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  • 1. THE PASSIVE Advanced Grammar 4to “C” Alejandra Torres Portillo Rocio Zecua Tapia
  • 2. The passive ◦ How is it formed? BE Past participle of a transitive verb Ej: My car was stolen We can use a by-phrase after the passive verb to say who or what causes the action. My car was repaired by Andrew We use passive verbs to say what happens to the subject. Two men were arrested. Active verbs are used to say what the subject does. The police arrested two men.
  • 3. Active and Passive ◦ We use an active verb to say what the subject does. ◦ We use the object of an active verb as the subject of a passive verb. We clear the table and wash the dishes vs. The table is cleared and the dishes are washed. ◦ We use a passive verb to say what happens to the subject. ◦ We cant create passives from intransitive verbs. Rick came later NOT Rick was come later
  • 4. Passive tenses Tense Present simple passive Am/is/are Past participle Present continuous passive Am/is/are being Past participle Present perfect passive Have/ has been Past participle Past simple passive Was/ were Past participle Past continuous passive Was/were being Past participle Past perfect passive Had been Past Participle
  • 5. Passive verbs Verbs with and without objects 1. We create passives from transitive verbs not from intransitive verbs (or phrasal verbs). 2. We usually create passives from verbs which describe action, not states. That belongs to me NOT That is belonged to me Verbs with two objects ◦ We can create two passive structures when we use those verbs which can have an indirect object and a direct object. They awarded Maria first time----- Active ◦ The passive structure we choose depends on which person or thing we want to talk about. ◦ We put the indirect object as subject or after the preposition to, not after the verb. A note was handed to Cecilia NOT A note was handed Cecilia ◦ We can use a DO as subject of a passive, but not another noun that classifies it. They elected Clinton president twice --- Clinton was elected President twice---- NOT President was elected Clinton twice.
  • 6. Passives with by-phrases and ergative ◦ Passives with by-phrases ◦ The agent is the person or thing that does or causes the action (in active sentences, the agent is the subject). ◦ In passive sentences, we don't usually mention the agent. ◦ We can include the agent in a by- phrase after the verb when the meaning is not complete without it OR for emphasis and contrast.
  • 7. Ergative ◦ Ergatives are transitive verbs that are used without an object: the park closes at six ◦ We use ergatives to say that an action simply happens, without an agent. ◦ We sometimes use ergatives instead of passives: The park is closed by the guard ◦ We can use ergatives when we want to describe natural processes and changes or to describe actions, but not mention the cause: The snow is melting OR I don’t know how it happened, but the string broke. ◦ We don’t use reflexive pronouns with ergatives: The string broke itself. ◦ Others verbs used like this include: burst, crack, grow, increase, shake, start…