Elo Kasia

Director at Eloquent - A Professional Education Company
Professional English Training Center Located In UK.
Strategy Partner of Chatsifieds.com
www.eloquentlearning.com

Passive voice for simple tenses | English Time Ask Elo

by Jul 2, 2019English Grammar Tips, English Time Ask Elo

Passive voice for simple tenses

Elo Kasia

 

English Time Ask Elo (01/07/2019)

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Passive voice for simple tenses

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Passive voice for simple tenses | English Time Ask Elo

 

Asked by @ Amândio Cost (Community Leaner)

Passive voice for simple tenses | English Time Ask Elo

 

Answered by @ Elo Kasia

 

Elo Kasia is the English Mentor for  Passive voice for simple tensesEnglish Grammar and Speaking Academy” ,  Join now.

 

 
Passive voice for simple tenses

Passive voice for simple tenses | English Time Ask Elo

 

 

Passive voice for simple tenses Question Time: Passive voice for simple tenses | English Time Ask Elo

 

Passive voice for simple tenses  @ Amândio Cost, Thank you for your question.

 

Passive voice for simple tenses  As usual, I will try to explain the difference using simple language and plenty of examples.

 

The passive voice is one of those constructions which is often challenging to students of English. The question is, how often is it really used in speech or in writing?

 

The vast majority of verbs used both in speech and in writing are active. In fact, in spoken English 97.5% of verbs are active. Only in specialized and academic texts, the passive voice is used more often, but still 82.2% of sentences are active.

 

So, passive voice is not really used that often in the English language, and it is often recommended to use active voice whenever possible. However, there are some situations in which passive voice comes in handy and I will show you some examples below.

 

When do we use passive voice?

Unfortunately, there is not easy way to explain it without using some grammar terms, so let’s start from learning about the sentence parts.

A basic sentence has:

Active voice:

 

S (subject) V (verb) O (object)

  • I teach English.
  • John is eating an apple.
  • They watched TV.

 

In active voice – the agent (or the subject), the person or thing that performs the action comes first and the receiver, that is, the person or thing that is affected by the action is the object. In active voice our focus is on the agent, it is the important part of the sentence. So, the sentence follows SVO order.

 

  • Maria cleans the offices every day.
  • Maria is the agent, the person who performs the action. We stress that it is Maria who cleans the offices every day.
  • The boss invited Donna to the party.
  • The boss is the agent, the person who performs the action. It is important who invited Donna.

 

In passive voice – we focus more on the person or thing which is affected by the action (the object). We often omit the subject, as it is usually not important. The sentence order changes to O V (+S).

  • The offices are cleaned (by Maria) every day.
  • Here the focus is on the offices, i.e. in this sentence we want to stress that the offices are cleaned every day and not on who does it.
  • Donna was invited to the party (by her boss).

 

Here, Donna is the focus of the sentence. We want to stress that Donna was invited.

 

Form of passive voice.

Passive voice is form by using TO BE (in the right tense) + V3 (Past Participle) from of verb. The regular verbs take +ed at the end. With irregular verbs, memorise their form as you come across them.
When do we use passive voice?

  • When we focus more on the object (the receiver) of the action
  • When do not know who the agent is
  • When it is not important who the agent is
  • When people in general are the agents
  • When we talk about the laws, regulations or the actions of the government

 

We will look at some examples in Present Simple and Past Simple to show some most common situations when passive voice can be used.

Present is/are (isn’t/ aren’t)

  • Risotto is made with rice.
  • Honey is used to treat bad throat.
  • Sunglasses are worn in the summer.
  • Our offices are cleaned every day.
  • An I-phone is bought every minute.
  • His work isn’t known in Europe.
  • Women aren’t treated as equals.

 

Past was/were (wasn’t/ weren’t)

  • My car was stolen last week.
  • The film was shown last night.
  • Women were given the right to vote in 1918.
  • Windscreen wipers were invented by Mary Anderson.
  • Penicillin was discovered by Louis Pasteur.
  • We weren’t invited to the party.
  • Rome wasn’t built in one day. (proverb)

 

Note that it is only transitive verbs (verbs which require an object) which can have passive forms. Intransitive verbs, like cry, die, arrive, disappear, wait, which often describe physical behaviour, cannot be used in the passive voice.

 
Make sure you do our *TT exercises to practise asking questions in English.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Elo Kasia is the Community Mentor for English Grammar and Speaking Academy“.
 
 
Director at Eloquent Learning Online School www.eloquentlearning.com.

 

Elo Kasia

Director at Eloquent Learning - A Professional Education Company Located In UK. , Strategy Partner of Chatsifieds.com

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