passives – javier p & francisco s

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Fran Santos
Fco. Javier Palero
 USED WHEN THE FOCUS IS ON THE ACTION. WE
DON’T KNOWN OR IT’S NOT IMPORTANT WHO OR
WHAT IS PERFORMING THE ACTION
Ex:
My bike was stolen
Focus on the action
Don’t know who stole the bicycle
*If we want to say who or what causes the action, we use by.
 SOMETIMES, IT’S MORE POLITE TO USE
PASIVE INSTEAD OF ACTIVE
Ex:
A mistake was made
Instead of saying “You made a mistake”, we don’t
blame anyone
 When we use an active verb, we say what the subject
does:
•My grandfather was a builder. He built this house in
1935.
•It’s a big company. It employs two hundred people.
 When we use a passive verb, we say what happens to the
subject:
•This house is quite old. It was built in 1935.
•Two hundred people are employed by the company.
Be (is/was etc.) + past participle (done/cleaned/seen
etc.)

The objective of the active sentence becomes the subject of the
passive sentence

The subject of the active sentence becomes the object of the
passive one (or it’s eliminated)
PASSIVE
ACTIVE


PRESENT SIMPLE

PRESENT SIMPLE
I write a letter
A letter is written by me
He writes two letters
Two letters are written by him
PRESENT CONTINOUS
Somebody is cleaning the
room at the moment

PRESENT CONTINOUS
The room is being cleaned at
the moment
PASSIVE
ACTIVE

PAST SIMPLE

A letter was written by me
I wrote a letter

PAST CONTINOUS
PAST SIMPLE

Somebody was cleaning the
room when I arrived
PAST CONTINOUS
The room was being cleaned
when I arrived
PASSIVE
ACTIVE

PRESENT PERFECT

A letter has been written by me
I have written a letter

PAST PERFECT
I had written a letter
PRESENT PERFECT

PAST PERFECT
A letter had been written by
me
ACTIVE
•I
•I
•I
•I
•I
•I
•I
•I
•I
will write a letter
can write a letter
could write a letter
may write a letter
might write a letter
should write a letter
must write a letter
have to write a letter
ought to write a letter
PASSIVE
•A letter
•A letter
•A letter
•A letter
•A letter
•A letter
•A letter
•A letter
•A letter
will be written
can be written
could be written
may be written
might be written
should be written
must be written
has to be written
ought to be written
PASSIVE
ACTIVE
 I’m
going to write
a letter
A
letter is going to
be written
The passive of doing/seeing etc. is being
done/being seen etc.
Active: I don’t like people telling me what to
do.
Passive: I don’t like being told what to do.
Steve hates being kept waiting.
You can use get instead of be in the passive:
 There was a fight at the party, but nobody got hurt.
 I’m surprised Liz didn’t get offered the job
You can’t use get when things don’t happen:
 Jill is liked by everybody
 Very little was known about him
Used mainly in informal spoken English. Some
expressions:




Get married
Get dressed
Get lost
Get changed
We can use the passive form of reporting verbs to give ideas
or opinions without saying exactly where the ideas come
from.

Verbs typically used in the passive voice for this purpose include:
Assume-Believe-claim-Consider-feel-hope-report-say-think.
•


We can use it + passive (that)+ active clause, where it is the
impersonal pronoun that does not refer to a real subject (like in It’s
raining)

It is said (that) most computer users are women

It is thought (that) most computer users surf the net.
We can use passive + t + infinitive.


We can use there + passive + to + infinitive (usually be).


Most computer users are said to be women.
There are believed to be more than 600 species of trees per
hectare in tropical rain forests.
We can use passive + perfect infinitive, which indicates that the event
has already occurred

The president is known to have been involved in the incident.
 Subject
+have/get + object + past participle.
We use this construction to say that the
subject arranges for something to be done by
someone else.
 The same construction is used to say that
something is done to a person or thing
belonging to the subject of have/get.
Although both structures can be used in the
above examples, there are some differences in
meaning when using have/get something done.

We use have something done to imply that the subject of the sentence
is not responsible for or has no control over what it happens
I had my passport stolen while I was away
She had her wisdom teeth taken out last year.
However, get can also be used in sentences like these in informal
spoken English. We also tend to use have to focus on the result of an
action.
I will have the report finished by tomorrow morning

We use get something done to imply that the subject of the sentence
causes something to happen (perhaps accidentally) or they are to
blame for it.
I will get the letters sent out to you first class
Won’t have + object + present participle/past
participle. This can be used to say that we will
not allow someone to do something, or
something to happen.
I won’t have you watching TV all day.
She won’t have her holiday ruined by them.
Want + object + past participle. This can be
used to say that we would like someone to do
something or we would like something to
happen.
I want the report finished by next Monday.
Put your car in my garage. We don’t want it
damaged in the street.
 Rewrite
the sentences in passive voice.
1. They wear blue shoes.
Blue shoes are worn by them.
 Rewrite
the sentences in passive voice.
2. I have opened the present
The present has been
opened by me.
 Rewrite
the sentences in passive voice.
3.Did he send the letter?
Was the letter sent by him?
 Rewrite
the sentences in passive voice.
4. You ought to wash the car.
The car ought to be washed by you
 Rewrite
the sentences in passive voice.
5. Sheila is drinking a cup of tea.
A cup of tea is being drunk by Sheila.
 Rewrite
the sentences in passive voice.
6. Jane will buy a new computer.
A new computer will be bought by Jane.
 Rewrite
the sentences in passive voice.
7. We would have painted the walls green.
The walls would have been
painted green by us.
 Rewrite
the sentences in passive voice.
8. He was not feeding the dogs.
The dogs were not being fed by him.
 Rewrite
the sentences in passive voice.
9. Had she solved the problem?
Had the problem been solved by her?
 Rewrite
the sentences in passive voice.
10. They will not have trusted him.
He will not have been trusted by them.
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