The Passive Voice

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  • The Passive Voice

    1. 1. ESL MiniLesson THE PASSIVE VOICE Peter Mangiaracina
    2. 2. INTRODUCTION In the passive voice, the object of the sentence becomes the subject. The original verb becomes the verb “to be” plus a participle. The original subject becomes the agent preceded with the word “by.” In many cases, the agent is not needed. Peter Mangiaracina
    3. 3. This is an active sentence: SUBJECT VERB OBJECTThis is a passive sentence: PATIENT AUXILIARY PARTICIPLE by + AGENT Peter Mangiaracina
    4. 4. Relationship of Active Sentence to Passive Sentence Doctors use penicillin SUBJECT VERB OBJECT Conjugation of original verb Original verb in participle form PATIENT AUXILIARY PARTICIPLE by + AGENT Penicillin is used by doctors Peter Mangiaracina
    5. 5. WHEN TO USEIn place of sentences with generalized subjects.When receiver of an action is more important than thesubject.When we don’t need or want to mention the subject.When writing medical articles. Peter Mangiaracina
    6. 6. WHEN NOT TO USEWhen writing med-lit discussions.When writing general fiction or non-fiction. Peter Mangiaracina
    7. 7. WHY NOT USE THE PASSIVE? It uses the verb “to be” as a necessary part of its structure, and the verb “to be” is the weakest verb in the English language. E-PRIME Peter Mangiaracina

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