Exercise 5: rewrite (part of) the active sentence using the personal passive; Useful pages. Exercises for practising recognizing active and passive voice; exercises for practising the Simple Present Passive (The house is built.) exercises for practising the Simple Past Passive (The house was built.) exercises for practising the Continuous. Complete the sentences with BY + a suitable OBJECT PRONOUN. Then press 'Check'.
1 – They were seeking a new social order.
A new social order __________________________________________
2 – Nature is being threatened by high technology.
High Technology ___________________________________________
3 – The new President imposed a drastic economic plan and he saved the country from catrastophe.
A drastic economic plan ______________________________________
4 – They didn’t fulfil the people’s expections.
The people’s expectations ____________________________________
5 – Everybody was consuming contaminated food and water.
Contaminated food and water __________________________________
6 – Foreign fishermen were eliminating not only commercial fish but other rare species.
Not only commercial fish ______________________________________
7 – Someone has reported computer software malfunctions.
Computer software malfunctions _________________________________
8 – The first prototype will be delivered in 2005.
9 – The pristine forest wasn’t devastated by wildfires but by men.
10 – Thousands of buildings were being threatened by the blaze.
The blaze ____________________________________________________
11 – More than 23,000 people have been mobilized this summer.
12 – They didn’t prohibit cooking in the forest.
Cooking in the forest _____________________________________________
13 – They know that she receives eletronic mail messages from all countries.
14 – They have already discovered something but they haven’t told Norton yet.
Something __________________but Norton___________________________
15 – They turned off the lights and left the room in the dark.
The lights ______________________and the room______________________
16 – She is going to dedicate her best look to her nephews.
Her nephews ____________________________________________________
17 – They say that power stations emit acid smoke.
Power stations ___________________________________________________
18 – They alleged that the air outside was polluted.
The air _________________________________________________________
19 – The department of Education is going to make an important finanantial contribution to the project.
An important finantial contribution _____________________________________
20 – Society should offer them rewarding jobs.
Pronoun Exercises With Answers
21 – Skin Cancer is said to be caused by a long exposure to the sun.
A long exposure to the sun _____________________________________________
22 – They say that employment cause social unrest.
Social unrest _______________________________________________________
23 – It is admitted that new jobs require the use of telecommunication.
New jobs __________________________________________________________
24 – Everybody thinks that factories are polluting the rivers.
25 – It was claimed that the drug produced no undesirable side-effects.
The drug __________________________________________________________
26 – They believe that government is thinking of imposing new special taxes.
The Government ____________________________________________________
27 – They allege that each family throws away one tonne of rubbish every year.
Transform the active verbs below into the passive voice. Omit the by-agent whenever possible.
a) Most students use school computers for projects.
b) Nowadays people renovate old apartments and rent them out.
c) Consumers can find fantastic deals in sales.
d) Everyone ate my birthday cake in five minutes.
Rephrase the following sentences, beginning the words given. Omit the by-agent whenever possible.
a) Nowadays many firms make employees redudant without warning.
Nowadays employees _______________________________________________
b) Parents were invited to the school meeting on Saturday.
The school __________________________________________________________
c) All teachers give tests before the end of the term.
d) Apple has been producing innovative hardware for some years.
e) Sensationalistic articles are often written just to sell papers.
1 – A new social order was being sought.
2 – High Technology is threatening Nature.
3 – A drastic economic plan was imposed by the new President and the country was saved from catrastophe.
4 – The people’s expectations weren’t fulfilled.
5 – Contaminated food and water were being consumed.
6 – Not only commercial fish but other rare species were being eliminated by foreign fishermen.
7 – Computer software malfunctions have been reported.
8 – They will deliver the first prototype in 2005.
9 – Men and not wildfires devastated the pristine forest.
10 – The blaze was threatening thousands of buildings.
11 – They have mobilized more than 23,000 people this summer.
12 – Cooking in the forest wasn’t prohibited.
13 – She is known to receive electronic mail messages from all countries.
14 – Something has already been discovered but Norton hasn’t been told yet.
15 – The lights were turned off and the room was left in the dark.
16 – Her nephews are going to be dedicated her best book.
17 – Power stations are said to emit acid smoke.
18 – The air outside was alleged to be polluted.
19 – An important finantial contribution is going to be made by the department of Education.
20 – They should be offered rewarding jobs.
21 – A long exposure to the sun is saud to cause Skin Cancer.
22 – Social unrest is said to be caused by unemployment.
23 – New jobs are admitted to require the use of telecommunication.
24 – Factories are thought to be polluting the rivers.
25 – The drug was claimed to have produced no undesirable side-effects.
26 – The Government is believed to be thinking of imposing new special taxes.
