четвртак, 10. октобар 2013.

THE PASSIVE VOICE

* You use the passive voice to focus on the person or thing affected by an action.

                            * You form the passive by using a form of `be' and a past participle.

                            * Only verbs that have an object can have a passive form. With verbs that can have two objects, either object can be the subject of the passive.

  • When you want to talk about the person or thing that performs an action, you use the active voice.
                        Mr Smith locks the gate at 6 o'clock every night.
                        The storm destroyed dozens of trees.


  • When you want to focus on the person or thing that is affected by an action, rather than the person or thing that performs the action, you use the passive voice.
                        The gate is locked at 6 o'clock every night.
                        Dozens of trees were destroyed.


  • The passive is formed with a form of the auxiliary `be', followed by the past participle of a main verb.
                        Two new stores were opened this year.
                        The room had been cleaned.


  • Continuous passive tenses are formed with a form of the auxiliary `be' followed by `being' and the past participle of a main verb.
                        Jobs are still being lost.
                        It was being done without his knowledge.


  • After modals you use the base form `be' followed by the past participle of a main verb.
                        What can be done?
                        We won't be beaten.


  • When you are talking about the past, you use a modal with `have been' followed by the past participle of a main verb.
                        He may have been given the car.
                        He couldn't have been told by Jimmy.


  • You form passive infinitives by using `to be' or `to have been' followed by the past participle of a main verb.
                        He wanted to be forgiven.

                        The car was reported to have been stolen.
    In informal English, `get' is sometimes used instead of `be' to form the passive.
                        Our car gets cleaned every weekend.
                        He got killed in a plane crash.


  • When you use the passive, you often do not mention the person or thing that performs the action at all. This may be because you do not know or do not want to say who it is, or because it does not matter.
                        Her boyfriend was shot in the chest.
                        Your application was rejected.
                        Such items should be carefully packed in tea chests.


  • If you are using the passive and you do want to mention the person or thing that performs the action, you use `by'.
                        He had been poisoned by his girlfriend.
                        He was brought up by an aunt.

                You use `with' to talk about something that is used to perform the action.
                        A circle was drawn in the dirt with a stick.
                        He was killed with a knife.


  • Only verbs that usually have an object can have a passive form. You can say `people spend money' or `money is spent'.
                        An enormous amount of money is spent on beer.
                        The food is sold at local markets.


  • With verbs which can have two objects, you can form two different passive sentences. For example, you can say
`The secretary was given the key' or
`The key was given to the secretary'.
                        They were offered a new flat.
                        The books will be sent to you.


The passive voice is not a tense in English.
Each tense has its own passive voice created by using a form of the auxiliary verb to be + verb 3rd form (past participle)

The passive voice in each tense:

Tense
Auxiliary verb + verb 3rd form (past participle)
Examples
Present simple
am, is, are + made
Wine is made from grapes.
Many cars are made in Japan.
Present Continuous
am, is, are + being + sent
The document is being sent right now.
I am being sent to work in the London office.
Past simple
was, were + invited
John was invited to speak at the conference.
We were invited to Daniel and Mary’s wedding.
Past Continuous
was, were + being + washed
The dog was being washed when I got home.
Their cars were being washed while they were in the mall shopping.
Future (will)
will be + signed
The contract will be signed tomorrow.
The documents will all be signed by next week.
Future (going to)
am, is, are + going to be + built
A bridge is going to be built within the next two years.
New houses are going to be built in our neighborhood.
Present perfect
has, have + been + sold
That start-up has been sold for $5 million.
The rights to his book have been sold for $250,000.
Past perfect
had + been + hired
The new manager had been hired before John left the company.
All the employees had hired before the store opened.
Future perfect
will + have been + finished
The car will have been loaded by the time he gets home.
The crates will have been loaded by then.
Modals: can/could
can, could + be + issued
A passport can only be issued at the embassy.
He said the documents could be issued within the week.
Modal: have to
have to, has to, had to +
be + arranged
A babysitter has to be arranged for this evening.
Joan’s travel plans have to be arranged by December.
Modal: must
must + be + stopped
Criminals must be stopped before they commit crimes.

A sample of exercise often used to practice the passive voice is turning an active sentence into the passive and vice versa, like this:

Tense
Subject
Verb
Object
Simple Present
Active:
Rita
writes
a letter.
Passive:
A letter
is written
by Rita.
Simple Past
Active:
Rita
wrote
a letter.
Passive:
A letter
was written
by Rita.
Present Perfect
Active:
Rita
has written
a letter.
Passive:
A letter
has been written
by Rita.
Future I
Active:
Rita
will write
a letter.
Passive:
A letter
will be written
by Rita.
Modals
Active:
Rita
can write
a letter.
Passive:
A letter
can be written
by Rita.
        

Tense
Subject
Verb
Object
Present Continuous
Active:
Rita
is writing
a letter.
Passive:
A letter
is being written
by Rita.
Past Continuous
Active:
Rita
was writing
a letter.
Passive:
A letter
was being written
by Rita.
Past Perfect
Active:
Rita
had written
a letter.
Passive:
A letter
had been written
by Rita.
Future II
Active:
Rita
will have written
a letter.
Passive:
A letter
will have been written
by Rita.
Conditional I
Active:
Rita
would write
a letter.
Passive:
A letter
would be written
by Rita.
Conditional II
Active:
Rita
would have written
a letter.
Passive:
A letter
would have been written
by Rita.




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