Unit 14 grammar_notes to upload 2


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Unit 14 grammar_notes to upload 2

  1. 1. 1. A sentence in the passive voice has a corresponding sentence in the active voice: The police never catch some criminals. Some criminals are never caught. object subject
  2. 2. 1. The object in the active voice sentence becomes the subject in the passive voice sentence: Someone took the money. The money was taken (by someone).object subject
  3. 3. Only transitive verbs, those followed by an object, can be passive. No one has seen Cooper since 1972. Cooper has not been seen since 1971. object subject BE CAREFUL!
  4. 4. Intransitive verbs (not followed by an object) cannot be passive. Many people think Cooper must have died. Cooper died. BE CAREFUL!
  5. 5. 2. Passive sentences are formed with be + the past participle. They occur in present, past and future forms. Police officers are well trained. Are = present tense of be + past participle trained The suspect was arrested yesterday. Was = past tense of be + past participle arrested He will be held in the local jail. Will be = future tense of be + past participle held Several witnesses have been interviewed. Have been = present perfect of be + past participle interviewed.
  6. 6. 2. To make a negative passive sentence, put not after the first verb: Many other planes have been hijacked since 1971. Have been = present perfect of be + past participle hijacked Cooper has not been caught. First helping verb + not + other verbs
  7. 7. 2. Use the present progressive and past progressive passives to describe actions actually in progress (and not finished): The suspect is being held in prison. Is being= present progressive of be + past participle held The robbery occurred while the money was being taken to a bank. Was being= past progressive of be + past participle taken
  8. 8. 3. Use the passive voice when you don’t know who performed the action or when it’s not important to say who peformed it: The money was stolen. (I don’t know who stole the money.) The plane was refueled. (Somebody refueled the plane. For the purposes of this story, it is not important to know exactly who did it.)
  9. 9. 3. Use the passive voice when you want to avoid mentioning who did it (the person who did = the agent: A criminal is somehow regarded as a hero. (I don’t want to say who regards a criminal as a hero. I have a low opinion of people who think that way.) The report will be finished by Friday. (I’m not saying exactly who is going to do this job, maybe because I haven’t figured out yet who will do it.)
  10. 10. 3. Use the passive voice when you want to focus on the receiver or the result of the action instead of the agent. The thief was caught (by the detective). This is the important event This information is less important
  11. 11. 3. We also use the passive voice if the agent of the action is obvious, and does not need explanation: He was arrested. This is the important event The police arrested him. That is obvious.
  12. 12. 3. Pay attention to how people in the government and positions of authority use the passive voice! They often use it to evade responsibility. Some poor decisions were made in the design the new Affordable Care website. (Somebody made mistakes, but it wasn’t me.) The issue will be investigated. (It’s not clear exactly who will investigate the issue, so maybe nobody is really going to.)
  13. 13. 4. Usually we do not use by after a passive. We may use it in these situations: a. To introduce new information about the agent. The money was stolen by a person who has a criminal record. b. To give credit to someone who did something. The bills were photocopied by FBI agents. c. When the agent is surprising. The money was found by a little boy.
  14. 14. You can omit the by phrase in passive sentences if you feel it is unnecessary or indesirable to mention the agent: Why hasn’t this crime been solved?
  15. 15. 5. Most commonly, the direct object of an active sentence is the subject of the corresponding passive sentence:: The police arrested the suspect. The suspect was arrested by the police. Direct object Subject
  16. 16. 5. However, an indirect object is sometimes the subject of a passive sentence:: The FBI gave Cooper the money. Cooper was given the money by the FBI. Indirect object Subject
  17. 17. 6. We often use modals and modal- like auxiliaries in the passive. To form the present passive with a modal, use the modal + be + past participle: The criminal should be arrested.
  18. 18. 6. To form the past passive with a modal, use the modal + have been be + past participle: He could have been arrested before this.
  19. 19. 6. Use have to, have got to, had better, had to, must, ought to and should in sentences to express advisability, obligation and necessity. The charges had to be dropped. Criminal suspects must be charged.
  20. 20. 6. Use can and could to express present and past ability. Suspects can’t be kept in jail. The thief could have been caught.
  21. 21. 6. Use will and be going to to talk about future events. The prisoner will be tried. The suspects are going to be released.
  22. 22. 6. Use can, could, may and might to talk about future possibility and impossibility. The mystery may never be solved. He can’t be released from jail.
  23. 23. 6. Use can, could, may and might to talk about future possibility and impossibility. The mystery may never be solved. He can’t be released from jail.
  24. 24. 7. The passive can also be formed with get. The passive with get is more informal than the passive with be. It is conversational and characteristic of informal writing. Will that criminal ever get caught? Our team got beaten in the soccer game.
  25. 25. Although the be passive is used with both action and non-action verbs, the get passive is used only with action verbs: More research is needed about the causes of crime. **More research gets needed about the causes of crime. BE CAREFUL!
  26. 26. 8. Have an get + object + past participle are used to form the passive causitive. There is usually little difference between the causative with have or get. You should have your car serviced. I got my best suit dry-cleaned.
  27. 27. 8. The passive causative is used in the past, present and future and with modals. We had the windows washed. I get my car tuned up twice a year. She is going to get her hair cut.
  28. 28. 9. Use the passive causatives to talk about services or activities that people arrange for someone to do. The detective had the evidence analyzed. Sometimes criminals get their hair dyed or shaved.
  29. 29. 9. The passive causative can occur with a by phrase only when it is necessary to mention the agent. I got my photos developed at the drugstore. We had our house inspected by Jim.
  30. 30. Don’t confuse the simple past causative with the past perfect: They had the grass cut. (Simple past causative—someone else cut the grass.) They had cut the grass. (Past perfect, active voice—that had done this before a specific time in the past.) BE CAREFUL!
  31. 31. Don’t confuse the passive causative with the passive expression do get something done meaning to finish something. I got the work done by a mechanic. (passive causative I got the word done by noon. (I finished the work by twelve p.m.) BE CAREFUL! (AMBIGUOUS SENTENCE)