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Passive form (3)
A/ I was born.
We say: I was born... (Not 'I am born'):
• I was born in
• Where were you born? (Not where are you born)
But • How many babies are born every day?
B/ Some verbs can have two objects. For example, give:
• We gave the police the information. (= We gave the information to the police.)
object 1 object 2
So it is possible to make two passive sentences:
• The police were given the information,
Or The information was given to the police.
Other verbs which can have two objects are: ask/ offer/ pay/ show/ teach/ tell:
When we use these verbs in the passive, most often we begin with the person:
•I was offered the job but I refused it. (= they offered me the job)
• You will be given plenty of time to decide. (= we will give you plenty of time)
• Have you been shown the new machine? (= has anybody shown you...?)
• The men were paid £200 to do the work. (= somebody paid the men £200)
C/ I don't like being.
The passive of doing/seeing etc. is being done / being seen etc. Compare:
Active: I don't like people telling me what to do.
Passive: I don't like being told what to do.
• I remember being given a toy drum on my fifth birthday. (= I remember somebody giving me a toy drum...)
• Mr Miller hates being kept waiting. (= he hates people keeping him waiting)
• We managed to climb over the wall without being seen. (= ...without anybody seeing us)
Sometimes you can use get instead of be in the passive:
• There was a fight at the party but nobody got hurt. (= nobody was hurt)
• I don't often get invited to parties. (= I'm not often invited)
• I'm surprised Ann didn't get offered the job. (...Ann wasn't offered the job)
You can use get to say that something happens to somebody or something, especially if this is unplanned or unexpected:
• Our dog got run over by a car.
You can use get only when things happen or change. For example, you cannot use get in these sentences:
• Jill is liked by everybody,(not 'gets liked' - this is not a 'happening')
• He was a mystery man. Nothing was known about him. (not 'got known')
We use get mainly in informal spoken English. You can use be in all situations.
We also use get in the following expressions (which are not passive in meaning):
Get married get divorced
Get dressed (= put on your clothes)
Get changed (= change your clothes)
Write these sentences in another way, beginning in the way shown.
Example: They didn't give me the money. I wasn't given the money.
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