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Various Structures Expressed in the Passive


A. The passive of continuous tenses requires the present continuous forms of to
which are not much used in other cases:

They are repairing the bridge.

The bridge is being repaired.

The gardener was watering the flowers.

The flowers were being watered.

Other continuous tenses are extremely rare in the passive, so the sentences
such as:

They have/had been repairing the road or

They will/would be repairing the road

are not normally put into the passive.


B. After the future auxiliaries (will, be going to) and modal verbs we use passive
infinitive (simple or perfect)

They will open the new hotel next year. The new hotel will be openedÖ

We are goingto paint this room. This room is going to be painted.

The government can create more jobs. More jobs can be created.

You should have told him. He should have been told.


C. Other infinitive combinations

Verbs of liking/loving/wanting/wishing etc. + object + infinitive form
their passive with the passive infinitive:

He wants someone to take photos. He wants photos to be taken.

With verbs of command/request/advice/ invitation indirect object + infinitive
we form the passive by using the passive form of the main verb:

He invited me to go. I was invited to go.

But with advise/beg/order/recommend/urge + indirect object + infinitive +
object we can form the passive in two ways: by making the main verb
passive, as above, or by advise etc. + that.....should+ passive infinitive:

He urged the Council to reduce the rates.

The Council was/were urged to reduce the rates or

He urged that the rates should be reduced.

agree/be anxious/arrange/be detemined/determine/decide/demand
+ infinitive + object are usually expressed in the passive by that.....
, as above:

He decided to sell the house.

He decided that the house should be sold

D. Gerund combinations are expressed in the passive by the passive

I donít like people telling me what to do.

I donít like being told what to do.

advise/insist/propose/recommend/suggest + gerund + object are
usually expressed in the passive by that.....should, as above:

They insist on using credit cards.
They insist that credit cards should be used.


Active Tenses and Their Passive Equivalents

Tense/Verb form Active voice Passive voice


Simple present keeps is kept

Present continuous is keeping is being kept

Simple past kept was kept

Past continuous was keeping was being kept

Present perfect has kept has been kept

Past perfect had kept had been kept

Future will keep will be kept

Conditional would keep would be kept

Perfect conditional would have kept would have been kept

Present infinitive to keep to be kept

Perfect infinitive to have kept to have been kept

Present participle/Gerund keeping being kept

Perfect participle having kept having been kept


Get in the Passive

In colloquial speech get is sometimes used instead of be. We use get to
emphasize action or change. We often use it for something happening by
accident, unexpectedly or in an unplanned way:

The eggs got (=were) broken.

How did the painting get damaged?

But not The picture got painted several years ago.

We also use get in idiomatic expressions, e.g. get washed (=wash oneself),
get dressed/changed, get engaged/married/divorced, get started(=start)


Date: 2015-12-11; view: 610

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