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    #1

    I have a problem regarding voice and tense

    Recently, I spoke a line "I think I need some changes to be made in my life" and one of my friends told me that this is incorrect. I told him I tried to use passive voice.

    He said, "The thing is 'to be made' does not go with Need. Need means future want and to be made is past perfect". So, according to him I did not use passive voice.



    Now, my question is is his arguement correct?

    How can I write my sentence using passive voice? (is it like 'I think I need some changes be made in my life?)

    Is 'to be made' really a past perfect?

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: I have a problem regarding voice and tense

    Welcome to Using English.

    Your friend is wrong. "I had made changes" is past perfect. "He had made changes" is past perfect.

    I need to make these changes -- active.
    These changes need to be made -- passive.

    I am curious about why you want to use the passive. Are other people going to make these changes?
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #3

    Re: I have a problem regarding voice and tense

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    I am curious about why you want to use the passive. Are other people going to make these changes?

    Thanks for the quick reply. Well, as I already spoke the words I need to ensure they are correct. However, I have another problem, does using passive mean 3rd party is doing a action? e.g. cant I say "teas are needed to made by me". (Say, a joke or English competition, whatever).

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: I have a problem regarding voice and tense

    I have some pretty strong opinions on the passive. They are not universally shared.

    I'd say at least 90% of the time, when you take an active sentence "I do X" and change it to "X is done by me" you will have an unnatural sentence.

    When you compound this with a verb constructions like "I need to do X" or "I want to do X" and try to make it passive, you will have an unnatural sentence at least 99% of the time.

    I need to make some tea.

    Some tea is needed to be made. Maybe you could say this somewhat as a joke to mean "Make some damn tea, would you!" It's highly unnatural, but deliberately so.

    Some tea is needed to be made by me? No, never in a million years will this sound right.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  3. 5jj's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: I have a problem regarding voice and tense

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    I have some pretty strong opinions on the passive. They are not universally shared.
    They are indeed not universally shared. Members who are not blinded by prejudice against the passive (that sublime voice, loved by all by whom English is held dear) are cordially invited to be welcomed by members of

    Passionate About Passives!

    Interest in this group has waned of late. It is hoped that new members may be tempted by this invitation.

  4. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: I have a problem regarding voice and tense

    I like the passive well enough (possibly not enough to join a support group!) but I share Barb's sentiments that even when it's grammatically possible, it can sound very unnatural.

    With the example used about making tea, I'm just curious as to why you would want to change such a simple statement as "I need to make tea" into the passive. It says everything that needs to be said - unless the context calls for something else.

    Let's take a team of helpers at a party as an example:

    Leader: OK, is everyone ready?
    Group: YES!
    Leader: Does everyone know what they need to do?
    A: Yes. I need to make the tea.
    B: I need to find the biscuits.
    C: I need to work out where to hang the balloons.
    Leader: Great. Off you go!

    It would be entirely unnecessary for A, B or C to say "The tea needs to be made by me", "The biscuits need to be found by me" and "Where to hang the balloons needs to be worked out by me".

    The only way I can think of to use the passive with any discernible reason here would be perhaps person A saying "Well, the tea needs to be made by me (emphasis on me), because the rest of you make terrible tea!" Even then, I would still say "Well, I need to make the tea because the rest of you make terrible tea!"

  5. sumon.'s Avatar
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    #7

    Talking Re: I have a problem regarding voice and tense

    If using the passive in a sentence seems unnatural most of the time, then why native speakers use the passive almost everywhere in conversations and writing.

    [QUOTEThey are indeed not universally shared. or They are not universally shared. ][/QUOTE]
    Aren't both passive sentences ?
    Can't we use the active ? We don't share them universally .

  6. 5jj's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: I have a problem regarding voice and tense

    Quote Originally Posted by sumon. View Post
    If using the passive in a sentence seems unnatural most of the time, then why do native speakers use the passive almost everywhere in conversations and writing.
    They don't.
    They are indeed not universally shared. or They are not universally shared.
    Aren't both passive sentences ?
    Can't we use the active ? We don't share them universally .
    The active would be more natural.

    The post written by me was not intended to be taken totally seriously.

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