Bridges2 unit03-cw-passive-10-11


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This is by no means an extremely accurate rendering of Passive Voice in English, but I did manage to put together information, examples and tips from various sources which I hope may be useful for anyone trying to understand this grammar point.

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Bridges2 unit03-cw-passive-10-11

  1. 1. Unit3PassiveVoice<br />Grammar Notes<br />
  2. 2. Examples of Passive<br />
  3. 3. Examples of Passive<br />
  4. 4. Use of Passive<br /><ul><li>Passive or active: not two differentways of saying the same. The focus of information is shifted.
  5. 5. Passive voice - the focus is on the action. Who / what is performing the action - notimportant or notknown.</li></ul>My bike was stolen.<br /><ul><li>Sometimes passive more polite </li></ul>A mistake was made.(compare You have made a mistake.)<br /><ul><li>Passive voice far more frequent in English.</li></li></ul><li>Form of Passive<br /><ul><li>Subject + finite form of to be + Past Participle (-ed form of the verb or 3rd column of irregular verbs) + (by Agent + other complements such as adverbials):</li></ul>A letter + was written + (by the teacher + at 8 o’clock + in the morning.)<br /><ul><li>Negative and interrogative sentences are formed in the same way in passive and active voices:
  6. 6. In the end, the party wasn't held last night.
  7. 7. Were you advised by your parents?
  8. 8. Can the dress be taken back to the shop?
  9. 9. Has the baby already beenborn?
  10. 10. What present have you been given?
  11. 11. Who was chosen as president?  </li></li></ul><li>Rewritingactive sentences in passivevoice<br /><ul><li>Intransitive active clauses don’t have passive counterpart: happen, die, sleep, exist, go, come, occur, arrive, have, live…</li></ul>We live in Murcia. (Murcia is lived by us.)<br /><ul><li>The finite form of the verb is changed (to be + Past Participle). To be has the same tense in the passive sentence as the verb in the active sentence.
  12. 12. He sold his car last week. (Past simple tense)
  13. 13. His car wassold last week. (Past simple tense)
  14. 14. The object of the active sentence becomes the subject of the passive sentence:
  15. 15. He sold his car last week.
  16. 16. His car was sold last week.</li></ul> <br />
  17. 17. Rewritingactive sentences in passivevoice<br /><ul><li>Some active verbs are ditransitive(an Oi referring to people and an Od referring to things). In passive voice one of the two objects becomes the subject, the other one remains an object.
  18. 18. Which object to transform into a subject depends on what you want to put the focus on. For drilling purposes, it is customary to use the first one:
  19. 19. They will send some books to Pam.
  20. 20. Some books will be sent to Pam. (Note the Spanish “Le mandaránalgunoslibros a Pam.”)
  21. 21. They will send Pam some books.
  22. 22. Pam will be sent some books. (Note the Spanish “A Pam le mandaránalgunoslibros.”)</li></ul> <br />
  23. 23. Rewritingactive sentences in passivevoice<br /><ul><li>Be aware of subject/object forms of pronouns when the indirect object is a person:
  24. 24. She showed me her new house.
  25. 25. I was shown her new house. (Note the Spanish “Me enseñósunueva casa.”)
  26. 26. Leaving aside focus or learning issues, in English the active Oi is usually preferred as the subject of the passive sentence (except with explain and suggest):
  27. 27. The teacher gave usa test. (Active voice)
  28. 28. We were given a test by the teacher. (Passive voice)
  29. 29. A test was given to us by the teacher. (Passive voice)
  30. 30. Ditransitiveverbs: ask, give, lend, pay, offer, promise, refuse, sell, send, show and tell.</li></ul> <br />
  31. 31. Rewritingactive sentences in passivevoice<br /><ul><li>The subject of the active sentence becomes the object of the passive sentence (or is dropped). This object is then called by Agent. If the agent is a pronoun, then objectpronouns must be used.
  32. 32. Shakespeare didn’t write that play.
  33. 33. That play wasn’t written by Shakespeare. (Note the Spanish “Esaobra no la escribióShakespeare.”)
  34. 34. The police arrested the thief.
  35. 35. The thief was arrested by the police. (Note the Spanish “El ladrónfuearrestadopor la policía.”)</li></ul> <br />
