English grammar passive tense, an introduction.
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Some people find the English grammar passive tense a bit confusing, but in reality it is very simple.
Read this sentence:
Ridley Scott directed the Martian movie.
In this sentence we are interested in Ridley Scott, the director of the movie.
This is an active sentence because the focus is on the subject (person), Ridley Scott.
Now read this sentence:
The drama/action movie based on Mars the Martian was directed by Ridley Scott.
In this sentence we are more interested in the movie not the director.
This is a passive sentence because the focus is on the object (thing) the movie.
The passive is formed:
The verb to be + past participle (3rd form)
The motorway was (to be) finished (past particle) in 1996.
The passive is used a lot in impersonal and formal situations such as legal documents and notices.
The law was written in 2013 and now needs to be reviewed.
Customers are reminded that the store will close in 20 minutes.
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Text by Tutor Feargal 3rd September 2016
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