- The passive
- verbs followed by gerund or infinitive /a list of verbs followed by gerunds for infinitives
Use of Passive
Passive voice is used when the focus is on the action. It is not important or not known, 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, 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)
1- VERBS THAT CAN HAVE INFINITIVE OR GERUND OBJECTS,
with little or no difference in meaning:
Begin I begin to understand I begin doing the exercises
2-VERBS THAT CAN HAVE GERUND OBJECTS, BUT NOT INFINITIVES:
like I like doing that
all the verbs followed by a preposition I gave up swimming in the rivers, it was too dangerous.
love /prefer/ hate/ admit/ avoid/ allow/consider/deny/miss/can’t stand/suggest/don’t mind
3- VERBS THAT CAN HAVE INFINITIVE OBJECTS, BUT NOT GERUNDS:
want I want to go
would like to / decide /hope /expect/ agree/ choose/intend/ refuse/ask/promise/wish/offer
/plan/manage/can’ t afford/persuade/invite/help/advise/
4 VERBS THAT CAN HAVE INFINITIVE OR GERUND OBJECTS,
but with a difference in meaning:
|Stop + gerund means to finish an action in progress:
Stop + to-infinitive means to interrupt an activity in order to do something else, so the infinitive is used to express a purpose: