Form of Passive
Subject + finite form of to be + Past Participle (3rd column of irregular verbs)
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
- the finite 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)
Passive voice is used when the focus is on the action.
|Simple Present||Mr Smith writes the delivery notes.||The delivery notes are written (by Mr Smith).|
|Present Progressive||Mr Smith is writing the delivery notes.||The delivery notes are being written (by Mr Smith).|
|Simple Past||Mr Smith wrote the delivery notes.||The delivery notes were written (by Mr Smith).|
|Present Perfect||Mr Smith has written the delivery notes.||The delivery notes have been written (by Mr Smith).|
|Past Perfect||Mr Smith had written the delivery notes.||The delivery notes had been written (by Mr Smith).|
|Future||Mr Smith will write the delivery notes.||The delivery notes will be written (by Mr Smith).|
|Ausiliary Verbs||Mr Smith must write the delivery notes.||The delivery notes must be written (by Mr Smith).|
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Exercise on Passive
1.Rewrite the sentences in passive voice.
- I confirm the reservation.
- We will deliver the goods immediately.
- We arranged a meeting.
- You can cancel the contract within five business days.
- They execute all orders carefully.
- You have made a mistake.
- We are processing your order.
- Jane had booked a flight.
- He has not answered our letter.
- She did not sign the contract.
2.Rewrite the sentences in passive voice.
- She sang a song. –
- Somebody hit me. –
- We stopped the bus. –
- A thief stole my car. –
- They didn’t let him go. –
- She didn’t win the prize. –
- They didn’t make their beds. –
- I did not tell them. –
- Did you tell them? –
- Did he send the letter? –
With the third conditional we talk about the past. (The first
and second conditionals talk about the future).
⇒ We talk about a condition in the past that did not happen. That
is why there is no possibility for this condition.
⇒ The third conditional is also like a dream, but with no
possibility of the dream coming true.
Last week you bought a lottery ticket. But you did not win.
⇒ We use WOULD HAVE + past participle to talk about the
impossible past result.
⇒ The important thing about the third conditional is that both
the condition and result are impossible now.
Past Perfect WOULD HAVE + Past Participle
If I had won the lottery I would have bought a car.
IF condition result
past perfect WOULD HAVE + past participle
If I had seen Mary I would have told her.
If Tara had been free yesterday I would have invited her.
If they had not passed their exam Their teacher would have been sad.
If it had rained yesterday would you have stayed at home?
If it had rained yesterday what would you have done?
result IF condition
WOULD HAVE + past participle past perfect
I would have told Mary if I had seen her.
I would have invited Tara if she had been free yesterday.
Their teacher would have been sad if they had not passed their exam.
Would you have stayed at home if it had rained yesterday?
What would you have done if it had rained yesterday?
Modals can be used in the result clause to indicate past hypothetical possibilities,
permission and advice.
If he had known, he could have given you a hand.
If you hadn’t prepared, you should have told the professor.
Second and Third Conditional Practice
Look at the following sentences concerning the problem of debt relief and complete if
the sentences they can be either second or third conditional. It is possible that the
sentence is a mix of the two.
1. If these countries _____________ (not be) so poor, they _____________ (not
need) to borrow money.
2. Many of these banks _____________ (not lend) all this money if they
_____________ (know) there would be all these problems now.
3. If some of the poorer countries _____________ (have) less corrupt governments
during the 60’s and 70’s, they _____________ (not face) these difficulties now.
4. The money _____________ (can) be spent better if they _____________ (not
buy) so many unnecessary things for the house.
5. There _____________ (not be) such a debt problem if the world _____________
(be) a fairer place!
6. If the western states _____________ (charge) less interest, the amount owed by
the poorer states _____________ (be) a lot less.
7. Some people say that if the colonial powers _____________ (take) less in the
last couple of centuries, these poor nations _____________ (be) far richer now.
8. If the debt _____________ (be) written off, it _____________ (may not be) the
end of the problem.
9. What _____________ (happen) if we _____________ (not loan) all this money
in the beginning?
- This second conditional refers to actions that will be true in the future,only if another action or situation in the future happens.
- You can also use it even if there is only A SMALL POSSIBILITY of the condition for the action being satisfied.It also works for IMAGINARY PRESENT ACTIONS, where the conditions for theaction are NOT SATISFIED.
- We use the Second Conditional for situations in the present or future WE DON’TEXPECT TO HAPPEN.
Conditional clause main clause
If + Past Simple , Would + Base Form
If I had enough money , I’d retire.
If I lost my job, I’d (would) find life very difficult. (There is no evidence – Second
• Instead of would we can use other modal verbs:
If I lost my job, I might go abroad for a while.
If the company offered me the job, I think I __________ (take) it
2. Many people would be out of work, if that factory ______ (close) down.
3. If she sold her car, she __________ (not / get) much money for it.
4. They’re expecting us. They would be disappointed if we_______
(not / come).
5. Would George be angry if I _________ (take) his bicycle without
Now fill the blanks to complete the sentence and decide either “first” or “second”
conditional, use your own imagination to complete them.
