The passive voice - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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The passive voice

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  1. The passive voice The Passive is not a tense. You will find it easier to understand the passive if you already know the basic English verb tenses.

  2. Present Simple Passive (1) You can have passive verbs in all the different tenses. We will start with the present simple. Here is an active verb in the present simple:Everybody loves English weather. Now let’s change it to the passive voice: English weather is loved by everybody. To make the passive use the verb ‘to BE’ in the same tense as the original sentence – here it is the present simple tense To make the passive, use the 3rd form or past participle of the main verb. If you need to mention who is doing the action, use ‘by’ to introduce it. ‘is loved’ is present simple passive (because ‘is’ is in the present simple).

  3. Present Simple Passive (2) Take a look at some more sentences in the present simple passive. English teachers are loved by everybody. You don’t have to agree with that statement! You’re thinking ‘Some people don’t love English teachers!’ So let’s make that passive! The verb ‘to be’ is plural in this sentence to agree with ‘teachers’. English teachers are not loved by everybody. Make the verb ‘to BE’ negative in the usual way. ‘by …’ may not be necessary. If it’s not important, leave it out.

  4. Present Continuous Passive Let’s look at how the passive works in other tenses. Here is a sentence in the present continuous: They are building a house next door. Now let’s change it to the passive voice: A house is being built next door (by them) We don’t often use ‘to BE’ in the present continuous tense so this may look unfamiliar! To make the passive, use the 3rd form or past participle of the main verb. ‘by them’ doesn’t tell us much (who are they?) so leave it out.

  5. Past Simple Passive Here is a sentence in the past simple: Someone stole a million pounds from the bank. Now let’s change it to the passive voice: A million pounds was stolen from the bank (by someone) ‘to BE’ in the past simple tense is ‘was’ (singular) or ‘were’ (plural) To make the passive, use the 3rd form or past participle of the main verb. ‘by someone’ doesn’t tell us much (who was it?) so leave it out.

  6. Present Perfect Passive Here is a sentence in the present perfect. They have forgiven you. Now let’s change it to the passive voice: You have been forgiven. ‘to BE’ in the present perfect tense is ‘has been’ (singular) or ‘have been’ (plural) To make the passive, use the 3rd form or past participle of the main verb.

  7. This presentation did not cover all the tenses but maybe it gave you an idea about how to form the passive. Now try some activities on other websites. Back to links to other passive voice sites