The Passive Voice

The Passive Voice - • Active My husband bought me a new...

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The Passive Voice The passive voice is used to show that the subject of the verb does not perform the action, but rather  undergoes the action or is acted upon. In French, unlike in English, a verb may be used in the  passive voice only if its subject could become a direct object of that verb when used in the active  voice. (An indirect object cannot be the subject of a passive verb.) Look at some examples:  Passive:  I was congratulated by my friends. (“I” is the subject.)  Active:  My friends congratulated me. (“Me” is the direct object.)  The sentences above can be passive in both French and English. 
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Unformatted text preview: • Active: My husband bought me a new car. (“Me” is the indirect object.) The sentence above cannot be passive in French (although the passive English sentence “A new car was bought for me by my husband” is acceptable) because it is impossible to convert the indirect object to a passive subject. If there is no direct object of the verb in French, the sentence may not be passive: • Passive: The letters were answered. Who answered the letters? This sentence cannot be passive in French because there is no direct object....
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This note was uploaded on 11/09/2011 for the course FR 101 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '08 term at Texas State.

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