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ACTIVE PASSIVE VOICE FOR THE BEGINNER.

There are two special forms for verbs called voice: 1. Active voice 2. Passive voice The active voice is the "normal" voice. This is the voice that we use most of the time. You are probably already familiar with the active voice. In the active voice, the object receives the action of the verb:

subject verb ACTIVE


Cats eat

object
> fish

The passive voice is less usual. In the passive voice, the subject receives the action of the verb:

subject PASSIVE
Fish

Verb
< are eaten

object
by cats.

The object of the active verb becomes the subject of the passive verb:

subject

verb

object
water by everybody

ACTIVE Everybody drinks is drunk PASSIVE water

Carefully study the following table of tenses of the verb.

Simple
I love

continuous
I am loving I am being loved I was loving I was being loved I shall be loving

Perfect
I have loved I have been loved I had loved I had been loved I shall have loved I shall have been loved

Perfect continuous
I have been loving

Active PERSENT Passive

I am loved

I loved

Active PAST Passive

I had been loving

I was loved

I shall love

Active FUTURE Passive

I shall have been loving

I shall be loved

ACTIVITY FOR THE BEGINNER:

Change the following sentences into passive voice. 1. Ali helps aslam. 2. Sara loves hira. 3. Arsalan has paid the bill. 4. The boy makes a kite. 5. He is wearing a tie. 6. Jane will buy a new computer. 7. I draw a picture. 8. He open the door. 9. She sang a song 10. We stopped the bus.

11. I have opened the present. 12. The cats kill the mouses. 13. We sat the table. 14. My father is washing the car. 15. Sidra see a dark cloud.

ACTIVE PASSIVE FOR INTERMEDIATE:

Use of Passive:

Passive voice is used when the focus is on the action. It is not important or not known, however, who or what is performing the action.

Example: My bike was stolen.

In the example above, the focus is on the fact that my bike was stolen. I do not know, however, who did it. Sometimes a statement in passive is more polite than active voice, as the following example shows:

Example: A mistake was made.

In this case, I focus on the fact that a mistake was made, but I do not blame anyone (e.g. You have made a mistake.).

Form of Passive Subject + finite form of to be + Past Participle (3rd column of irregular verbs)

Example: A letter was written.

When rewriting active sentences in passive voice, note the following:

the object of the active sentence becomes the subject of the passive sentence the finite form of the verb is changed (to be + past participle) the subject of the active sentence becomes the object of the passive sentence (or is dropped)

Examples of Passive Level: lower intermediate.

TENSES SIMPLE Active PRESENT Passive SIMPLE Active PAST Passive PRESENT Active PERFECT Passive FUTURE l Active SUBJECT Rita A letter

VERB Writes is written

OBJECT A letter. by Rita.

Rita A letter

wrote was written

a letter. by rita.

Rita A letter

has written has been written will write will be written

a letter. by rita.

Rita A letter

a letter. by rita.

Passive HILFSVERBEN Active Passive

Rita A letter

can write can be written

a letter. by rita.

Examples of Passive Level: upper intermediate :

TENSES PRESENT Active PROGRESSIVE Passive PAST Active PROGRESSIVE Passive PAST Active PERFECT Passive FUTURE II Active Passive CONDITION I Active SUBJECT Rita A letter

VERB is writing is being written OBJECT a letter. by rita.

Rita A letter

was writing was being written

a letter. by rita.

Rita A letter

had written had been written

a letter. by rita.

Rita A letter

will has written will has been written

a letter. by rita.

Rita A letter

would write would be written

a letter. by rita.

Passive CONDITION II Active Passive

Rita A letter

Would has written Would has been written

a letter. by rita.

Passive Sentences with Two Objects Level:

Rewriting an active sentence with two objects in passive voice means that one of the two objects becomes the subject, the other one remains an object. Which object to transform into a subject depends on what you want to put the focus on.

ACTIVE PASSIVE PASSIVE

SUBJECT Rita A letter I

VERB wrote was written was written

OBJECT 1 OBJECT 2 a letter to me. to me by rita. a letter by rita.

As you can see in the examples, adding by Rita does not sound very elegant. Thats why it is usually dropped.

Personal and Impersonal Passive.

Personal Passive simply means that the object of the active sentence becomes the subject of the passive sentence. So every verb that needs an object (transitive verb) can form a personal passive. Example: They build houses. Houses are built. Verbs without an object (intransitive verb) normally cannot form a personal passive sentence (as there is no object that can become the subject of the passive sentence). If you want to use an intransitive verb in passive voice, you need an impersonal construction therefore this passive is called Impersonal Passive.

