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Thread: passives

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    Anonymous Guest

    Default passives

    hi!I want to learn passive voice but it is difficult because I; cant understand
    especially in questions.I; cant change an active sentence to passive please
    tell me what the best way is to learn PASSIVE.I; m in pain.help me.

  2. #2
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
    MikeNewYork is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: passives

    Quote Originally Posted by secil
    hi!I want to learn passive voice but it is difficult because I; cant understand
    especially in questions.I; cant change an active sentence to passive please
    tell me what the best way is to learn PASSIVE.I; m in pain.help me.
    OK. Calm down. The passive voice is not that difficult. Let's start at the beginning. The active voice has the subject doing the action or occurring in the state of being.

    action with a direct object: John threw the ball.
    action with no direct object: John spoke.
    state of being: Mary is pretty.

    In all cases, the subject of the sentence is the focus point. We talk about what John did or what Mary was.

    In sentences in which the verb can take a direct object (transitive verbs) we can change the focus from the subject to the object by using the passive voice.

    The passive voice is always created by a form of the verb "to be" and the past participle of a transitive verb. [be + pp]. In some tenses, a an auxiliary verb will also be needed. In the passive form, the "subject" of the passive sentence is the receiver of, not the intiator of, the action. The initiator or agent can then be added, usually as the object of the preposition "by". This is optional.

    active: John threw the ball.
    passive: The ball was thrown by John.

    active: Mary sang a song.
    passive: A song was sung by Mary.

    active: They crossed the river.
    passive: The river was crossed by them.

    As I said, the agent is optional.

    active: The workers finished the project by noon.
    passive: The project was finished by noon. <agent omitted>

    All the examples were in the simple past tense. Now other tenses.

    active: I treat animals. (simple present)
    passive: Animals are treated by me. (simple present)

    active: I am writing this message. (present progressive)
    pasive: This message is being written by me. (present progressive)

    active: He threw the ball. (simple past)
    passive: the ball was thrown by him. (simple past)

    active: Sue was reading a book. (past progressive)
    passive: A book was being read by Sue. (past progressive)

    active: I will write a thesis. (future)
    passive: A thesis will be written by me. (future)

    active: The family will be eating dinner at 6 o'clock. (future progressive)
    passive: At six o'clock, dinner will be being eaten by the family. (future progressive - very clumsy)

    active: Beavers have built a dam. (present perfect)
    passive: A dam hs been built by beavers. (present perfect)

    active: A beaver had built a dam. (past perfect)
    passive: A dam had been built by a beaver. (past perfect)

    Try to digest this and then come back with questions. Hoepfully, you see a pattern. Something is happening to the subject in each and every cases of the passive voice.

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