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Active Voice, Passive Voice                                         Use of the Passive Voice

There are two special forms for verbs called                        We use the passive when:
voice:
                                                                    •     we want to make the active object more
   1. Active voice                                                  important

                                                                    •       we do not know the active subject
   2. Passive voice

The active voice is the "normal" voice. This is                             subject       verb               object
the voice that we use most of the time. You are                give         President     was killed         by Lee Harv
probably already familiar with the active voice.               importance Kennedy                            ey Oswald.
In the active voice, the object receives the                   to active
action of the verb:                                            object
                                                               (President
                                                               Kennedy)
active    subject    verb     object
                                                               active       My wallet     has been stolen ?
                             >
                                                               subject                    .
          Cats       eat      fish.
                                                               unknown
                                                                    Note that we always use by to introduce the
The passive voice is less usual. In the passive                     passive object (Fish are eaten by cats).
voice, the subject receives the action of the
verb:
                                                                    Look at this sentence: He was killed with a
                                                                    gun. Normally we use by to introduce the
passiv     subject    verb            object
                                                                    passive object. But the gun is not the active
e                    <
           Fish       are eaten       by cats.                      subject. The gun did not kill him. He was killed
                                                                    by somebody with a gun. In the active voice, it
The object of the active verb becomes the                           would be: Somebody killed him with a gun. The
subject of the passive verb:                                        gun is the instrument. Somebody is the "agent"
                                                                    or "doer".
           subject         verb        object
active     Everybody       drinks      water.                       Conjugation for the Passive Voice: We can
passiv     Water           is drunk    by everybody.                form the passive in any tense. In fact,
e                                                                   conjugation of verbs in the passive tense is
                                                                    rather easy, as the main verb is always in past
                                                                    participle form and the auxiliary verb is always
Passive Voice                                                       be. To form the required tense, we conjugate the
                                                                    auxiliary verb. So, for example:
The passive voice is less usual than the active
voice. The active voice is the "normal" voice. But                  present simple: It is made
sometimes we need the passive voice. In this
lesson we look at how to construct the passive                      present continuous: It is being made
voice, when to use it and how to conjugate it.
                                                                    present perfect: It has been made
Construction of the Passive Voice
                                                                    Here are some examples with most of the
The structure of the passive voice is very                          possible tenses:
simple:
                                                                    infinitive                     to be washed
subject + auxiliary verb (be) + main verb (past                     simple           present       It is washed.
participle)                                                                          past          It was washed.
                                                                                     future        It will be washed.
The main verb is always in its past participle                                       conditional   It would be
form.                                                                                              washed.
                                                                    continuous       present       It is being washed.
Look at these examples:                                                              past          It was being
                                                                                                   washed.
subject    auxiliary           main verb                                             future        It will be being
           verb (to            (past                                                               washed.
           be)                 participle)                                           conditional   It would be being
Water      is                  drunk             by                                                washed.
                                                 everyone.          perfect simple   present       It has been
100        are                 employed          by this                                           washed.
people                                           company.                            past          It had been
I          am                  paid              in euro.                                          washed.
We         are         not     paid              in dollars.                         future        It will have been
Are        they                paid              in yen?                                           washed.
                                                                                     conditional   It would have
                                                                                                   been washed.
perfect           present       It has been being       8. They were cooking dinner when I arrived.
continuous                      washed.
                  past          It had been being           Dinner____________________________
                                washed.                    ________________ when I arrived.
                  future        It will have been
                                                        9. Smithers painted 'Red Sunset' in 1986.
                                being washed.
                  conditional   It would have               'Red Sunset'
                                been being                 __________________________________
                                washed.                    _____in 1986 by Smithers.

                                                        10. Did the plan interest you?
Active or Passive Quiz
                                                            ________________________________
1        I ate a piece of chocolate cake.                  ___ in the plan?
2     The librarian read the book to the                11. They had finished the preparations by the
students.                                                   time the guests arrived.
3        The money was stolen.                             The preparations
                                                           ________________________________by
4        They are paid on Fridays.
                                                           the time the guests arrived.
5        The movie is being made in Hollywood.
                                                        12. You should take care when working on
6        I washed my car three weeks ago.                   electrical equipment.

7        His hair was cut by a professional.               Care
                                                           _________________________________
8        I will introduce you to my boss this week.        when working on electrical equipment.

9        It would have been fixed on the weekend.       13. They are going to perform Beethoven's
                                                            Fifth Symphony next weekend.
10     The national anthem is being sung by
Jason this time.                                           Beethoven's Fifth Symphony
                                                           __________________________________
                                                           __________ next weekend.

