The passive voice


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  • The past simple of the verb 'read' is 'read', not readed.
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The passive voice

  1. 1. The Passive Voice By Antonio Mateo Chamorro
  2. 2. In active voice, the subject is the doer of the action, while in passive voice, the subject is the receiver of the action. Active vs. passive voice
  3. 3. 1. The person or thing acted on is more important than the actor e.g. Paco was not given a convincing explanation at the diamond mine (by the soldier). 2. The actor is unknown or irrelevant e.g. The cave paintings of Lascaux were made in the Upper Old Stone Age. 3. You want to be vague about who is responsible e.g. Mistakes were made. The passive voice: Uses (I)
  4. 4. 4. You are talking about a general truth e.g. Rules are made to be broken. 5. You want to emphasize the person or thing acted on e.g. Insulin was first discovered in 1921 by researchers at the University of Toronto. 6. You are writing in a scientific genre that traditionally relies on passive voice. e.g. The sodium hydroxide was dissolved in water. This solution was then titrated with hydrochloric acid. The passive voice: Uses (II)
  5. 5. Subject + To be + Past Participle + Objects and Complements + Agent Example: The video was posted on Facebook by Alex The passive voice: General Form
  6. 6. Is/are + Past Participle eat/s is/are eaten (Active) Example: I eat an apple. me. (Pasive) An apple is eaten by Passive voice: Present simple
  7. 7. Was/were + Past Participle repaired was/were repaired (Active) (Pasive) Example: Sam repaired the car. The car was repaired by Sam. Passive voice: Past simple
  8. 8. has/have been + Past Participle has/have visited (Active) Example: Many tourists have visited that castle. has/have been visited (Pasive) That castle has been visited by many tourists. Passive voice: Present perfect
  9. 9. had been + Past Participle had repaired (Active) Example: George had repaired many cars before he received his mechanic’s license. had been repaired (Pasive) Many cars had been repaired by George before he received his mechanic’s license. Passive voice: Past perfect simple
  10. 10. will be + Past Participle will finish (Active) Example: Someone will finish the work by 5:00 PM. will be finished (Pasive) The work will be finished by 5:00 PM. Passive voice: Simple Future (will)
  11. 11. must/can/should be + Past Participle must/can/should memorize (Active) Example: Students should memorize English verbs. must/can/should be memorized (Pasive) English verbs should be memorized by students. Passive voice: Present simple (must/can/should)
  12. 12. may/could/should have been + Past Participle may/could/should have learned (Active) Example: The students should have learned the verbs. may/could/should have been learned (Pasive) The verbs should have been learned by the students. Passive voice: Past simple (may/could/should)
  13. 13. 1) In the passive voice we use the object of the active voice sentence as subject. SUBJECT AGENT ACTIVE: VERB OBJECT COMPLEMENT We read the newspaper every day PASSIVE: The newspaper is readed every day by them 2) We conjugate the verb “to be” in the right manner. 3) We add the past participle of the active voice. Active to passive transformation 4) To say at the end of the sentence who has done the deed, you have to add the preposition “by” + “subject agent”. When you have a personal pronoun as subject, you must change it to an object pronoun.
  14. 14. ACTIVE: Beautiful giraffes roam the savannah. PASSIVE: The savannah is roamed by beautiful giraffes. Examples (I)
  15. 15. ACTIVE: Sue changed the flat tire. PASSIVE: The flat tire was changed by Sue. Examples (II)
  16. 16. ACTIVE: We are going to watch a movie tonight. PASSIVE: A movie is going to be watched by us tonight. Examples (III)
  17. 17. ACTIVE: I will clean the house every Saturday. PASSIVE: The house will be cleaned by me every Saturday. Examples (IV)
  18. 18. ACTIVE: They shouldn’t allow the children to do these things. PASSIVE: The children shouldn’t be allowed to do these things. Examples (V)