Example: he says it is said

Impersonal Passive is not as common in English as in some other languages (e.g. German, Latin). In English, Impersonal Passive is only possible with verbs of perception (e. g. say, think, know).

Example: They say that women live longer than men. It is said that women live longer than men.

Although Impersonal Passive is possible here, Personal Passive is more common.

Example: They say that women live longer than men. Women are said to live longer than men.

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).

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.

ACTIVITY FOR INTERMEDIATE.

1. She would order a pizza. 2. Who taught you french? 3. The manager will give you a ticket. 4. We would pick you up. 5. They would have told you. 6. All his friend laughed at him. 7. Give the order. 8. My poket has been picked. 9. She told me a lie. 10. We have asked him a favour. 11. Our neighbour gave me a lift. 12. People know that she is agood swimmer. 13. They suppose that the new product will come out soon. 14. I can answer the question.

15. He could not read the sentence.

ACTIVE PASSIVE FOR ADVANCED.

The passive voice in english is an important aspect of grammar teaching. It is not the active voice the other way round. It is used in written and spoken English when our interest is on the action rather than on the doer of the action (e.g tea is grown in Ceylon), expect where the agent has an interest of his own, and is necessary to complete meaning (e.g The Taj Mahal was built by Shah Jehan). In teaching the use of the passive voice to the student under consideration, the lesson was planned in two parts. 1. Introduction 2. Practice and revision. In introduction the aim was to teach the passive voice verb. The student had to absorb the forms of the passive voice verb in the different tenses. Each tense was taken separately and introduced through a structure already familiar to the students. The following tenses were used:

(a) The present simple tense


Is / are + participle

1. She is sweeping the room now, and it is swept everyday at this time. 2. She is bathing the baby now, and he is bathed everyday at the same time.

3. She is feeding the hens now, and they are fed everyday at the same time.

(b)The present continuous tense


Is / are + participle 1. If the girl are playing a match, then a match is being played. 2. If they are drawing a picture, then a picture is being drawn.

3. If they are baking the cake, then the cakes are being baked.

(c) The past tense


Was / were + participle 1. The room is not being swept now, because it was swept yesterday. 2. The field is not being ploughed now, because it was ploughed yesterday. 3. The clothes are not being washed now, because they were washed

yesterday.

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Passive Sentences
Passive voice verbs are used in writing much more often than in speech, and they are used in some types of writing much more often than in others. Passives are used more in journalism (newspapers, magazines) than in fiction (novels, stories), but most journalists and fiction writers use far more active than passive sentences. However, passives are very common in all types of scientific and technical writing. Scientific articles often contain more passive than active sentences. You should not use passive voice verbs unless you have a good reason.

A. Relationship between active and passive

1. The object of the active verb is the subject of the passive verb (English in the example sentences below). Therefore, verbs which cannot be followed by objects (intransitive verbs) cannot be used in passive voice.

These are some common intransitive verbs: appear, arrive, come, cry, die, go, happen, occur, rain, sleep, stay, walk. These verbs cannot be used in passive voice. 2. The passive verb always contains a form of the auxiliary verb be. The form of be in the passive verb phrase corresponds to the form of the main verb in the active verb phrase (see the underlined words in the example sentences below). That is, if the active main verb is simple present tense, then a simple present tense form of be is used in the passive verb phrase; if the active main verb is -ING, then the -ING form of be is used in the passive verb phrase; and so on.

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3. The main verb in a passive predicate verb phrase is always the participle form of the verb. 3. Some examples of active and passive sentences:

ACTIVE: They speak English.

PASSIVE: English is spoken.

ACTIVE: They spoke English.

PASSIVE: English was spoken.

ACTIVE: They will speak English.

PASSIVE: English will be spoken.

ACTIVE: They are going to speak English.

PASSIVE: English is going to be spoken.

ACTIVE: They are speaking English.

PASSIVE: English is being spoken.

ACTIVE: They were speaking English.

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PASSIVE: English was being spoken.

ACTIVE: They have spoken English.

PASSIVE: English has been spoken.

ACTIVE: They had spoken English.

PASSIVE: English had been spoken.

ACTIVE: They will have spoken English.

PASSIVE: English will have been spoken.

