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Friday, October 26, 2012

Active And Passive Voice


Transitive verbs have both active and passive forms:
active

passive
The hunter killed the lion.
>> 
The lion was killed by the hunter.
Someone has cleaned the windows
>> 
The windows have been cleaned

The passive forms are made up of the verb be with a past participle:

be
past participle

English
is
spoken
all over the world
The windows
have been
cleaned

Lunch
was being
served

The work
will be
finished
soon
They
might have been
invited
to the party

We sometimes use the verb get to form the passive:
Be careful with the glass. It might get broken.
Peter got hurt in a crash.

If we want to show the person or thing doing the action we use by:
She was attacked by a dangerous dog.
The money was stolen by her husband.


We can use the indirect object as the subject of a passive verb:
active

passive
I gave him a book for his birthday
>> 
He was given a book for his birthday.
Someone sent her a cheque for a thousand euros
>> 
She was sent a cheque for a thousand euros.


We can use phrasal verbs in the passive:
active

passive
They called off the meeting.
>> 
The meeting was called off.
His grandmother looked after him.
>> 
He was looked after by his grandmother.
They will send him away to school.
>> 
He will be sent away to school.

Some verbs very frequently used in the passive are followed by the to-infinitive:
be supposed to
be expected to
be asked to
be scheduled to
be allowed to
be told to
John has been asked to make a speech at the meeting.
You are supposed to wear a uniform.
The meeting is scheduled to start at seven. 
The active and passive forms of the verb write are given below:
When the active verb is in the simple present tense
Active verb: write/writes
Passive verb: is/am/are written
  • He writes a letter. (Active)
  • A letter is written by him. (Passive)
When the active verb is in the present continuous tense
Active verb: is/am/are writing
Passive verb: is/am/are being written
  • He is writing a letter. (Active)
  • A letter is being written by him. (Passive)
When the active verb is in the present perfect tense
Active verb: has/have written
Passive verb: has/have been written
  • He has written a letter. (Active)
  • A letter has been written by him. (Passive)

When the active verb is in the simple past tense
Active verb: wrote
Passive verb: was/were written
  • He wrote a letter. (Active)
  • A letter was written by him. (Passive)
When the active verb is in the past continuous tense
Active: was/were writing
Passive: was/were being written
  • He was writing a letter. (Active)
  • A letter was being written by him. (Passive)
When the active verb is in the past perfect tense
Active verb: had written
Passive verb: had been written
  • He had written a letter. (Active)
  • A letter had been written by him. (Passive)
When the active verb is in the simple future tense
Active verb: will/shall write
Passive verb: will/shall be written
  • He will write a letter. (Active)
  • A letter will be written by him. (Passive)
When the active verb is in the future perfect tense
Active verb: will/shall have written
Passive verb: will/shall have been written
  • He will have written a letter. (Active)
  • A letter will have been written by him.(Passive)

 Reference: British Council

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