|What is the passive voice?
English almost always requires a subject at the beginning of a sentence.
Example: John made a mistake.
In the above example "John" is the subject. In some languages it is possible to omit the
subject. In English that is usually not an option.
This creates a problem for English speakers and English learners. What if "John" is our very
best friend and we don't want to embarrass him? What if he will get in trouble and we don't
want to be responsible for naming him?
Somehow we have to find a way to eliminate the subject from the sentence.
What if saying the subject of a sentence is ridiculous or redundant?
Example: The construction workers built the building in 1986 .
Obviously contruction workers built the building. if we want to speak grammatically correct
English it is necessarry to state who did the act. In these cases we usually use a pronoun.
Example: They biult the building in 1986.
There is another way
The Passive Voice
The passive voice does not eliminate the subject
but it makes the subject optional and places all of
the emphasis on the object.
Example: John Made a mistake
Lets' move "a mistake" to the beginning of the
sentence and remove our friend's name.
Now we have
A mistake made (by John)
To make the passive voice you will need two things: 1. The verb “to be”
and 2. The past participle of the original verb. Let’s practice making the
passive voice in the in present perfect continuous.
|Note: Although present perfect progressive in passive voice is possible, it
is not very common ands even has a strange sound to it.
|Passive voice in 3 easy steps
1. Identify the main verb and replace it with the verb "to be". The verb "to
be" must take the same form as the original verb.
He has been accepting an award.
verb-"has been accepting"
"has been --ing" is used to express the idea present and continuous.
The MAIN verb is accepting. "Accepting" is in "continuous" form.
We must replace "accepting" with "being"
Now we have "has been being"
2. Change the original verb into past participle form.
The pas participle of "accept" is "accepted" and it goes after the verb to
be. Result: "has been being accepted"
3. Identify the object of the sentence and place it at the beginning of the
What is he going to accept? An award.
Result. An award has been being accepted (by him).
Let's practice the steps using the present perfect progressive.