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  1. #1
    WUKEN is offline Member
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    Default Could you correct the sentences of passive voice

    Hello,teachers:
    I studied grammar books about passive voice.
    However, I am not very clear about some passive voice constructures.
    Could you have a look at sentences I practiced?

    1Active:I heard him sing a song.
    Passive voice:He was heard to sing a song.

    2.Active:What did he buy?
    Passive voice:What is bought by him?

    3.Active:Who will clean the dirty car?
    Passive voice:By whom will the dirty car be cleaned?

    4.Active:They think that mary can accept the new idea.
    Passive voice: Mary was thought to accept the new idea.

    I am wondering if all my tries about passive voice are right and idiomatic.
    Thanks for your check and correction.

  2. #2
    engee30's Avatar
    engee30 is offline Key Member
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    Smile Re: Could you correct the sentences of passive voice

    Quote Originally Posted by WUKEN View Post
    Hello,teachers:
    I studied grammar books about passive voice.
    However, I am not very clear about some passive voice constructures.
    Could you have a look at sentences I practiced?

    1Active:I heard him sing a song.
    Passive voice:He was heard to sing a song.
    In the active, I heard is simple-past-tensed, so in the passive He must be followed by a verb or part of the verb phrase corresponding to the same tense; hence we get He was heard... (not is heard)

    2.Active:What did he buy?
    Passive voice:What is bought by him?
    The same rule applies here - in the active, What did he buy? is in the simple past tense; so in the passive, is bought should read was bought:
    What was bought by him?


    3.Active:Who will clean the dirty car?
    Passive voice:By whom will the dirty car be cleaned?
    You could also say:
    Who will the dirty car be cleaned by?


    4.Active:They think that mary can accept the new idea.
    Passive voice: Mary was thought to accept the new idea.
    They think is in the present simple tense; so the passivized sentence should read:
    Mary is thought to (be able to) accept the new idea.


    I am wondering if all my tries about passive voice are right and idiomatic.
    Thanks for your check and correction.

  3. #3
    WUKEN is offline Member
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    Default Re: Could you correct the sentences of passive voice

    Thanks for your prompt clarifications, engee30!
    May I ask one more question?
    Active:Clean the window,Mary.
    Passive voice: Let the window be cleaned ,Mary.

    Active :Don't make that sound .
    Passive voice:Don't let that sound be made.

    May I have your correction?
    Thanks a lot!
    Last edited by WUKEN; 12-Jul-2009 at 16:37.

  4. #4
    csheywood's Avatar
    csheywood is offline Member
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    Default Re: Could you correct the sentences of passive voice

    Quote Originally Posted by WUKEN View Post
    1Active:I heard him sing a song.
    Passive voice:He was heard to sing a song. both could be used, depending on the context, but I would probably use the active here.

    2.Active:What did he buy?
    Passive voice:What is bought by him? Not so idiomatic.

    3.Active:Who will clean the dirty car?
    Passive voice:By whom will the dirty car be cleaned? or as suggested below, 'Who will the car be cleaned by?'

    4.Active:They think that mary can accept the new idea.
    Passive voice: Mary was thought to accept the new idea. The passive doesn't sound so idiomatic.

    I am wondering if all my tries about passive voice are right and idiomatic.
    This is a good question - just because passive voice exists doesn't mean that we always use it
    Thanks for your check and correction.
    -

  5. #5
    engee30's Avatar
    engee30 is offline Key Member
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    Exclamation Re: Could you correct the sentences of passive voice

    Quote Originally Posted by WUKEN View Post
    Thanks for your prompt clarifications, engee30!
    May I ask one more question?
    Active:Clean the window,Mary.
    Passive voice: Let the window be cleaned ,Mary.

    Active :Don't make that sound .
    Passive voice:Don't let that sound be made.

    May I have your correction?
    Thanks a lot!
    Never have I seen nor heard of such transformations as the ones above. I don't think you could actually transform an imperative sentence into a passive sentence. That said, your examples seem absolutely fine.

  6. #6
    WUKEN is offline Member
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    Default Re: Could you correct the sentences of passive voice

    Never have I seen nor heard of such transformations as the ones above. I don't think you could actually transform an imperative sentence into a passive sentence. That said, your examples seem absolutely fine.
    Uh, I hope I didn't misunstand what you meant.
    So it is not right, is it?

    Thanks for your verification.
    Last edited by WUKEN; 13-Jul-2009 at 08:28.

  7. #7
    engee30's Avatar
    engee30 is offline Key Member
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    Smile Re: Could you correct the sentences of passive voice

    Quote Originally Posted by WUKEN View Post
    Uh, I hope I didn't misunstand what you meant.
    So it is not right, is it?

    Thanks for your verification.
    Quote Originally Posted by WUKEN View Post
    Active:Clean the window,Mary.
    Passive voice: Let the window be cleaned ,Mary.

    Active :Don't make that sound .
    Passive voice:Don't let that sound be made.

  8. #8
    csheywood's Avatar
    csheywood is offline Member
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    Default Re: Could you correct the sentences of passive voice

    Quote Originally Posted by WUKEN View Post
    Uh, I hope I didn't misunstand what you meant.
    So it is not right, is it?

    Thanks for your verification.
    Although they are 'right' in the transfer to passive, neither would actually be used. Asking or telling someone to do something gets lost in the passive.

  9. #9
    engee30's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Re: Could you correct the sentences of passive voice

    Quote Originally Posted by csheywood View Post
    Although they are 'right' in the transfer to passive, neither would actually be used. Asking or telling someone to do something gets lost in the passive.
    Precisely.

  10. #10
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    RonBee is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Could you correct the sentences of passive voice

    Quote Originally Posted by WUKEN View Post
    Thanks for your prompt clarifications, engee30!
    May I ask one more question?
    Active:Clean the window,Mary.
    Passive voice: Let the window be cleaned ,Mary.

    Active :Don't make that sound .
    Passive voice:Don't let that sound be made.
    While those passive voice constructions might technically be grammatically correct, they are unlikely to be used, and they come across as a bit weird.


    (I think Engee might have invented a new word: passivize. )


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