  36. 36. The use of by (byAgent)<br />Although the passive voice is used when the focus is not on the agent, sometimes we will mention it:<br /><ul><li>When the agent is important: an artist, an inventor…
  37. 37. The Guernika was painted by Picasso.
  38. 38. To include more information, not previously mentioned:
  39. 39. While we were driving down the road, we were stopped by a policeman.
  40. 40. When we refer to the means of doing something or a plan. In this case we use a non-finite –ing form after the preposition by:
  41. 41. The school can be improved by building emergency exit stairs. </li></li></ul><li>The use of by (byAgent)<br />An object introduced by by does not always refer to an agent as part of a passive voice clause. Notice the difference in the following examples:<br /><ul><li>I was shocked by your attitude. (Passive voice)
  42. 42. We were worried about / by her silence. (Active voice)</li></ul> <br />
  43. 43. Detailedanalysis of uses of Passive<br />The agent of the action is obvious, unknown or unimportant.<br /><ul><li>Cotton was grown in Virginia in the 19th century.
  44. 44. All the money has been stolen. (“Han robadotodo el dinero.”)</li></ul>We tend to avoid active clauses with impersonal agents such as they, somebody, nobody, etc.<br /><ul><li>Someone left this hat here.
  45. 45. This hat was left here by someone. (Han dejadoaquíeste sombrero.)</li></li></ul><li>Detailedanalysis of uses of Passive<br />What we want to focuson is the actionitself, the resultsoftheaction or theobject, the recipient of the action.<br />Over thirty people were killed in a terrorist attack in Iraq last weekend.<br />When we want to emphasize the process or event instead of the agent.<br />The emergency doors are checked every day.<br />Our father was killed in the war.<br />
  46. 46. ‘Choice’ of passivestructures<br /><ul><li>Academic/scientific writing:</li></ul>Those pyramids were built around 400 AD.<br /><ul><li>Putting the ‘news’ at the end:</li></ul>John’s painting my portrait. (Active voice)<br />Nice picture! Yes, it was painted by my mother. (Passive voice)<br /><ul><li>Longer / heavier expressions:</li></ul>I was annoyed by Mary wanting to tell everybody what to do.<br />
  47. 47. Have/get+ something + done (los verbos causativos)<br />Have/ get+ object + past participle - used to talk about arranging things to be done by other people.<br />Passive meaning - the object receives the action expressed by the past participle.<br />Typical of an informal, spoken English. This is especially so in the case of get.<br />I had / got my bedroom painted. (Note the Spanish “Pinté / Me pintaron el dormitorio.”)<br />I’m going to have / get my hair cut next week. (Note the Spanish “Voy a cortarme el pelo la semanaqueviene.”) [Somebody else will do it, not me.]<br />I must have / get my watch repaired. (Spanish “Tengoquearreglar mi reloj.”)<br />
  48. 48. Verb + preposition<br />We must include the preposition in the passive clause:<br />They will send for you when the boss arrives.<br />You will be sent for when the boss arrives.<br />He threw away the glass bottles into the container.<br />The glass bottles were thrown away into the container.<br />
  49. 49. Personal and Impersonal Passive<br />Personal Passive - the O of the active s. becomes the S of the passive s. Transitive verbscan form personal passives.<br />They build houses. – Houses are built.<br />Intransitive verbs normally cannot form a personal passive. If you want to, you must use an impersonal construction, Impersonal Passive.<br />he says – it is said<br />Impersonal Passive is not as common in English as in some other languages (e.g. German, Latin).<br />Impersonal Passiveonly with verbs of perception(e.g. say, think, know).<br />They say that women live longer than men. – It is said that women live longer than men.<br />
  50. 50. Personal and Impersonal Passive<br />Although Impersonal Passive is possible here, Personal Passive is more common.<br />They say that women live longer than men. – Womenare said to live longer than men.<br />The subject of the subordinate clause (women) goes to the beginning of the sentence; the verb of perception is put into passive voice. The rest of the sentence is added using an infinitive construction with to (certain auxiliary verbs and that are dropped).<br />Sometimes the term Personal Passive is used in English lessons if the indirect object of an active sentence is to become the subject of the passive sentence.<br />