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Rebecca McCarthy

on 20 March 2014

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Transcript of Passives!

"There are raspberries and blackberries in the tart."

This isn't a passive sentence, but the logical subject doesn't open the sentence. This is an example of passive look-alikes.

"The library is located on the other side of the campus."

This is another example of a sentence that looks like a passive sentence, and yet it isn't.

The key to discovering if a sentence is truly passive is to change it into what would be the active form.

"Someone locates the library on the other side of campus."

Nope, that doesn't work. so this must be a Stative Passive sentence, which isn't passive at all, just a look-alike there for your confusion.
Identification and Constraints
The first business located at the southwest corner of North Washington and East Main Streets
a two story frame hotel,
in 1855 by James Campbell.
The hotel
was destroyed
by fire in the early 1860′s and the lot stood vacant until it
was purchased
in 1870 to build a new four story hotel & general merchandising store, called the Newell House Hotel. The building
was constructed
in 1871-72 and was one of the town’s most impressive buildings of that era.
Get passives look-Alikes
Get + participial Adjective/ adjective

Get means "become" and is followed by a participial Adjective.

His explanation is getting complicated.

Sentences in which get means become do not have active

He got stuck in the elevator / someone stuck him in the elevator

the participle can be preceded by words and expressions that
relate to becoming. (gradually, more and more, etc)

Education is getting
(more and more)

If the sentences is a get passive, then the rule above will not apply.

We're getting paid * we're getting more and more paid

participial adjectives after get can be usually modified by adverbs
Indicating degree (more, less, very, a little , somewhat, etc)

After waiting an hour she got
(a little)

Get is followed by a number of regular adjectives
(angry, anxious, busy, cold, hungry, etc)
get has the meaning of become in these cases.
Other Types of Passive Sentences!
Get and Have:

When the subject is understood as the cause of the action then the sentence is not a true passive!

"Rebecca had a nail technician at the mall repair her nails." = Active

"Rebecca had her nails repaired by a nail technician at the mall." = Passive

"Get" and "have" both work in the sentence above.

Now, what if we said this:

"After she began attending SIU, Denice got Rebecca expelled from the popular group."

This means that Denice pulled a Mean Girls and actively did something to oust Rebecca from the group.

"After she began attending SIU, Denice had Rebecca expelled from the popular group."

This means that Denice ordered one of her minions to oust Rebecca, which means THIS sentence is passive.

What type of verbs was constantly used?

How do you know that?

Why do you think
(the form) was inflected?
Get passives
Get passives cannot occur with verbs that describe cognition.
(comprehend, know, understand)

His solution to the problem was
by everyone.

His solution to the problem
got understood
by everyone.

have the same meaning as passive sentences formed with

Our house (was/got) broken into last year.

Get passives with human subjects can sometimes imply that the
subject is responsible for the action expressed in the sentence.

I got invited to Rebecca's birthday party. ( I begged her to invite me)

I was invited to Rebecca's birthday party. ( I had nothing to do with it)
How familiar are you with passive?
What is missing ?
What tense are these
Constraints on forming passive sentences

must be
(i.e. followed by a
NP, PP, or a compliment
) the verb must have an
- The boy kicked the ball. NP
- I
slept in
this bed. PP
- Everyone knew that John could win. Comp

. Some
stative verbs
cannot be passivized. This is because these verbs do not affect their objects such as (cost, contain, equal,resemble, and weigh).
- Sarah resembles her mother. active
* Her mother
is resembled
by Sarah. passive
- Red bull contains Alcohol. active
* Alcohol
is contained
by Red bull. passive
Constrains continues
Multiword verbs
vary according to their acceptance of being converted from "active" to "passive" voice. Some can be converted while others cannot.
separable transitive phrasal verbs accept passive:
- Someone
brought up
the subject in the conference. active
The subject
was brought up
by someone in the conference. passive
Inseparable transitive phrasal verbs do not accept passive:
While tidying her bedroom, she came across an old letter. active
* While tidying her bedroom, an old letter
was come across
by her. passive
look after (care for), look into (investigate), and pick on (mistreat)
Some permanently separated transitive phrasal verbs accept passive:
- ask (someone) out and let (someone) off Rose was asked out by John.
Others do not passivize well:
get (someone) down and see (something) through
- The news got him down. active
* He
was gotten down
by the news. passive
Most prepositional verbs accept passive but a few do not accept it or do not sound good:
(abide by, adjust to, agree with, bank on, and run for)
- John ran for the office. active
* The office was run for by John. passive
- They couldn't agree with the idea. active
? The idea couldn't be agreed with by them. passive
Phrasal prepositional verbs do not accept passive:
including (break up with, close in on, come down with, cut down on, end up with, get along with, get down to, go in for, and put up with)
- The girl put up with his bossy attitude. active
* His bossy attitude
was put up with
by the girl. passive

look forward to
4. For Dative verbs
do not appear in passive and considered ungrammatical for AME speakers in the dative movement pattern. (bake, catch, and find)
- Sam baked a delicious cake for John. active (prepositional pattern)
A delicious cake was baked for John by Sam. passive
- Sam baked John a delicious cake. active (dative movement pattern)
* John was baked a delicious cake by Same. passive
Forming passive sentences
Mike pay the bill.

