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Har Wai Li
kampar, ipoh, Malaysia
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Monday, 3 October 2011

Active - Passive

Passive - Explanations
We have listed active and passive forms in the following table.
We used the phrase I drive and have put this phrase into most common tenses.

Active (Simple Forms)
Simple Present I drive
Simple Past I drove
Present Perfect I have driven
Past Perfect I had driven
will-future I will drive
Future Perfect I will have driven
Conditional I I would drive
Conditional II I would have driven

Active (Progressive/Continuous Forms)
Simple Present I am driving
Simple Past I was driving
Present Perfect I have been driving
Past Perfect I had been driving
will-future I will be driving
Future Perfect I will have been driving
Conditional I I would be driving
Conditional II I would have been driving

Passive (Simple Forms)
Simple Present I am driven
Simple Past I was driven
Present Perfect I have been driven
Past Perfect I had been driven
will-future I will be driven
Future Perfect I will have been driven
Conditional I I would be driven
Conditional II I would have been driven

Passive (Progressive/Continuous Forms)
Present I am being driven
Past I was being driven
Present Perfect ¹ I have been being driven
Past Perfect ¹ I had been being driven
Future ¹ I will be being driven
Future Perfect ¹ I will have been being driven
Conditional I ¹ I would be being driven
Conditional II ¹ I would have been being driven
¹ Tenses which are rarely used in everyday conversation.

How to put active sentences with two objects into passive

Passive - Explanations

Active sentences with two objects in passive

When there are two objects in an active sentence, there are two possible active sentences and two possible passive sentences.
possibility 1: The professor explained the students the exercise.
possibility 2: The professor explained the exercise to the students.
There are two objects in each of the following sentences:
object 1 = indirect object: the students
object 2 = direct object: the exercise
An indirect object is very often a person, a direct object a thing. When a direct object is followed by an indirect one, we put to in front of the indirect object.

active sentence - possibility 1
subject verb indirect object direct object
The professor explained the students the exercise.

active sentence - possibility 2
subject verb direct object indirect object
The professor the exercise to the students.


Each of the objects (direct and indirect) can be the subject in the passive sentence.
passive sentence - possibility 1
subject verb object (by-agent)
The students were explained the exercise. (by the professor).

passive sentence - possibility 2
subject verb object (by-agent)
The exercise to the students (by the professor).
Possibility 1 is sometimes called Personal passive.

by agent - Passive

Passive - Explanations

Passive sentences with by

We are normally not interested in the "doer" of an action in a passive sentence. When we want to mention the "doer", we use the preposition by. The whole phrase is called by-agent in English.
Active sentence Passive sentence
Mr Brown built the house. The house was built by Mr Brown.
When we do not know, who was the "doer" of the action, we use someone or somebody in the active sentence. We leave out these words in the passive sentence.
Active sentence Passive sentence
Someone stole my bike. My bike was stolen.


Passive voice

Passive - Explanations

Passive - Use

We only use the passive when we are interested in the object or when we do not know who caused the action.
Example: Appointments are required in such cases.
We can only form a passive sentence from an active sentence when there is an object in the active sentence.

Form

to be + past participle
How to form a passive sentence when an active sentence is given:
- object of the "active" sentence becomes subject in the "passive" sentence
- subject of the "active" sentence becomes "object" in the "passive" sentence" (or is left out)
Active: Peter a house.
Passiv
Passive: A house by Peter.


Examples

Active Peter a house. Simple Present
 
Passive: A house by Peter.


Active: Peter a house. Simple Past
 
Passive: A house by Peter.


Active: Peter a house. Present Perfect
 
Passive: A house by Peter.


Active: Peter a house. will-future
 
Passive: A house by Peter.


Active: Peter a house. Modals
 
Passive: A house by Peter.

Passive voice, sentences

Passive - Explanations
Here you will find some examples of how to form the passive depending on the tense.
tense active passive
Simple Present Peter builds a house. A house is built by Peter.
Simple Past Peter built a house. A house was built by Peter.
Present Perfect Peter has built a house. A house has been built by Peter.
Past Perfect Peter had built a house. A house had been built by Peter.
will-future Peter will build a house. A house will be built by Peter.
going to-future Peter is going to build a house in summer. A house is going to be built in summer by Peter.


Personal Passive - Impersonal Passive

Passive - Explanations

1) Personal Passive

When we put an object of an active sentence into passive, it becomes subject of the passive sentence.
Active voice:
The professor explained the students the exercise.
The professor explained the exercise to the students.
Passive voice:
The students were explained the exercise.
The exercise was explained to the students.
We sometimes use a pronoun for "the students" or "the exercise" in its subject form (here: they/it).
Passive voice:
They were explained the exercise.
It was explained to the students.
We very often leave out the by-agent in the passive sentence (here: by the professor).

2) Impersonal Passive - It is said ...

The phrase It is said ... is an impersonal passive construction. We often use it in news.
Passive sentence - version 1:
It is said that children are afraid of ghosts.
Passive sentence - version 2:
Children are said to be afraid of ghosts.
The correct active sentence would be:
Active sentence: People say that children are afraid of ghosts.

Prepositions - Passive - English Grammar

Passive - Explanations

Verbs with prepositions in passive

When we put an active sentence, where a preposition follows after the verb (e.g. break into, look after), into passive - the preposition remains immediately after the verb.

Active sentence Passive sentence
Someone broke into the pet shop. The pet shop was broken into.

 

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