Passive Voice - Faculty of Sciences of Gabes Miss Takoua...

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Faculty of Sciences of Gabes Academic Year: 2011/2012 Miss Takoua Becha Group: LARI3 … The Passive Voice … The relationship between the agent (the one who performs the action) and the action (verb) is called voice . English has two voices--active and passive: In the active voice, the grammatical subject performs the action of the verb: e.g. Cervantes wrote Don Quixote. The grammatical subject (= the agent/ the performer) In the passive voice, the grammatical subject receives the action--something is done to the grammatical subject: e.g. Don Quixote was written by Cervantes. The grammatical subject (= the receiver) The meaning of the two sentences is the same . The difference is in emphasis or point of view. In the active sentence, the attention of the reader is focused on the agent or person who performs the action (Cervantes, in the example). The agent receives more emphasis or attention. In the passive sentence, the attention of the reader is focused on the receiver of the action (Don Quixote, in the example). Formation of the Passive Voice : The transformation of an active sentence into a passive sentence is a three-step process: 1. Move the object of the active sentence to subject position in the passive sentence. 2. Change the active verb to passive form (two parts). 3. Move the subject of the active sentence to object position proceeded by the preposition ‘ by’ (optional). Example: In order to change the active verb to its corresponding passive form , we need to do two things: 1. Put the verb to be in the same tense as the verb in the active sentence. In this example the verb is in the simple past, so we use the past tense of be. 2. Use the past participle of the verb in the active sentence. The passive verb, therefore, has two parts. The verb ‘ to be’ indicates the tense , and the past participle indicates the action . Only sentences containing direct objects can be made into passive sentences because the direct object of the active sentence becomes the subject of the passive sentence. If the sentence does not have a direct object, you cannot change it into a passive sentence.
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