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Learn English > English lessons and exercises > English test #109881: The Passive for Beginners: step 1
The Passive for Beginners: step 1
Something I observed really saddens me: I often study the statistics of the tests on this site, the tests I've made, and the other ones too... Thus, I've noticed that the passive form was really THE grammar point getting the worst scores and yet, it isn't difficult ... There must really be something to be done to help you ...
Don't worry... I never give up! I promise to be slow, and gradual... and we'll do it, won't we?
In the passive form, the action is endured by a person, whereas in the active form, the subject is acting and doing the action.
The teacher has punished the student .
Sujet Verb in Predicate
the past (or Object Complement)
It is built with the SUBJECT (enduring the action) + the AUXILIARY of the passive (BE) in a tense and/or mode + the PAST PARTICIPLE of the verb.
The student was punishedi (by the teacher.) = The student was punished ( by the teacher)
= subject V in the Actor (he acts) = Subject + BE + past participle . Actor
enduring passive introduced by: BY
In the passive form, the active Predicate (complement) is becoming the passive SUBJECT The person who's doing the action endured by the subject is the ACTOR, introduced by BY. . The agent is seldom mentioned in English (except if its omission makes the understanding of the sentence difficult.)
ex: Nobody obeyed the teacher => The teacher wasn't obeyed.
The passive is frequently used in English ; it is used in all the different tenses and all the different modes: the rules are the same as for the active form, you just have to follow the tense indicators.
The teacher punishes the student => The student is punished ... (regularly, because he never behaves)
The teacher is punishing the student => The student is being punished ... ( just now because he was cheating.)
The teacher punished the boy => The boy was punished ... yesterday.
The teacher will punish ..... => The boy will be punished ... if he's unruly.
The teacher had punished the boy => The boy had been punished before I could defend him.
The teacher cannot punish the boy => The boy cannot be punished ; he' so hardworking...
Should the teacher punish the boy ? => Should the boy be punished ?
The teacher didn't need to punish the boy=> The boy didn't need to be punished.
All the different variations are possible ! Remember that, if you are happening to think in your own language and trying to turn it into an English passive form (, which you must NEVER DO ), you must always keep the tenses of the active form.
- some verbs in the passive are followed by a complement introduced by with :
Ex : When the kids came back from the football match, they were covered with mud.
That's it ! The first step of this study is completed... This is what's essential ! Read this lesson over and THEN, do the test. There shouldn't be any problem and you'll be ready to study the second step!
Go for it!
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