The bill is paid by Mike.
NP: subject Verb NP: object
Subject verb agreement
Students parse sentences.
s are
parsed by students.

Students parse sentence.
parsed by students.
Tense and aspect
Simple present

Students parse sentences.

by students.

Present progressive

Students are parsing sentences.
are being

by students.

Present perfect

Students have parsed sentences.
have been

by students.

Present perfect progressive

Students have been parsing sentences.
have been being

by students.
Passive subject
Direct object

The dean dismissed the professor.
The professor was dismissed by the dean.

Indirect object

Ben gave Suzy many presents.
Suzy was given many presents by Ben.

Object of preposition

Presidents have slept in this bed.
This bed has been slept in by presidents.

Object complement

Everyone recognized that he was a policeman.
That he was a policeman was recognized by everyone.

Stative Passives
As the book tells us, this is a tricky sentence, but really it is just "a case in which the past participle is a participial adjective in predicative position following 'be'" (Cowan 2008).

What does all that mean? Well, to help myself understand it I tried to translated it into colloquial English: "located" is modifying the library's state while working with the "be" verb.

Remember, passives don't play well with:

Stative verbs (contain, cost, equal, weigh)
Multiword verbs (fall for, come across, get... down, see... through)
'For' dative verbs (bake, catch, find)

Don't be fooled
by 'be' + past participles acting as adjectives!

"He saw that the pitcher was smashed to bits."

The pitcher is not our subject, so this isn't passive!
Two Types of passive sentences
Passive without agent "by" phrase
Agentless/ short passive:
The agent is unknown.
The speaker does not want to reveal the agent.
the agent is understood.
The writer is interested more in the action being reported than in the agent.
Passive with agent "by" phrase.
Long Passive:
Using Passive Sentences
Give - New Contract
Given or old information comes first, followed by new information.

Principle of End Weight
Long, complex NP at end of sentence.

For desert I had a piece of a wonderfully delicious cake. It was mad by the new pastry chef.
ex: I was approached by a man wearing dark glasses, a wide-brimmed hat, and a black scarf.
A general suggestion to all ESL teachers for making Ss recognize the passive form of a sentence is by telling Ss to try to add the phrase
"by zombies"
after the verb even though semantically it may not make sense!
Arab speakers' errors
In Arabic, there are no
auxiliary verbs
and so, Arab Ss may miss it.
in Arabic is determined by the verb as there is no any other verb in one sentence.
is different from English. In Eng: S +V + O In Arabic: V +S+ O
Ali almaa. "Ali drank water." passive:
alma'u. " Drunk water." *The water drunk OR * was drunk water. The water was drunk .
Get passives

Get + past part

John got arrested.

Get passives are generally considered more informal than be passives.

Frequently used to talk about events that affect the subject in an adverse way.

Susan got fired.

It can also express events that have no adverse implication
(benefit the subject)

Susan got promoted last week.

Happenstance Passives

for the ESL teachers

-Explain how to create passive sentences.
-Teach the differences in forms between the two languages.
"My sister had her house burgled last week."

"My friend had her purse stolen in Chicago."

These series of unfortunate events are called "Happenstance Passives".
A happenstance passive can be rewritten as a "be" passive.

"My house was burgled." "Kara's purse was stolen."

Happenstance passives can
LOOK like
"get or have" passives.
Concealed Passives!
"This essay
by the editor."

The above sentence is NOT passive! It just looks that way.

"This essay
to be
carefully checked
by the editor."

This is far more British English, but still, beware the words
, and
, as it may be an active sentence in passive clothing.
Pseudo-Passives, Mistakes by Chinese Learners
"These ways can
into two types."

The sentence above is NOT a passive, but a pseudo-passive. The book refers to this as an "abortive attempt" at creating passives in English

"These ways can
be classified
into two types.

The book tells us this is an L1 transfer problem from Chinese into English.

"Zhexie fangfa keyi fen liang zhong."

Direct translation: "These ways can separate two types."
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