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Passive Voice: an Introduction.


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Introduction to the Passive Voice.

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Passive Voice: an Introduction.

  2. 2. FORMING A PASSIVE SENTENCE Many people watch Youtube. Youtube is watched by many people. S V O
  3. 3. PASSIVE STRUCTURE (PRESENT SIMPLE) Youtube is watched by many people. Present of the verb BE + Past Participle of the MAIN VERB
  4. 4. WE USE THE PASSIVE…  … when we don’t know the subject.  … when the subject is not important or we don’t want to mention it.  …when we want to talk about the object and not the doer (subject) of the action.
  5. 5. PASSIVE STRUCTURE (PAST SIMPLE) Edison invented the phonograph.
  6. 6. PASSIVE STRUCTURE (PAST SIMPLE) The phonograph was invented by Edison. Past of the verb BE + Past Participle of the MAIN VERB
  8. 8. WHEN DO WE USE BY + AGENT IN THE PASSIVE Many English passive sentences do not contain BY + Agent after the verb. In fact, it has been estimated that 80% of passive verbs don't include the agent, so a basic rule would be to omit wherever possible. There are cases where its use would be regarded as wrong or uncomfortable: *My wallet was stolen by someone. (It is completely unnecessary and sounds wrong. The same is true of examples where the subject is too obvious.)
  9. 9. WHEN DO WE USE BY + AGENT IN THE PASSIVE There are examples given in books that are correct but very limited: Hamlet was written by Shakespeare. If the date or reason were added, then the agent would probably be best omitted. In the example given, it is necessary because 'Hamlet was written.' makes little sense as a stand-alone sentence. Many car accidents are caused by alcohol. Here the agent is necessary as it adds something to the sentence and there would be no meaning without it. In cases like this, where the agent is essential to create the meaning, it must be included. Where it adds little or nothing, it is better to leave it out.
  10. 10. EXERCISE: · Change these sentences using the correct form of the passive voice. Omit by where possible. (One by one, orally).  They produce records in factories.  Chris Martin wrote Viva la Vida.  Radio stations play a lot of songs every day.  They released their album in 2001.  My mum didn’t permit us to watch that film.  DJs play that song all the time.  She invited him to the concert.