GRAMMAR 7: THE PASSIVE (BE + PAST PARTICIPLE)

GRAMMAR 7: THE PASSIVE (BE + PAST PARTICIPLE)

Hello everyone! This week -the last week of June- we´re going to talk about grammar. Yeah! It´s time for the passive! What´s the difference between an active sentence and a passive one? When do you have to use the passive voice? What´s the correct structure? Are there any exceptions? Go on and find out the answer!

 

An active sentence has the subject first, followed by the verb and finally the object. It´s a ‘normal’ sentence. But what happens when you don´t want to say who did something? What happens whe you want to put the object first? In this case, you can use a passive.

THE PASSIVE

What is the structure?

SUBJECT + TO BE  + PAST PARTICIPLE

 

For example:

ACTIVE: Main verb (Present Simple) –> PASSIVE: to be (present simple) + past participle.

E.g. I write a book. –> The book is written (by me).

 

ACTIVE: Main verb (Present Continuous) –> PASSIVE: to be (present continuous) + past participle.

ACTIVE: Main verb (Past simple) –> PASSIVE: to be (past simple) + past participle.

ACTIVE: Main verb (Past continuous) –> PASSIVE: to be (past continuous) + past participle.

ACTIVE: Main verb (Present Perfect) –> PASSIVE: to be (present perfect) + past participle.

ACTIVE: Main verb (Past Perfect) –> PASSIVE: to be (past perfect) + past participle.

ACTIVE: Main verb (Future Simple) –> PASSIVE: to be (future simple) + past participle.

ACTIVE: Main verb (Future Perfect) –> PASSIVE: to be (future perfect) + past participle.

 

When do you use it?

You often use the passive when it´s not clear or important who does the action. You´re more interested in the action than the people who do the action.

 

E.g. My car was stolen (=Someboday has stolen my car. I don´t know who)

E.g. A lot of foreign films are subtitled.

E.g. My house is being painted.

 

 

The passive is often used in English where other languages use an impersonal verb.

E.g. Rice is grown in Japan.

E.g. In Britain, stamps are sold in various shops.

 

If you want to say who did the action, you can use BY. 

Structure: SUBJECT + TO BE + PAST PARTICIPLE + BY + AGENT

 

E.g. Titanic was directed by James Cameron.

E.g. The Harry Potter books were written by JK Rowling.

E.g. The new building was opened by The Prime Minister.

 

INDIRECT OBJECT

In a passive sentence the focus can also be on the indirect object, i.e. the person to whom something is done.

This structure is often used with tell, ask and give.

E.g. The teacher has been given 100 exams to correct.

E.g. I was told the meeting was tomorrow.

E.g. She wasn´t asked to come.

 

 

 

And that is all for today. Do you have any doubts? If so, leave us a comment. Once more, thank you for visiting our blog!

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