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    • Join Date: Jul 2007
    • Posts: 14
    #1

    Passive tense

    Are these sentence in passive voice? How can I tell what tense they are?

    1) Rick Martin was appointed to the group's executive committee.


    2) Beijing tightens safety inspections. Japanese importers are
    worried this may reduce seafood supplies


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 5,409
    #2

    Re: Passive tense

    Ask yourself, who is doing the action, and to whom is it being done. If the person doing the action is the subject of the sentence, it is active voice. If it is the object, it is passive voice.

    I hit Tom. I (the doer) hit Tom (the receiver of my hit)

    Tom was hit by me. Tom is the subject of the sentence, and is the receiver of the hit, so it is passive voice. Note that the passive voice is indicated by the use of the preposition 'by' , and the doer of the action, 'me' , is the object of the sentence.

    So, in your sentences:
    Rick Martin was appointed to the group's executive committee (by the managing director).

    'the managing director' or whoever, which is not stated in the sentence, did the action. Rick was the receiver of the action and Rick is also the subject, so it is passive voice.

    Beijing (the doer) tightens safety inspections. - active voice
    Safety inspections were tightened by Beijing authorities today in an efforr to.. - - the doer is the object, 'by Beijing" and so it is now in the passive voice.


    Japanese importers are
    worried this may reduce seafood supplies

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