Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    4
    Post Thanks / Like

    Question Present simple and 3rd person singular with passive voice?

    Hello all,
    This is my first ever post, I only joined a few days ago

    I have a question if anyone can help me. I've been asked by my English teacher to use the verb 'Teach' in the 3rd person singular using the passive in all tenses. She said some of them aren't possible. But I'm stuck with all of them!

    Please help because the first tense on the list is 'Present Simple', and I can't think of a single thing!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    4
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Present simple and 3rd person singular with passive voice?

    I just thought of something else. The 3rd person singular for 'teach' must be 'teaches'. Also I just found this below in the grammar gloassary.

    "The present is like the base form, although the third person singular adds -s
    ...irregular verbs change in many different ways, or not at all in some cases."

    So because 'teach' is an irregular verb does that mean that the 3rd person singular can be another form of the verb? If so then I can think of an example for Past Perfect Continuous:

    I have been teaching the class.

    Is that right? I'm a little confused on how to make this sentence in the passive voice

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    4
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Present simple and 3rd person singular with passive voice?

    Eureka!?

    I was often accused of writing in the passive voice by the (incredibly irritating) grammar checker on my computer when I wrote essays. A lot of the time I started sentences like this:

    "It can be assumed that...
    "All theories apparently demonstrate a...
    "This appears to lead to...

    etc etc.

    I really don't trust grammar checkers on computers so I often ignored it, but I'm assuming that these were examples of the passive voice because I think the active would be:

    "It is...
    "The theories show...
    "This leads to...

    One small step for Leonie, one giant leap towards finishing homework

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Japan
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    43,606
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Present simple and 3rd person singular with passive voice?

    English is taught in schools.
    French was taught ...
    has been taught...

    This is the passive- third person = he/she/it, but the passive is be + past participle
    This is the basic form, then you just need to go through was taught/has been taught, etc. Some don't work, like the present perfect progressive- has been being taught- this form is theoretically possible, but not used.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    4
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Present simple and 3rd person singular with passive voice?

    Thank you tdol,

    The sentences you used for examples, are they using the 3rd person singular? This is where I am most stuck, as I have worked out how to use the passive and active voice in tenses but with the use of the 3rd person singular I am quite confused. It seems, that to use the 3rd person singular in the passive requires really long complex sentences because I have to use either she, he, it or they.

    For example:
    Present Simple
    Active = She teaches English to these students.
    Passive = These are the students she teaches English to.

    This is one of the more tame examples, by the time I got to continuous tenses they just started sounding stupid and unnecessary because I was desperate to try and find a use for she, he, it or they somewhere inside it.

    For example:
    Past Continuous
    Passive = They were learning well as she taught them well.

    Surely it's a little easier on the ears to hear;

    She taught the students well and they were learning quickly.

    Is the passive a bit pointless in these types of sentences or am I failing to grasp it's meaning?

  6. #6
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Japan
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    43,606
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Present simple and 3rd person singular with passive voice?

    For example:
    Present Simple
    Active = She teaches English to these students.
    Passive = These students are taught English (by her). This is the third person plural.

    Past continuous- There were being taught well.

    To be honest, in many of these cases, the sentence doesn't need to be put into the passive. We use the passive when the student is more important than the teacher:

    George Bush was taught Spanish at school.

    Here, the student is the focus, rather than the teacher, who has completely vanished from the sentence. Where the focus is on the students or the subject rather than the teacher, then the passive will sound more natural:
    I was taught French the old-fashioned way. (This sounds natural and probably better than Mr X taught me... if the conversation is about me or French).

    George Orwell wrote '1984'.
    1984 was written by George Orwell.
    If you look at the examples, the topic is slightly different- in the first, I am concentrating on the author, and in the second, the book. With the sentences with 'taught', you may find that some of the sentences sound a bit weird and are done just to show the form, rather than improving them.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •