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Voz Passiva - Passive Voice

Vozes verbais

As vozes de um verbo estabelecem a relação entre o sujeito e a ação expressa por este
verbo. O sujeito pratica ou sofre a ação, isto é, o sujeito é agente ou paciente. Quando
o sujeito é o agente, temos a voz ativa (active voice) e, quando o sujeito é o paciente,
temos a voz passiva (passive voice).

Para formar a voz passiva em inglês, usamos o verbo to be seguido do particípio


passado do verbo principal¹. Quando necessário, o agente da passiva é precedido pela
preposição by. À semelhança do Português, o objeto da voz ativa passa a ser o sujeito
da voz passiva, e o sujeito da voz ativa passa a ser o agente da voz passiva. Veja alguns
exemplos:

Active voice
Shakespeare wrote Hamlet.
(sujeito) (objeto)

Passive voice
Hamlet was written by Shakespeare.
(sujeito) (ag. da passiva)

Active voice
Genes transmit character.
(sujeito) (objeto)

Passive voice
Character is transmitted by genes.
(sujeito) (ag. da passiva)

Active voice
All the members of the board accepted the proposal.
(sujeito) (objeto)

Passive voice
The proposal was accepted by all the members of the board.
(sujeito) (agente da passiva)

Active voice
Alexander Bell invented the telephone in 1876.
(sujeito) (objeto)

Passive voice
The telephone was invented by Alexander Bell in 1876.
(sujeito) (ag. da passiva)
Observa que o verbo to be na voz passiva é conjugado sempre no mesmo tempo
verbal do verbo principal da voz ativa. Atente para o seguinte quadro:

Quando se passa uma frase da voz ativa para a voz passiva:

a) o objeto da voz ativa torna-se sujeito da voz passiva;

b) o sujeito da voz ativa torna-se agente da passiva precedido por by quando for
necessário;

c) o verbo to be na voz passiva é conjugado sempre no mesmo tempo verbal do verbo


principal da voz ativa;

d) o verbo principal da voz ativa passa para o particípio passado na voz passiva.

Particípio passado dos verbos irregulares:


PASSADO PARTICÍPIO
INFINITIVO TRADUÇÃO
SIMPLES PASSADO
to arise arose arisen erguer, levantar
to awake awoke awoken acordar, despertar-se
to be was / were been ser, estar, ficar
to bear bore borne suportar, aguentar
bater, superar, vencer, derrotar,
to beat beat beaten
espancar
to become became become tornar-se
to begin began begun começar, iniciar
to bet bet bet apostar
to bite bit bitten morder
to bleed bled bled sangrar
to break broke broken quebrar
to bring brought brought trazer
to build built built construir
to burn burnt/burned burnt/burned queimar
to buy bought bought comprar
to cast cast cast lançar
to catch caught caught pegar, agarrar
to choose chose chosen escolher
to come came come vir
to cost cost cost custar
to cut cut cut cortar
to deal dealt dealt tratar, lidar
to dig dug dug cavar, escavar
to do did done fazer
to draw drew drawn desenhar, traçar, puxar, arrastar
dreamt /
to dream dreamt / dreamed sonhar
dreamed
to drink drank drunk beber
to drive drove driven dirigir, guiar
to eat ate eaten comer
cair, desaguar, abater-se, decrescer,
to fall fell fallen
diminuir
to feed fed fed alimentar, nutrir
to feel felt felt sentir, notar
to fight fought fought lutar, brigar
to find found found achar, encontrar
servir, ajustar, adaptar, caber,
to fit fitted fitted
assentar.
to fly flew flown voar
to forbid forbade forbidden proibir
to forget forgot forgotten esquecer(-se)
to forgive forgave forgiven perdoar
to freeze froze frozen congelar, gelar
to get got got / gotten obter, conseguir
to give gave given dar
to go went gone ir
to grow grew grown crescer, florescer, germinar
to hang hung hung pendurar, suspender
to have had had ter, possuir
to hear heard heard ouvir, escutar, ter notícias
to hide hid hidden esconder(-se), ocultar
to hit hit hit bater
to hold held held segurar, agarrar
to hurt hurt hurt ferir(-se)
to keep kept kept manter, conservar, preservar
to know knew known saber, conhecer
to lay laid laid pôr, colocar, derrubar, deitar
to lead led led conduzir, liderar, dirigir, comandar
to learn learnt / learned learnt / learned aprender, ficar sabendo
to leave left left partir, deixar, sair
to lend lent lent emprestar
to let let let permitir, deixar
to lie lay lain deitar, jazer
to lose lost lost perder
to light lit lit acender, iluminar
1 – Rewrite the following sentences in the passive voice.

a) I will take the children to the cinema.


b) The girls have prepared this delicious cake.
c) The students wrote these interesting texts about the school trip.
d) The customers have just read the notice.
e) Many people study English at language schools.
f) The Smiths bought the green house.
g) We should give teenagers an opportunity to get a job.
h) Everybody can visit the cathedral from 1 pm to 6 pm.
i) A taxi drove them home.
j) Someone is repairing the damage in our building.
k) Lots of teenagers watch this programme every day.
l) I can’t exchange the shoes without a receipt.
m) We must vacate the room by 12 pm.
n) Someone has stolen my car.
o) She was asked about her name and address. (Someone)
p) Educators should tell the students about the harmful influence of popular
culture.( The students)
q) The popular commercial culture often shows us negative pictures of the Arabs.
(We)
r) They followed more than 10,000 people over 6 years. (More than)
s) Bad sleeping affects productivity and health. (Productivity)
t) The risk takers and visionaries of this agency have expanded human knowledge.
(Human knowledge)
u) Somebody has answered the letter. (The letter)
v) People are studying foreign languages (foreign languages)
w) The students will prepare the assignment. (the assignment)
x) They will install a new computer centre in the university. (a new computer
centre)
y) A fire is threatening the university library. (the university library)
z) The professors were discussing the problem when we arrived. (the problem)
aa) Many people speak English all over the world. (English)
bb) They received a letter from relatives who live in Paris. (a letter)
cc) In some countries many people use their mobile phones to send e-mail
messages. (mobile phones)
dd) Sarah is sending an e-mail. (An e-mail)
ee) They are searching for a criminal. (A criminal)
ff) They reported a cyber crime. (a cyber crime)
gg) They told me about the disaster. (I)

2 - Passive – Active:

a) She was helped by her mother. (Her mother)


b) Arab men are seen by the American people as violent terrorists. (The American
people)
c) They were told strange news by the foreigners. (the foreigners)
d) They must be explained about the problem. (someone)
e) Students have been taught the Passive Voice. (Teachers)
f) They are being supported by their parents. (their parents)
g) Some diseases are probably caused by cell phones. (Cell phones)
h) Jenny was told about him. (People)
i) The policemen was informed about the case. (Someone)
j) We were helped by the teacher. (the teacher)
k) She will be punished. (they)
l) He can develop new friendships. (new friendships)

3 - Passive with modals

a) I gave him a present.( He)


b) She is reading the textbook.( The textbook)
c) Somebody sent me a card. (I)
d) They can't express their feelings.( Their feelings)
e) People must respect the others. (The others)
f) They could be judged. (People)
g) We can prevent the destruction of old documents. (the destruction of old
documents)
h) Living abroad can change our view of the world. (our view of the world)
i) I can send you the assignment later. (You)
Solutions
1 – Rewrite the following sentences in the passive voice.
a. The children will be taken to the cinema.
b. This delicious cake has been prepared by the girls.
c. These interesting texts about the school trip were written by the students.
d. The notice has just been read by the customers.
e. English is studied (by many people) at language schools (by many people).
f. The green house was bought by the Smiths.
g. Teenagers should be given an opportunity to get a job.
h. The cathedral can be visited from 1 pm to 6 pm.
i. They were driven home by a taxi.
j. The damage in our building is being repaired.
k. This programme is watched (by lots of teenagers) every day (by lots of
teenagers).
l. The shoes can't be exchanged without a receipt.
m. The room must be vacated by 12 pm.
n. My car has been stolen.
o. Someone asked about her name and address.
p. The students should be told about the harmful influence of popular culture by
educators.
q. We are often showed negative pictures of the Arabs by the popular commercial
culture.
r. More than 10,000 people were followed (by them).
s. Productivity and health are affected by bad sleeping.
t. Human knowledge has been expanded by the risk takers and visionaries of this
agency.
u. The letter has been answered.
v. Foreign languages are being studied.
w. The assignment will be prepared by the students.
x. A new computer centre will be installed (by them) in the university.
y. The university library is being threaded by a fire.
z. The problem was being discussed by the professors when we arrived.
aa. English is spoken all over the world by many people.
bb. A letter was received from relatives who live in Paris (by them).
cc. Mobile phones are used to send e-mail messages in some countries by many
people.
dd. An e-mail is being sent by Sarah.
ee. A criminal is being searched for (by them).
ff. A cyber crime was reported (by them).
gg. I was told about the disaster (by them).

2 - Passive – Active:
a) Her mother helped her.
b) The American people see Arab men as violent terrorists.
c) The foreigners told them strange news.
d) Someone must explain them about the problem.
e) Teachers have thought students the Passive Voice.
f) Their parents are supporting them.
g) Cell phones probably cause some diseases.
h) People told Jenny about him.
i) Someone informed the policemen about the case.
j) The teacher helped us.
k) They will be punish her.
l) New friendships can be developed by him.

3 - Passive with modals


a) He was given by me a present.
b) The textbook is being read by her.
c) I was sent a card.
d) Their feelings can’t be expressed (by them).
e) The others must be respect.
f) People could judge them.
g) The destruction of old documents can be prevent by us.
h) Our view of the world can be changed by living abroad.
i) You can be sent the
We use the terms active voice and passive voice to talk about ways of organising the
content of a clause:

Cambridge University Press published this book. (active)

This book was published by Cambridge University Press. (passive)

The active voice is the typical word order. We put the subject (the topic or the theme)
first. The subject is the ‘doer’ or agent of the verb:

Edward Barnes designed these houses in the 1880s. (active)

In the passive, the person or thing that the action was done to becomes the topic or
theme. We can leave out the ‘doer’ or agent, or we can place the ‘doer’ in a
prepositional phrase (by + ‘doer’):

These houses were designed in the 1880s. (passive without agent)

These houses were designed in the 1880s by Edward Barnes. (passive + by + agent)

We use the passive when we want to change the focus of a clause, or if the doer of the
verb is not important or not known or if we do not want to say who the doer is.

Passive: forms

Be + -ed

The most common passive structure is be + -ed form:

Five million people watch the show every week. (active present simple of watch)

The show is watched by five million people every week. (passive present simple of be +
-ed form of watch)

Tenses and the passive

We use passive forms of tenses in the same way as we use their active equivalents. For
example, we use the present simple in the passive to talk about general or permanent
states, or general facts we think are true at the present time:

Mr Lloyd and Mrs James teach Geography. (present simple active)

Geography is taught by Mr Lloyd and Mrs James. (present simple passive)


We don’t often use perfect continuous forms (have/has been being + -ed form) in a
passive structure. We usually find a way to reword sentences like this.

Compare

The house has been being renovatedfor not common, we usually


almost a year. avoid this form

They have been renovating the house for


preferred form
almost a year.

Verbs and the passive

We can form passive structures with verbs that are followed by an object (transitive
verbs) and some clauses where the verb is followed by a preposition:

My favourite mug was broken. (Someone broke my favourite mug.)

Their car was broken into and the radio was taken. (Someone broke into their car and
took their radio.)

The holiday hasn’t been paid for yet. (No one has paid for the holiday yet.)

We can’t make passive forms from verbs which do not have objects (intransitive
verbs):

The parcel arrived in the post this morning.

Not: The parcel was arrived …

We don’t usually use the passive with some verbs that describe a state or situation
(state verbs):

They were having lunch.

Not: Lunch was being had.

Some verbs are more common in the passive than the active voice. These include be
born, be populated, be stranded, be taken aback:

Where were you born?


Thousands of passengers have been stranded at airports all over Europe after heavy
snowfalls.

Verbs with two objects

When verbs have two objects, either object can be the theme or subject of the passive
structure, depending on what we want to focus on:

Her mother gave each child a present. (active)

A present was given to each child (by her mother). (passive)

Each child was given a present (by her mother). (passive)

Linking verbs

We don’t form passive structures with verbs like be, become, seem where the
complement of the verb refers back to the subject (linking verbs):

After six years of training she has finally become a doctor.

Passives with an agent

We use the preposition by to introduce the doer or the agent of the action. We use
this structure when the agent is important:

Mr Ward has been arrested by the FBI.

The community was destroyed by a flood in 1862.

When the subject of the passive clause is not the real agent of the verb, we use other
prepositions in passive structures:

I’d been decorating the bedroom and I was covered in paint. (Paint isn’t the real agent;
I am the agent; I was painting.)

When the doer or agent of the action is an instrument, we use with:

The door was smashed open with a hammer.


Passives without an agent

Passive structures without an agent are very common. We use these structures when
an agent is not important, or is unknown or obvious:

All applications must be received before 31 July.

The data was analysed and the results have just been published.

I walked to work. The car’s being repaired.

It and there

We often use an impersonal expression with it or there when the agent is not
important:

It was decided to charge £10 per ticket.

It has been estimated that in Tanzania one elephant in three is an orphan.

There were no comments given about the proposal and no decisions made. (No
comments were given … no decisions were made.)

Passive: uses

Using the passive allows the speaker or writer to make choices about what is
important.

We use the passive for different reasons. We sometimes use it to give focus to
something. We can also use it because we don’t know the identity of the ‘doer’ or
because it’s not important to know who or what did the action. In addition, we use it
to be impersonal and create distance.

We often use passives without agents in academic and technical contexts when the
process or actions are more significant than who or what did them:

A sample was taken and injected into a tube.

In this study, children’s eye movements were recorded while they listened to a series of
messages.

We often use passive forms of reporting verbs (believe, think, say, consider, find) to
create distance from personal statements and focus more on impersonal processes:
Police are looking for a man in his 30s. He is believed to be dangerous.

In some cultures blowing your nose in public is considered impolite.

When we want to give emphasis to something new, we can begin with something
which is already known and put the newsworthy or important item at the end, where
it can be stressed and given focus:

A:

That’s a lovely chair.

B:

Yes, it’s very old. It was given to me by my grandmother.

I was made to feel very welcome by everyone.

Passive: other forms

Other structures that have passive characteristics are the get-passive and get/have
something done:

The windows got broken. (Someone broke the windows.)

He’s getting his hair coloured. (Someone is colouring his hair.)

We had our wooden floors painted. (Someone painted our wooden floors.)

We use these structures more commonly in speaking. They are similar to the passive
because the agent of the action is not the subject.

Passive: typical errors

 We don’t form passive structures with intransitive verbs:

She died.

Not: She was died.

 We don’t form passive structures with verbs that describe states:

Those shoes don’t suit the dress.


Not: The dress isn’t suited by those shoes.

 We use the past form of be + born to talk about someone’s birth:

She was born at home.

Not: She is born at home.

Mixed Exercise on Passive Voice

Rewrite the sentences in passive voice.

1. John collects money. -

2. Anna opened the window. -

3. We have done our homework. -

4. I will ask a question. -

5. He can cut out the picture. -

6. The sheep ate a lot. -

7. We do not clean our rooms. -

8. William will not repair the car. -

9. Did Sue draw this circle? -


10. Could you feed the dog? -
Rewrite the sentences in passive voice.

1. John collects money. - Money is collected by John.


2. Anna opened the window. - The window was opened by Anna.
3. We have done our homework. - Our homework has been done by us.
4. I will ask a question. - A question will be asked by me.
5. He can cut out the picture. - The picture can be cut out by him.
6. The sheep ate a lot. - A lot was eaten by the sheep.
7. We do not clean our rooms. - Our rooms are not cleaned by us.
8. William will not repair the car. - The car will not be repaired by William.
9. Did Sue draw this circle? - Was this circle drawn by Sue?
10. Could you feed the dog? - Could the dog be fed by you?