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The passive voice is not a verbal tense, it is a
syntactic process and transformation that
affects the whole sentence. Here, the subject
of the sentence is not the performer of the
action but experiences or suffers it.
Eg. I stole a bag vs. I was a stolen a bag
DEFINITION. WHAT IS THE PASSIVE
VOICE?
• The direct/indirect object becomes the subject:
WAS STOLEN/ WAS STOLEN A BAG
• The verb becomes passive (the same tense of to be followed by
the past participle of the main verb)
• The mayor awards a present= A present is awarded
• The mayor awarded a present= A present was awarded
• The subject, if it is important, becomes the Agent, (BY AGENT)
• The president gave my mother a medal
• My mother was given a medal by the president
• In English, both direct and indirect object can become the SUBJECT in the
passive:
• MARY GAVE TOM A PRESENT
• In the following, the direct object becomes subject. The Indirect object
appears after the verb with the preposition TO. The agent is introduced
with BY
• A PRESENT WAS GIVEN TO TOM BY MARY
• In the following example, the indirect object is the subject. The verb must
concord with the new passive subject.
• TOM WAS GIVEN A PRESENT BY MARY
• Native speakers prefer the indirect object as subject, as it usually refers
to PEOPLE.
• It is a way of changing word order in English and giving more
importance to some elements in the sentence. Important
elements usually appear a the beginning of the sentence:
• Eg. My grandmother was awarded a prize
• It is used when we don't know who the subject is or
the subject is very general and it is not important:
• Eg. JFK was killed ( by someone)
• Spanish impersonal and "SE" passives are translated as
passive voice in English
• English is spoken here (Se habla inglés)

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Passive voice

  • 1.
  • 2. The passive voice is not a verbal tense, it is a syntactic process and transformation that affects the whole sentence. Here, the subject of the sentence is not the performer of the action but experiences or suffers it. Eg. I stole a bag vs. I was a stolen a bag DEFINITION. WHAT IS THE PASSIVE VOICE?
  • 3. • The direct/indirect object becomes the subject: WAS STOLEN/ WAS STOLEN A BAG • The verb becomes passive (the same tense of to be followed by the past participle of the main verb) • The mayor awards a present= A present is awarded • The mayor awarded a present= A present was awarded • The subject, if it is important, becomes the Agent, (BY AGENT) • The president gave my mother a medal • My mother was given a medal by the president
  • 4. • In English, both direct and indirect object can become the SUBJECT in the passive: • MARY GAVE TOM A PRESENT • In the following, the direct object becomes subject. The Indirect object appears after the verb with the preposition TO. The agent is introduced with BY • A PRESENT WAS GIVEN TO TOM BY MARY • In the following example, the indirect object is the subject. The verb must concord with the new passive subject. • TOM WAS GIVEN A PRESENT BY MARY • Native speakers prefer the indirect object as subject, as it usually refers to PEOPLE.
  • 5. • It is a way of changing word order in English and giving more importance to some elements in the sentence. Important elements usually appear a the beginning of the sentence: • Eg. My grandmother was awarded a prize • It is used when we don't know who the subject is or the subject is very general and it is not important: • Eg. JFK was killed ( by someone) • Spanish impersonal and "SE" passives are translated as passive voice in English • English is spoken here (Se habla inglés)