Thursday, 24 January 2013

THE PASSIVE VOICE




In order to change the active verb to its corresponding passive form, we need to do two things:
1. Put the verb to be in the same tense as the verb in the active sentence. In this example the verb is in the simple past, so we use the past tense of be.
2. Use the past participle of the verb in the active sentence.
The passive verb, therefore, has two parts. The verb to be indicates the tense, and the past participle indicates the action.
Only sentences containing direct objects can be made into passive sentences because the direct object of the active sentence becomes the subject of the passive sentence. If the sentence does not have a direct object, you cannot change it into a passive sentence.


The passive voice is generally used when the subject of the sentence is indefinite, general, or unimportant. 
Someone stole my bike yesterday!
My bike was stolen yesterday!
In the example above, the focus is on the fact that my bike was stolen. I do not know, however, who did it.

The passive voice is also used when what was done is more important than the doer of the action. Look at the following sentence:
America was discovered by Columbus.
Columbus discovered America. 

The passive voice is generally used when you want to emphasize the receiver rather than the doer. However, in the great majority of cases the active voice is more effective than the passive voice.

Here you can find a table which shows the active and passive forms of the various tenses. 


Now let's watch a video lesson which explains how to construct the passive form correctly as well as  when, why, and how  to use it effectively.


Here  you can download a passive voice worksheet. Click here to find some online exercises.

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