27 – Each family is alleged to throw away one tonne of rubbish every year.
a) School computers are used for projects by most students.
b) Nowadays old apartments are renovated and rent out.
c) Fantastic deals can found in sales by consumers.
d) My birthday cake was eaten in five minutes.
a) Nervous expression reference. Nowadays employees are made redudant by many firms without warning.
b) The school invited parents to the school meeting on Saturday.
c) Tests are given before the end of the term.
d) Innovative hardware has been being produced by Apple for some years.
e) Reporters often write sensationalistic articles just to sell papers.
What is the passive voice?
In general we tend to use the active voice. That is when a subject does an action to an object.
- Somebody stole my laptop. (subject = Somebody / action(verb) = stole / object = my laptop)
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The passive voice is used when we want to emphasize the action (the verb) and the object of a sentence rather than subject. This means that the subject is either less important than the action itself or that we don’t know who or what the subject is.
- My laptop was stolen. (The object – now the subject = My laptop / action= was stolen)
- Passive: Napa Valley is known for its excellent wines.
- Active: [Many people] know Napa Valley for its excellent wines.
- Passive: Twenty civilians were killed in the bomb explosion.
- Active: Someone killed twenty civilians in the bomb explosion.
The passive agent
When we know who the subject is, we put it at the end with by. We call this an agent.
- Passive: The Mona Lisa was painted by Leonardo Da Vinci. (agent =Leonardo Da Vinci )
- Active: Leonaro Da Vinci painted the Mona Lisa.
Most writing instructors and editors recommend against using the passive voice, when possible. The reason for this is that when you use the active voice, your writing is clearer and less complicated.
- Active: While Mr. Taylor was driving down Highway 101, a police officer pulled him over and gave him a speeding ticket.
- Passive: While Mr. Taylor was driving down Highway 101, he was pulled over and given a ticket by a police officer.
If it’s a long sentence and you know who the subject is, it’s best to use the active voice.
The passive is often used to report something or to state a fact.
- Highway 15 was closed yesterday due to a serious road accident.
- A lot of corn is grown in Iowa.
Forming the passive voice
The passive voice is not a tense in English. Each tense has its own passive voice which is created by using a form of the auxiliary verb to be + V3 (past participle)
The passive voice in each tense:
|Tense||Auxiliary verb + sample V3 (past participle)||Examples|
|Present simple||am, is, are + made||Wine is made from grapes.|
Many cars are made in Japan.
|Present progressive||am, is, are + being + sent||The document is being sent right now.|
I am being sent to work in the London office.
|Past simple||was, were + invited||John was invited to speak at the conference.|
We were invited to Daniel and Mary’s wedding.
|Past progressive||was, were + being + washed||The dog was being washed when I got home.|
Their cars were being washed while they were in the mall shopping.
|Future (will)||will be + signed||The contract will be signed tomorrow.|
The documents will all be signed by next week.
|Future (going to)||am, is, are + going to be + built||A bridge is going to be built within the next two years.|
New houses are going to be built in our neighborhood.
|Present perfect||has, have + been + sold||That start-up has been sold for $5 million.|
The rights to his book have been sold for $250,000.
|Past perfect||had + been + hired||The new manager had been hired before John left the company.|
All the employees had hired before the store opened.
|Future perfect||will + have been + finished||The car will have been loaded by the time he gets home.|
The crates will have been loaded by then.
|Modals: can/could||can, could + be + issued||A passport can only be issued at the embassy.|
He said the documents could be issued within the week.
|Modal: have to||have to, has to, had to + be + arranged||A babysitter has to be arranged for this evening.|
Joan’s travel plans have to be arranged by December.
|Modal: must||must + be + stopped||Criminals must be stopped before they commit crimes.|
All of the rules for passive negatives and questions are the same as for the active voice.
Note: Verbs that have no object (no one to “receive” the action) cannot be put into the passive, such as, arrive, come, die, exist, go, happen, have, live, occur sleep, etc.
Passive Voice – Exercises
Fill in the correct passive form of the verb in parentheses.
- After the earthquake, aid was sent to the people of Haiti. (sent)
- The electricity was cut off because the bill hadn’t been paid. (not pay)
- Penicillin ______ by Alexander Fleming in 1928. (discover)
- Statements ______ from all the witnesses at this moment. (take)
- Whales ______ by an international ban on whaling. (must protect)
- Both weddings _______ by Good Taste. (cater)
- A Picasso ____ from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.(steal)
- ____ this washing machine ______in Germany? (make)
- Tea _____ in China. (grow)
- When we reached the airport, we found that all the flights____ due to the storm. (cancel)
- The fax _____ until tomorrow morning. (not send)
- The soundtrack of a movie _____ always _____ after the filming is finished. (is/add)
- was discovered
- are being taken
- must be protected
- were catered
- was stolen
- is grown
- had been cancelled
- won’t be sent