1. it rains tonight _______________
2. I am the leader of my class.___________________
3. I see my ex-boyfriend/girlfriend in the street. ______________
4. I find a lot of money in the street.___________________
5. I am the President of Mexico. _________________
6. A friend asks me to the cinema tonight. ________________
7. There is nothing to eat in the fridge when I arrive home this evening. _______
8. A tiger walks into the room NOW!!!__________________
9. I feel very tired tonight._________________
10. I have four hands. ________________
11. Our teacher falls asleep during the lesson.________________
12. I can play the piano like a professional. __________________
1st Conditional Real
We are talking about the future. We are thinking about a particular condition or situation in the future, and the result of this condition. (True or Real)
This is the context: It is morning. You are at home. You plan to play tennis this afternoon. But there are some clouds in the sky. Imagine that it rains. What will you do?
If it rains this morning, I will stay home
If it rains, I will not play tennis
IF YOU CUT A PLANT, IT WILL PRODUCE NEW ROOTS OR STEMS.
IF YOUR FATHER MOWSTHE LAWN, iT WILL GROW AGAIN.
IF YOU STOP WATERING,THE GRASS WILL GROW LESS
You mean to mow the lawn instead of saying to cut , however, in relation to plants, you can speak about “Plant cutting”, also known as striking or cloning.
2 We ___________________ if the weather’s good. (to go)
3 They ___________________ you if you don’t wear a wig and dark glasses. (to recognize)
4 If the bus ___________________ on time, we won’t miss the football game. (to be)
in an active sentence the subject is the person or thing that does the action ( the agent):
Subject ( agent) verb object
The boy broke the glass
- In a passive sentence the subject is the object of the active sentence. If we wish to include the agent, we use the preposition by:
- Active: Subject ( agent) verb object
- The boy broke the glass
- Passive: Subject passive verb (by + agent)
- The glass was broken by the boy
The passive is formed with subject + verb to be+ past participle
- The passive is used when the main focus of a sentence is something other than the agent:
When the agent is not important:
Bungee-jumping was invented in New Zealand. ( By whom is not important so we leave it out)
- When the agent is obvious or unknown:
The murderer was arrested. ( Obviously the police arrested him)
- We use the pasive to describe processess:
The bottles are cleaned.They are made into new bottles and they are used for beer, sauces, water, etc.Then they are taken to the recycling plant.
Exercise on Passive Voice – Simple Present
Rewrite the sentences in passive voice.
- He opens the door. –
- We set the table. –
- She pays a lot of money. –
- I draw a picture. –
- They wear blue shoes. –
- They don’t help you. –
- He doesn’t open the book. –
- You do not write the letter. –
- Does your mum pick you up? –
- Does the police officer catch the thief? –
EXERCISES ONLINE / KEY ANSWERS
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Reported speech 1
“We use reported speech when we are saying what other people say, think or believe.
- He says he wants it.
- We think you are right.
- I believe he loves her.
- Yesterday you said you didn’t like it but now you do!
- She told me he had asked her to marry him.
- I told you she was ill.
- We thought he was in Australia.
When we are reporting things in the present, future or present perfect we don’t change the tense.
- He thinks he loves her.
- I’ll tell her you are coming.
- He has said he’ll do it.
When we tell people what someone has said in the past, we generally make the tense ‘more in the past’.
- You look very nice. = I told him he looked very nice.
- He’s working in Siberia now. = She told me he was working in Siberia now.
- Polly has bought a new car. = She said Polly had bought a new car.
- Jo can’t come for the weekend. = She said Jo couldn’t come for the weekend.
- Paul called and left a message. = He told me Paul had called and had left me a message.
- I’ll give you a hand. = He said he would give me a hand.
However, when we are reporting something that was said in the past but is still true, it is not obligatory to make the tense ‘more in the past’. The choice is up to the speaker. For example:
“The train doesn’t stop here.”
- He said the train doesn’t stop here.
- He said the train didn’t stop here.
“I like Sarah.”
- She said she likes Sarah.
- She said she liked Sarah.
When we are reporting what was said, we sometimes have to change other words in the sentence.
We have to change the pronoun if we are reporting what someone else said. Compare these two sentences. In each case the person actually said “I don’t want to go.”
- I said I didn’t want to go.
- Bill said he didn’t want to go.
We have to change words referring to ‘here and now’ if we are reporting what was said in a different place or time.
Compare these two sentences. In each case the person actually said “I’ll be there at ten tomorrow.”
- (If it is later the same day) He said he would be there at ten tomorrow.
- (If it is the next day) He said he would be there at ten today.
Now compare these two sentences.
- (If we are in a different place) He said he would be there tomorrow at ten.
- (If we are in the place he is coming to) He said he would be here at ten tomorrow.
Reported speech 2
We also use reported speech when we are saying what other people asked or wanted to know. We do not use do or question marks in indirect questions.
- “What time is it?” = He asked me what time it was.
- “Why hasn’t he come? = She wondered why he hadn’t come.
- “When will you be arriving?” = He wanted to know when we would be arriving.
- “What were you doing?” = They questioned him about what he had been doing.
We use the same structure when we report answers.
- “147 Oak Street.” = I told him what my address was.
- “I didn’t have time to do it.” = She explained why she hadn’t done it.
- “Look at this dress and bag.” = She showed me what she had bought.
- “Put the paper here and press this button.” = He demonstrated how the scanner worked.
Yes/no questions are reported with if or whether.
- Do you want a ride? = Mike asked me if I wanted a ride.
- Are you coming? = They wanted to know if I was coming.
- Will you be here later? = She asked me whether I would be here later.