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Transcript of Passive Voice
The Middle Voice
Somebody broke the window.
Scholarism’s account on Weibo, China’s most popular microblogging service, has been frozen, the
South China Moring Post
"Lost" Season 6 episode 10
"Get" as an alternative to "be"
Intransitive verbs used in middle voice
Verbs of occurrence: happen, occur, take place
Verbs that can be used in a construction in which the same noun phrase can serve as a
when the verb is
, and as a direct
when the verb is
Get in questions and negatives
A: Was Nick paid for tutoring in IECP?
B: No, he was not paid.
By Xiaonan and Peng
Active Voice First
Someone attacked us.
ed chairman of the committee.
elected chairman of the committee.
Got Nick paid for tutoring in IECP?
No, he got not paid.
A: Did Nick get paid for tutoring in IECP?
B: No, he didn't get paid.
in perfect progressive
For a long time, blacks - and especially young black males - have
been getting bullied
by the police.
?For a long time, blacks - and especially young black males - have
been being bullied
by the police.
in Corpus Of Contemporary American English (COCA)
eg. been getting stranded, bullied, hammered, slammed, attacked...
is about passive voice...
often used adversely
, you get up, and you go out, and you hit back harder.
You can easily get
in other people's views of you.
It was our men vote them in, before the voting right get
You do wrong, you get
The window broke.
The window was broken by somebody.
Common Ergative verbs suggest change of state,
such as: open, close,break, change, develop, finish, increase, melt, etc.
Classrooms no longer need to be stationary, and learning can
Verbs of inherently directed motion: arrive, fall, rise, emerge, go
"Active in form but passive in sense"
Verbs of description: appear, disappear, vanish
Just three hours after it collided with an iceberg, the majestic Titanic
beneath the cold waters of the North Atlantic.
One last thing about middle voice...
The verb used ergatively does not permit an agent
The window broke
by the gang
A Quick Practice
Tell the differences you notice in passive voice
Now close your eyes...
I'm gonna make some changes in this classroom...
The agent is unknown
The consensus opinion of Wall Street economists is that 215.000 jobs were created in September, up from a disappointing 142.000 in August, according to Bespoke investment Group. The unemployment rate is expected to remain unchanged at 6.1%.
The agent is very general
The writer is being tactful
Tom and Mark, two brothers, are preparing their home for the zombie apocalypse. Tom is throwing canned goods across the room to Mark,
who is stacking them on a shelf. They continue to throw canned goods across the room, despite knowing that it is against their mother's wishes. Tom throws a can of creamy corn to Mark and accidentally hits a vase. The vase breaks into pieces. Their mother asks what happened.
The responses could go as follows:
Mark: "Tom threw the creamy corn and broke the vase."
Tom: "The vase was broken when the creamy corn was thrown at it."
The speaker is being evasive
117,651 That’s how many vehicles are being recalled in North America in the last safety action by General Motors. The problem is a potential short circuit in a chassis control module defect that could cause the engine to stall. GM said it would park about 4,500 unsold vehicles until the repairs can be made.
To avoid redundancy
PSU student killed in crash
I was a young Columbia man while I worked in a cafeteria from 6:30 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. I
was much respected
by the management, even though I drove the people I worked with insane. I had standards they couldn’t cope with.
The ends of a spindle were suspended from a bracket protruding to one side of the sledge frame.
We suspended the ends of a spindle from a bracket protruding to one side of the sledge frame.(Banks, 1997)
Whose story are you telling?
(a) Smith notified Jones on the morning of April 7 concerning the lost shipment.
(b) On the morning of April 7, Jones was informed of the lost shipment by Smith.
Topicalize the receiver
What to watch ‘Jobs Friday’ puts focus on Fed, stocks
USA TODAY, Friday, October 3,2014
When to use passive voice
HongKong’s executive, protesters agree to talks
USA TODAY, Friday, October 3, 2014, P 4A News
Writing Clear and Effective Legal Prose
by George D. Gopen
Number of the day
from USA TODAY
Centre Daily Times
"We are profoundly saddened by this tragic event. It is always painful to hear the loss of any student, and our hearts go out to his family and friends."
Student dies after one-car crash
The Daily Collegian, Monday, Sep.29, 2014
He was disappointed and saddened that legal argument had stopped the trial.
Emphasize and focus on the overwhelming feeling and emotion ? ?
, found in Thompson 1987
The room was entered by Dr. Wheeler, at which point words of advice
regarding active verbs were spoken by him. It was decided by the rebellious
class that the final paper of the semester would be written entirely in passive
voice. Remarks were made by a distraught Wheeler; protests were made by
the students. A seat was gotten out of by one student. His desk was stood
upon by him, and a vow was made by him that he would never write another
active sentence. He was challenged to a duel. Blood was shed. Butts were
kicked. Lives were lost. Shrieks could be heard. The halls of Henderson
were run down by people who were concerned. When the room was entered
by them, carnage was seen by them. When Wheeler was found standing over
the bodies, only these words were spoken by him: "Mistakes were made."