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The Passive Voice

THE PASSIVE VOICE

Use

We use the passive when we don’t know, or it isn’t important, who does the action. The passive is much more frequently used in English than in Spanish.

El passive voice se usa cuando quieras enfatizar que se ha hecho una acción en vez de quien realiza o hace una acción.

To understand the Passive Voice we need to fully understand the Active Voice

Active Voice:

In sentences written in active voice, the subject performs the action expressed in the verb; the subject acts. Most of our sentences are in active voice.

En el active voice el sujeto hace la acción

Active voice example:
Carlos writes a letter.
(We know who the subject is - the subject is: the noun, noun phrase, or pronoun in a sentence or clause that denotes the doer of the action or what is described by the predicate- it is WHO does the action in this case CARLOS)

In what tense is this sentence? Yes, it is present simple.
What are the to be forms of the present simple? Yes, am is and are

The passive voice

To form the passive we need to emphasize the object and NOT the subject. To do this we need the verb to be (of the correct tense) and the past participle.

form of "to be" + past participle = passive voice

Therefore; for the sentence "Carlos writes a letter" We want to focus on the letter and not Carlos

Passive voice:

The letter is written (by Carlos). Wh y is? Well, the letter is "it" and it goes with is. We use is because the sentence is in present tense so we need the correct form of the to be in the present tense.

More examples:

Present simple
She types the letters >>>>The letters are typed

Present continuous
She is typing the letters>>>>The letters are being typed

Present perfect simple
She has typed the letters>>>>The letters have been typed

Past simple
She typed the letters>>>>>The letters were typed

Past continuous
She was typing the letters >>>>>The letters were being typed

Past perfect simple
She had typed the letters>>>>>>>>The letters had been typed

Future simple
She will type the letters>>>>>>>>The letters will be typed

Future perfect simple
She will have typed the letters>>>>>>the letters will have been typed

Be going to
She is going to type the letters>>>>>The letters are going to be typed


The following tenses do not have a passive form: Present perfect continuous, Past perfect continuous, Future continuous and Future Perfect continuous, and, therefore, in the passive we will use their simple forms.

Remember: to form the passive voice we need to put the correct form of the verb to be + the past participle.

Recuerden que para estructurar correctamente el passive voice requerimos la forma del el verbo to be de acuerdo al tiempo y el past participle de un verbo

TO BE FORMATION IN THE TENSES:

Present tense : am / is/ are
Continuous : being
Past : was / were
Future (will) : will be
Present perfect: have/has been
Past perfect: had been
Future Perfect: will have been

Understanding the Passive Voice

So why do we use the passive voice is we can just use the active voice instead? Well, I have two main reasons:

1)
To emphasize an object

2)If you don't need to know who's responsible for the action.

For example: Hiram Bingham discovered Machu Picchu on July 24, 1911

Maybe you do not have the full information. Maybe you just want to emphasize the date.

Machu Pichu was discovered on July 24, 1911. (You don't know who, or you don't want to emphasize who discovered the ruins.


Notas del Profesor:

En resumen se utiliza el passive voice cuando se quiera enfatizar a lo que fue hecho en vez de quien o que lo hizo. Esto se utiliza puesto que aveces no se sabe quien hizo una accion.

El anuncio fue sacado del Periódico >>> The ad was taken out of the newspaper. (No sabemos quien o no se quiere enfatizar quien)

Carla fue llevada al hospital ayer en la noche >>>> Carla was taken to the hospital last night. (No queremos priorizar quien la llevo sino que la persona fue llevada)

La revista Time esta escrita en Ingles >>>>> Times magazine is written in English (Se enfatiza la revista y no quienes la escriben)

Como vieron en las 2 primeras oraciones se utilizo "was" + el Past Participle (Past passive voice) y en el tercero fue con "is" + Past participle (Present passive voice)

Si tienen preguntas escribe un email o dejame un comentario.

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