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• Start › CramUp › Grammar › Passive Voice

Passive Voice
Language Guide German + Dictionary for iPhone and iPod-Touch (made by ego4u)

Exercises on Passive

Use of Passive
Passive voice is used when thefocus is on the action. It is not important or not known, however, who or what is performing the action.

Example: My bike was stolen.

In the example above, the focus is on the fact that my bikewas stolen. I do not know, however, who did it.

Sometimes a statement in passive is more polite than active voice, as the following example shows:

Example: A mistake was made.

In this case, Ifocus on the fact that a mistake was made, but I do not blame anyone (e.g. You have made a mistake.).

Form of Passive
Subject + finite form of to be + Past Participle (3rd column of irregularverbs)

Example: A letter was written.

When rewriting active sentences in passive voice, note the following:

the object of the active sentence becomes the subject of the passive sentence
thefinite form of the verb is changed (to be + past participle)
the subject of the active sentence becomes the object of the passive sentence (or is dropped)
Examples of Passive Level: lowerintermediate
Tense Subject Verb Object
Simple Present Active: Rita writes a letter.
Passive: A letter is written by Rita.
Simple Past Active: Rita wrote a letter.
Passive: A letter was written by...
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