The Passive Voice

Publicado: 20 enero, 2014 en Grammar

                                                         The Passive Voice

 It is used in a variety of contexts. The passive voice is used when the agent is unimportant, unknown or clear. We place the object at the beginning of the sentence and the focus of interest changes.

Ex:  They stole my bike.                 Mi bike was stolen (by them).

As it can be seen here the object of the active sentence works as a subject in the passive.


Form: Verb to be (in the tense of the active) + past participle

They are opening the box. (present Continuous)

Subject                   Object


The box is being opened by them. (Passive Sentence).

Subject                                 agent

– Transitive and intransitive verbs:

a. Verbs with an object (transitive verbs) can be made passive.

      They sent the letter.               The letter was sent.

b. Verbs with direct and indirect objects can be made passive in two ways.

They sent me the letter.                        I was sent the letter / The letter was sent to me.


– Have/ get something done

      When someone does some work for us, we can use have something done.

             Ex: I am having my hair cut this afternoon.

   The same construction can describe bad luck cause by an unspecified person.

                        I had my car stolen last week.

 Get: Can suggest managing to do something difficult.

      It was difficult but we got the painting done in the end. 



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