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Doctor,

I am
ignored

Active voice :verbs are used when the subject is acting in a


sentence.
Example:
Peter reads a magazine twice a week
read is an active verb because it allows the subject
to undertake an action.

The passive voice is used when the focus is on the


action. It is not important or not known, however,
who or what is performing the action.
ex: My bike was stolen.
The mountains peak was reached by me.

Was reached is considered to be passive because


it indicates that the subject (peak) is receiving an
action.

But for whatever reason,


the passive voice is a very
useful linguistic instrument
and we use it in English
much more often than we
do in Spanish. This is
probably the most
important difference.

Important
Only a verb which can take an
object, that is, a transitive verb,
can be put into the Passive Voice.

Although both constructions are grammatically correct,


the active voice is usually more effective in academic
and business writing because it is more direct.
The passive construction is effective only when the doer
of the action is unknown or irrelevant.
Examples:
The letter is read.
The ball was hit.
The town was visited.

The professor explained the exercise to the students


Changing an active sentence with two objects into passive
voice means that one of the two objects becomes the
subject, the other one remains an object. Which object to
transform into a subject depends on what you want to put
the focus on.
The exercise was explained to the students.
The students were explained the exercise.

Some of these verbs are:


Give Lend Order Send Ask Pay Show
Tell - Bring
With these verbs, changes into passive can be done in
two different ways. This is called the double passive.
I gave her a present: A present was given to her
she was given a present
She showed me a picture: I was shown a picture
A picture was shown to me

Are the following sentences in the active or the


passive voice?
I am learning the passive voice now.
These three courses are taught by the same

professor.
The Economist is read by many students and

professionals.
I play tennis on weekends.
A new president will be elected next year.

Q: What is the difference between the


active and the passive voice?
I dont understand
my grammar
teacher!!
I dont want to talk!!

A: In a sentence using the active voice, the


subject of the sentence does the action.
The explorers climbed the tallest mountain in the
Andes range.
In a sentence using the passive voice, the
subject of the sentence receives the action.
The tallest mountain in the Andes range was
climbed by the explorers.

Q: So, whats the problem?

I still dont get my


grammar teacher.
Why is he asking
that?

A: Be careful with the grammatical


construction.

Examples of common Grammatical


Construction mistakes in the Passive Voice:

The dog will fed.


The tree had cut down.
The hungry bear would shot by the hunter.
Shoes made in the factory.
bikes should not be leaving in the driveway.
This building will finish in 2009.
The TV was turn off.

Q: How do I fix it (grammatical construction


mistakes in the passive voice)?
What can I say about it?
What if Im wrong?
mmmmm.

1. Make sure to know who is receiving


the action and who is doing the action.
2. Verify that you have BE + past
participle in your sentence!

Corrections
The dog will fed.
The dog will be fed
The tree had cut down.
The tree had been cut
The hungry bear would shot by the hunter.
The hungry bear would be shot by the hunter
Shoes made in the factory.
Shoes were made in the factory
bikes should not be leaving in the driveway.
Bikes should not be left in the driveway.
This building will finish in 2009.
This building will be finished in 2009

Self Test
Error analysis: Correct the following sentences if
there is an inconsistency in voice.
The new product design will finish very soon.

___________________________________________
Mistakes had made by the students.
___________________________________________
The preparations had all be finished when the guests
arrived.
___________________________________________
This bridge has been built in 2007.
___________________________________________
This book has been reading by the students for years.
___________________________________________

In active sentences, the thing or person doing

the action is the subject of the sentence and the


thing or person receiving the action is the object.
Ex: I teach the students.
In passive sentences, the thing or person
receiving the action is the subject of the
sentence and the thing or person doing the
action is optionally included near the end of the
sentence.
Ex: The students are taught (by me)

I teach the students

The students are taught (by me)

Object

tense

subject

verb

object

Simple
Present

Active:

Rita

writes

a letter.

Passive:

A letter

is written

by Rita.

Active:

Rita

wrote

a letter.

