s. NOT: A ceremonial function was had by these pictures. NOT: Some animals are resembled by the pictures. Jeff was born in Kansas. NOT: Jeffs mother bore him in Kansas. 12. A stative verb, generally, cannot be made into a passive sentence. However, some stative verbs have "active" forms in which the verb has another meaning. Stative verb: "weigh"Intransitive VerbTransitive VerbArnold weighs 250 lbs. (stative)The doctor weighed the baby. (active)(no passive possible)The baby was weighed by the doctor.EXAMPLEActivePassiveSome verbs have different meaning when in the passive voice: Passive The College of San Mateo is located on a hilltop. (exists) Active The Board of Regents voted to locate the new college on a hilltop. (situate / build) Active The police located the lost child. (found)