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The passive
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  • 1. Form of the PassiveForm of the Passive Example: A letter was written When rewriting active sentences in passive voice, note the following: 1.1.The objectThe object of the active sentence becomes the subjectbecomes the subject of the passive sentence. He wrote a letter  A letter was written by him. 2. The verb to be2. The verb to be keeps the same tense as the main verb in the active. ACTIVE: Shakespeare wrote Romeo and Juliet PASSIVE: Romeo and Juliet was written by Shakespeare Subject +Subject + verb verb to beto be + Past Participle + Past ParticipleSubject +Subject + verb verb to beto be + Past Participle + Past Participle
  • 2. 3.3. The subjectThe subject of the active sentence becomes the objectbecomes the object of the passive sentence (or is dropped)(or is dropped). The Egyptians built the pyramids. The pyramids were built (by the Egyptians) 4. Sometimes there are two possible answerstwo possible answers (two objects in the active sentence). Tim gave Lisa some flowers. Answers: Some flowers were given to Lisa by Tim. or  Lisa was given some flowers by Tim. (FAR MORE USUAL)
  • 3. Use of the PassiveUse of the Passive Example: My bike was stolen. 1. In the example above, the focus is on the fact that my bike was stolen.. I do not knowI do not know, however, who did itwho did it. 2. Sometimes a statement in passive is more politemore polite than in active voice, as the following example shows: Example: A mistake was made.  In this case, I focus on the fact that a mistake was made, but I do not blame anyoneI do not blame anyone (e.g. You have made a mistake.) The Passive voice is used when the focus is on the actionfocus is on the action. It is not important or not known, however, who or what is performing the action. The Passive voice is used when the focus is on the actionfocus is on the action. It is not important or not known, however, who or what is performing the action.