Passive:

A letter

was written

by Rita.

Active:

Rita

has written

a letter.

Passive:

A letter

has been
written

by Rita.

Active:

Rita

will write

a letter.

Passive:

A letter

will be written

by Rita.

Active:

Rita

can write

a letter.

Passive:

A letter

can be written

by Rita.

Simple Past

Present
Perfect

Future I
modals

It is said that... He is said to... (be)


supposed to...
Study this example situation:
Henry is very old. Nobody knows exactly how old
he is, but:
It is said that he is 108 years old. or He is said to
be 108 years old.
Both these sentences mean: 'People say that he is
108 years old.'

You can use these structures with a number of other


verbs, especially:
Thought - believed - considered - reported - known
expected - alleged
Compare the two structures:
Cathy works very hard.
It is said that she works 16 hours a day. or She is said to
work 16 hours a day.
The police are looking for a missing boy.
It is believed that the boy is wearing a white pullover and
blue jeans. The boy is believed to be wearing a white
pullover and blue jeans.

(Be) supposed to
Sometimes it is supposed to ... = it is said to...
Let's go and see that film. It's supposed to be very good. (= it is
said to be very good)
'Why was he arrested?' 'He's supposed to have kicked a
policeman.' (= he is said to have kicked a policeman)
But sometimes supposed to has a different meaning. 'Something is
supposed to happen' = it is planned, arranged or expected.
I'd better hurry. It's nearly 8 o'clock and I'm supposed to be
meeting Ann at 8.15. (= I have arranged to meet Ann, I said I would
meet her)
The train was supposed to arrive at 11.30 but it was an hour late.

PAY ATTENTION TO THESE SITUATIONS


1. People say that he knows the secret word.

It is said that he knows the secret word.


He is said to know the secret word.

2. People expect that the taxes will increase next year.

It is expected that the taxes will increase next year.


The taxes are expected to increase next year.

3. Some people believe that he has had second chances.

It is believed that he has had second chances.


He is believed to have had second chances.

4. The lawyers alleged that the victim had asked for help.

It was alleged that the the victim had asked for help
The victim was alleged to have asked for help.

1. It is said that many people are homeless because of the flood


______________________________________________________
2. It is expected that the president will lose the election.
_______________________________________________________
3. It is believed that the thieves got in through the kitchen window.
_______________________________________________________
4. It is alleged that she drove through the town at 120 km an hour.
_______________________________________________________
5. It is said that three men were arrested after the explosion.
________________________________________________________
6. It is reported that two people were seriously hurt in the accident.
_________________________________________________________

CAUSATIVE CASE
ANY IDEA?

We use the structure have/get something done when we want to say


that we ask someone else to do something for us.

HOW CAN YOU ASK


SOMEONE TO DO
SOMETHING FOR YOU?

I Have my hair cut and dried.

I had my car fixed yesterday.

Tense
Present Simple
Past Simple
Present Continuous
Past Continuous
Present Perfect
Past Perfect
Will
Must
be going to

have/get something
done
I have/get my hair cut.
I had/got my hair cut.
I'm having/getting my hair cut.
I was having/getting my hair cut.
I have had / got my hair cut.
I had had /got my hair cut.
I will have / get my hair cut.
I must have / get my hair cut.
I'm going to have / get my hair cut.

They had their house painted blue.


They had their bike repaired.
My sister had her book read.
The boss had the report typed.
He got his leg broken.
I have had my car washed and the oil changed.
She went to the hospital yesterday to have her blood
pressure taken.
I will have my house painted next week.

Rewrite these sentences using to have / get something done.


1.Some builders are repairing the roof of our house.
2.The dressmaker has shortened these trousers for me.
3.A photographer took photos of the couple.
4.A famous artist is going to paint her portrait.
5.The mechanic changed the oil of my car.
6.The hairdresser cut my hair in a completely different style.
7.A decorator has repainted our house.
8.A friend of mine, whos an electrician, is going to repair my DVD
player next week.