Friday, 29 November 2013

Speakout Advanced p 60. Passive Voice. Extra Grammar



The passive forms of a verb are created by combining a form of the "to be verb" with the past participle of the main verb. Other helping verbs are also sometimes present: "The measure could have been killed in committee." The passive can be used, also, in various tenses. Let's take a look at the passive forms of "design."
Tense
Subject
Auxiliary
Past
Participle
Singular
Plural
Present
The car/cars
is
are
designed.
Present perfect
The car/cars
has been
have been
designed.
Past
The car/cars
was
were
designed.
Past perfect
The car/cars
had been
had been
designed.
Future
The car/cars
will be
will be
designed.
Future perfect
The car/cars
will have been
will have been
designed.
Present progressive
The car/cars
is being
are being
designed.
Past progressive
The car/cars
was being
were being
designed.





A sentence in the passive voice will not always include an agent of the action. For instance if a gorilla crushes a tin can, we could say "The tin can was crushed by the gorilla." But a perfectly good sentence would leave out the gorilla: "The tin can was crushed." Also, when an active sentence with an indirect object is rewritten in the passive, the indirect object can take on the role of subject in the passive sentence:
Active
Professor Villa gave Jorge an A.
Passive
An A was given to Jorge by Professor Villa.
Passive
Jorge was given an A.


Only transitive verbs (those that take objects) can be transformed into passive constructions. Furthermore, active sentences containing certain verbs cannot be transformed into passive structures. To have is the most important of these verbs. We can say "He has a new car," but we cannot say "A new car is had by him." We can say "Josefina lacked finesse," but we cannot say "Finesse was lacked." Here is a brief list of such verbs*:
resemble
look like
equal
agree with
mean
contain
hold
comprise
lack
suit
fit
become
The Passive
When we don’t know who does/did something
            The car was stolen at approximately 1.30 am.
When it’s obvious who does/did something.
   Having been introduced in 1998, the Road Traffic Act regulates all vehicle use on UK roads.
When it’s not important who does/did something
     The XL500 was designed with young families in mind, so there’s plenty of room in the boot.
To emphasise new information (which appears at the end of the sentence)
            This type of submarine was developed during the Second World War by the Americans.
To avoid starting clauses with long expressions
         We were surprised by the number of people trying to leave the city for the long weekend. (More natural than The number of people trying to leave the city for the long weekend surprised us.)
To produce a formal style
All passengers are required to present their ticket to the inspector.
Impersonal passive
Form
Common verbs
Example
Noun + verb in passive form + infinitive/ perfect infinitive
agree, assume, believe, claim, consider, estimate, expect, feel, find, guarantee, know, mean, presume, regard, report, say, suppose, think, understand
Tourism is expected to become a major part of the country’s economy.
There + verb in passive form + infinitive / perfect infinitive

There are reported to have been a record number of accidents on the roads this year.
It + verb in passive form + that clause
accept, agree, argue, assume, believe, calculate, claim, consider, estimate, expect, feel, know, presume, report, say, suggest, suppose, think, understand
It is thought that the new railway will provide employment opportunities for local people.

Causative: get/have sth done
Actions we arrange for other people to do for us
            Did you finally get your bike fixed?
Things we experience (usually negative and not intended.
            I heard that Suzie had her motorbike stolen.

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