Use of Passive
Passive voice is used when the focus 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 bike was 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, I focus 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 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)
These sentences use “get” in the passive voice:
(instead of the verb “be”)
1. He and his girlfriend are going to get married this summer.
2. When did that old building get built?
3. I got picked up by my brother at the airport.
4. The dog gets fed every morning.
5. She got hired by the company in 2003.
When you use “get” to make the passive voice and the verb is negative, don’t forget to add “do” or “did” for the present tense and the past tense:
1. He gets paid on Friday. / He doesn’t get paid on Monday.
2. She got hired for that job. / She didn’t get hired until last week.
3. They get fed at noon. / They don’t get fed in the afternoon.
4. The window got fixed. / The window didn’t get fixeduntil I called about it.