10. The Passive

10. The Passive

Tim shows girlfriend, Jane, the tree house.

Main practice:   the Passive
Revision:             the Present Perfect  -  should  (predicting future likely event)

The Passive  -  be + past participle
The object of the verb becomes the subject, i.e.
- She has written the report. (Active)
- The report has been written. (Passive - we use by to mention the doer of the action, i.e
                                                         The report has been written by Susan.)

We use the Passive:
- to focus on the action, not the doer
  •    This picture was painted by Picasso.

- when the doer is unknown or not important
  •   The bridge was built in the twelth century.

-    when the doer is 'people in general
  • Her singing is loved all over the world.

that's really something  -  that's really great, i.e.
- Do you like my painting; I've just finished it?
- Wow, that's really something.

nails  -  small metal spikes used to hold pieces of wood together

wiring  -  system of wires to carry electric current around a building

Tim shows his girlfriend, Jane, the tree house his parents have had built in the garden. 

Jane hasn't been to Tim's house for a long time and the tree house was built two months ago. Tim therefore uses the Past Simple Passive. If the tree house had been built just a few days ago, i.e. very recently, what form of the Passive would Tim have probably used then? (Answer below***)

Complete the sentences with the correct form of the verb. 

Remember: we usually contract pronouns and auxilary verbs in spoken English, i.e.
I have - I've    -  we are - we're, etc.

Tim: Do you like our tree house?

Jane: Wow, that's really something.

Tim: It  (build) by an old friend of Dad's.

Jane: It's the best tree house ever (see).

Tim: The tree (damage) at all. No branches  (cut), and no nails    

Jane: But it'll be cold in winter.

Tim: No, it won't: electric wiring * (put in) soon and we'll have electric heaters.
          And the glass for the windows should (do) **by this weekend.

Jane: So when can we have a party up there?

Tim: Well, Dad says it'll (finish) in about three weeks.

* is going to be put in is also possible.

** by this weekend - this would usually mean: before the weekend 

*** Present Perfect Passive for a recent action, i.e.
It's been built by an old friend of Dad's.
The tree hasn't been damaged at all.   etc. etc. 


Complete the sentences with the correct form the Passive.

Clue: use the Present Perfect Passive for recent action, apart from two examples where you need to think ‘future'.

Oh, yes, the house completely (modernise). Two en-suite

bedrooms  (add) and a new staircase (build).

All the rooms  (receive) new flooring and completely

(redecorate). In the kitchen the latest equipment

(install) and all the electrics (rewire). Over the next few weeks

new fencing * (put up) around the property and a double garage  

* (construct) at the side. At one million pounds I'd say the

house realistically (price - as a verb).

* is going to be put up / constructed   are also possible.