Passive voice

Champagne is made in France. This house was built in 1720. The room has been redecorated. We form the passive voice with the verb to be + past participle. The object of the active sentence becomes the subject of the passive sentence.

Active: They grow coffee in Brazil.
Passive: Coffee is grown in Brazil.
We use the passive when we don’t need to know, are not interested in or don’t want to say who or what does the action (called the ‘agent’).
If we give the agent, we use ‘by’ (Hamlet was written by Shakespeare).
We can only form a passive sentence from an active sentence when there is an object in the active sentence.

Examples of ACTIVE and PASSIVE sentences:

Bob is writing a letter. (active)
The window was broken last night. (passive)
I have bought new shoes. (active)
James was robbed in the street. (passive)
Nobody was injured in the accident. (passive)
The date of the meeting has been changed. (passive)
The Chinese invented paper. (active)
Paper was invented by the Chinese. (passive)

Glossary

passive voice – trpný rod
object – předmět
subject – podmět
to grow – růst/pěstovat
to be interested in – zajímat se o

was robbed – byl oloupen/okraden
was injured – byl zraněn
accident – nehoda
to invent – vynalézt/objevit

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