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Passive voice

  1. 1. 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?
  2. 2. • 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
  3. 3. • 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.
  4. 4. • 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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