Active to passive Transformations                       14. Someone will speak Japanese at the
                                                            meeting.
    1. They make shoes in that factory.
                                                           Japanese_________________________
        Shoes ____________________in that                  at the meeting.
       factory.
                                                        15. Karen is going to prepare the
    2. People must not leave bicycles in the                refreshments.
       driveway.
                                                            The refreshments
       Bicycles                                            __________________________________
       _______________________________ in                  _ by Karen.
       the driveway.

      3. They built that skyscraper in 1934.

         That skyscraper
         ______________________ in 1934.

      4. The students will finish the course by July.

          The
         course____________________________
         by July.

      5. They are repairing the streets this month.

         The streets
         ____________________________this
         month.

      6. They make these tools of plastic.

          These tools
         ______________________________of
         plastic.

      7. They have finished the new product
         design.

         The new product
         design____________________________
         __ .

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Active and passive voice

  • 1. Active Voice, Passive Voice Use of the Passive Voice There are two special forms for verbs called We use the passive when: voice: • we want to make the active object more 1. Active voice important • we do not know the active subject 2. Passive voice The active voice is the "normal" voice. This is subject verb object the voice that we use most of the time. You are give President was killed by Lee Harv probably already familiar with the active voice. importance Kennedy ey Oswald. In the active voice, the object receives the to active action of the verb: object (President Kennedy) active subject verb object active My wallet has been stolen ? > subject . Cats eat fish. unknown Note that we always use by to introduce the The passive voice is less usual. In the passive passive object (Fish are eaten by cats). voice, the subject receives the action of the verb: Look at this sentence: He was killed with a gun. Normally we use by to introduce the passiv subject verb object passive object. But the gun is not the active e < Fish are eaten by cats. subject. The gun did not kill him. He was killed by somebody with a gun. In the active voice, it The object of the active verb becomes the would be: Somebody killed him with a gun. The subject of the passive verb: gun is the instrument. Somebody is the "agent" or "doer". subject verb object active Everybody drinks water. Conjugation for the Passive Voice: We can passiv Water is drunk by everybody. form the passive in any tense. In fact, e conjugation of verbs in the passive tense is rather easy, as the main verb is always in past participle form and the auxiliary verb is always Passive Voice be. To form the required tense, we conjugate the auxiliary verb. So, for example: The passive voice is less usual than the active voice. The active voice is the "normal" voice. But present simple: It is made sometimes we need the passive voice. In this lesson we look at how to construct the passive present continuous: It is being made voice, when to use it and how to conjugate it. present perfect: It has been made Construction of the Passive Voice Here are some examples with most of the The structure of the passive voice is very possible tenses: simple: infinitive to be washed subject + auxiliary verb (be) + main verb (past simple present It is washed. participle) past It was washed. future It will be washed. The main verb is always in its past participle conditional It would be form. washed. continuous present It is being washed. Look at these examples: past It was being washed. subject auxiliary main verb future It will be being verb (to (past washed. be) participle) conditional It would be being Water is drunk by washed. everyone. perfect simple present It has been 100 are employed by this washed. people company. past It had been I am paid in euro. washed. We are not paid in dollars. future It will have been Are they paid in yen? washed. conditional It would have been washed.
  • 2. perfect present It has been being 8. They were cooking dinner when I arrived. continuous washed. past It had been being Dinner____________________________ washed. ________________ when I arrived. future It will have been 9. Smithers painted 'Red Sunset' in 1986. being washed. conditional It would have 'Red Sunset' been being __________________________________ washed. _____in 1986 by Smithers. 10. Did the plan interest you? Active or Passive Quiz ________________________________ 1 I ate a piece of chocolate cake. ___ in the plan? 2 The librarian read the book to the 11. They had finished the preparations by the students. time the guests arrived. 3 The money was stolen. The preparations ________________________________by 4 They are paid on Fridays. the time the guests arrived. 5 The movie is being made in Hollywood. 12. You should take care when working on 6 I washed my car three weeks ago. electrical equipment. 7 His hair was cut by a professional. Care _________________________________ 8 I will introduce you to my boss this week. when working on electrical equipment. 9 It would have been fixed on the weekend. 13. They are going to perform Beethoven's Fifth Symphony next weekend. 10 The national anthem is being sung by Jason this time. Beethoven's Fifth Symphony __________________________________ __________ next weekend. Active to passive Transformations 14. Someone will speak Japanese at the meeting. 1. They make shoes in that factory. Japanese_________________________ Shoes ____________________in that at the meeting. factory. 15. Karen is going to prepare the 2. People must not leave bicycles in the refreshments. driveway. The refreshments Bicycles __________________________________ _______________________________ in _ by Karen. the driveway. 3. They built that skyscraper in 1934. That skyscraper ______________________ in 1934. 4. The students will finish the course by July. The course____________________________ by July. 5. They are repairing the streets this month. The streets ____________________________this month. 6. They make these tools of plastic. These tools ______________________________of plastic. 7. They have finished the new product design. The new product design____________________________ __ .