4. Perfect progressive verb forms are generally used in active voice only. That is, these are good English sentences:

ACTIVE: They have been speaking English.

ACTIVE: They had been speaking English.

ACTIVE: They will have been speaking English.

But sentences like these are rarely used: PASSIVE: English has been being spoken.

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PASSIVE: English had been being spoken.

PASSIVE: English will have been being spoken.

B. Most passive sentences do not contain an agent; all active sentences contain an agent.

1. An agent is the subject of the active verb. In the example sentences above, the agent is they in all the active sentences; the passive sentences do not contain an agent. 2. When a passive sentence contains an agent, it is in a prepositional phrase following the verb. For example: English is spoken by them. In the following sentences, the noun teachers is the agent in both sentences. Teachers is also the subject of the active verb, but exams is the subject of the passive verb.

ACTIVE: Teachers prepare exams.

PASSIVE: Exams are prepared by teachers.

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C. You should not use passive voice unless you have a good reason.

Here are some good reasons for using passive voice:

1. Passive voice is often used when the agent (the doer of an action; the subject of an active verb) is obvious, unknown, or unnecessary: Oranges are grown in California.

Toyotas are made in Japan.

Her purse was stolen.

2. Passive voice is often used when the agent is known, but the speaker/writer doesnt want to mention it: She was given bad advice.

A mistake has been made.

3.Passive voice is often used when the agent is very general such as people or somebody. English is spoken here.

The door should be locked.

4. Passive voice is often used when the speaker/writer wants to emphasize a result:

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Several thousand people were killed by the earthquake. 5. Passive voice is often used when the speaker/writer wants to keep the same subject for two or more verbs but this would not be possible if both verbs were the same voice (active or passive). For example, in a conversation about George, a speaker would probably use sentence a below rather than sentence b (both sentences are correct). a. George had several interviews before he was hired by a software company.

b. George had several interviews before a software company hired him.

Active / Passive Overview

Active Simple Present Present Continuous Simple Past Past Continuous


Once a week, Tom cleans the house.

Passive
Once a week, the house is cleaned by Tom.

Right now, Sarah is writing the letter.

Right now, the letter is being written by Sarah.

Sam repaired the car.

The car was repaired by Sam.

The salesman was helping the customer when the thief came into the store.

The customer was being helped by the salesman when the thief came into the store.

Present

Many tourists have visited that castle.

That castle has been visited by many tourists.

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Perfect Present Perfect Continuous Past Perfect


Recently, John has been doing the work. Recently, the work has been being done by John.

George had repaired many cars before he received his mechanic's license.

Many cars had been repaired by George before he received his mechanic's license.

Past Perfect Continuous

Chef Jones had been preparing the restaurant's fantastic dinners for two years before he moved to Paris.

The restaurant's fantastic dinners had been being prepared by Chef Jones for two years before he moved to Paris.

Simple Future
WILL

Someone will finish the work by 5:00 PM.

The work will be finished by 5:00 PM.

Simple Future
BE GOING TO

Sally is going to make a beautiful dinner tonight.

A beautiful dinner is going to be made by Sally tonight.

Future Continuous
WILL

At 8:00 PM tonight, John will be washing the dishes.

At 8:00 PM tonight, the dishes will be being washed by John.

Future Continuous
BE GOING TO

At 8:00 PM tonight, John is going to be washing the dishes.

At 8:00 PM tonight, the dishes are going to be being washed by John.

Future Perfect
WILL

They will have completed the project before the deadline.

The project will have been completed before the deadline.

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Future Perfect
BE GOING TO

They are going to have completed the project before the deadline.

The project is going to have been completed before the deadline.

Future Perfect Continuous


WILL

The famous artist will have been painting the mural for over six months by the time it is finished.

The mural will have been being painted by the famous artist for over six months by the time it is finished.

Future Perfect Continuous


BE GOING TO

The famous artist is going to have been painting the mural for over six months by the time it is finished.

The mural is going to have been being painted by the famous artist for over six months by the time it is finished.

Used to Would Always

Jerry used to pay the bills.

The bills used to be paid by Jerry.

My mother would always make the pies.

The pies would always be made by my mother.

Future in the Past WOULD Future in the Past WAS GOING TO

I knew John would finish the work by 5:00 PM.

I knew the work would be finished by 5:00 PM.

I thought Sally was going to make a beautiful dinner tonight.

I thought a beautiful dinner was going to be made by Sally tonight

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