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Active to passive

How Long Have You Been Here?
√Active to passive
√ Put the transitive verbs into the passive voice
√ Active to passive with phrasal verbs
√ Active to passive with changes of construction.



1) Put the transitive verbs into the passive voice. Do not mention the agent unless it seems necessary.

1 The milkman brings the milk to my door but the postman leaves the letters in the hall.
2 In future, perhaps, they won't bring letters to the houses, and we shall have to collect them from the Post Office.
3 People steal things from supermarkets every day; someone stole twenty bottles of whisky from this one last week.

4 Normally men sweep this street every day, but nobody swept it last week.
5 The postman clears this box three time a day. He last cleared it at 2.30.
6 Someone turned on a light in the hall and opened the door.
7 Women clean this office in the evening after the staff have left; they clean the upstairs offices between seven and eight in the morning.
8 We never saw him in the dining-room. A maid took all his meals up to him.
9 Someone left this purse in a classroom yesterday; the cleaner found it.
10 We build well over 1,000 new houses a year. Last year we built 1,500.
11 We serve hot meals till 10.30, and guests can order coffee and sandwiches up to 11.30.
12 Passengers leave all sorts of things in buses. The conductors collect them and send them to the Lost Property Office.
13 An ambulance took the sick man to hospital. (Mention ambulance.)
14 We kill and injure people on the roads every day. Can't we do something about this?
15 Dogs guard the warehouse. The other day a thief tried to get in and a dog saw him and chased him. (A thief who . . .)
16 The watchman called the police. The police arrested the man.
17 Tom had only a slight injury and they helped him off the field; but
Jack was seriously injured and they carried him off on a stretcher.
(Tom, who had. . ., but Jack, who was. . .)
18 You can't wash this dress; you must dry-clean it.
19 They are demolishing the entire block.
20 He recommends fitting new tyres. (Use should; see Exercise 157.)
21 He suggested allowing council tenants to buy their houses.
22 Men with slide rules used to do these calculations; now a computer does them.
23 The court tried the man, found him guilty and sent him to prison.
24 The hall porter polishes the knockers of all the flats every day. ~
Well, he hasn't polished mine for a week.
25 They are repairing my piano at the moment.
26 Passengers shouldn't throw away their tickets as inspectors may check these during
the journey.
27 They invited Jack but they didn't invite Tom.
28 The guests ate all the sandwiches and drank all the beer. They left nothing.
29 Has someone posted my parcel?
30 Why did no one inform me of the change of plan?
31 Tom Smith wrote the book and Brown and Co. published it.
32 We shall have to tow the car to the garage.
33 I'm afraid we have sold all our copies but we have ordered more.
34 We will prosecute trespassers.
35 Someone stole my car and abandoned it fifteen miles away. He had removed the radio but done no other damage.
36 You must keep dogs on leads in the gardens.

 

 

Key:

1 The milk is brought, the letters are left

2 letters won't be brought, they'll have to be collected from

3 Things are stolen from, twenty bottles were stolen

4 this street is swept, it wasn't swept

5 This box is cleared, It was last cleared

6 A light was turned on and the door (was) opened

7 This office is cleaned, the upstairs offices are cleaned

8 He was never seen, all his meals were taken up

9 This purse was left . . . it was found by the cleaner

10 1,000 new houses are built, last year 1,500 were built

11 Hot meals are served, coffee and sandwiches can be ordered

12 All sorts of things are left in buses. They are collected by the conductors and (are) sent

13 He was taken to hospital by ambulance

14 Many people are killed and injured. . - can't something be done

15 The warehouse is guarded by dogs. A thief who tried to get in was seen by a dog and chased

16 The police were called and the man (was) arrested

17 Tom, who had only a slight injury, was helped off, but Jack, who was seriously injured, was carried off

18 This dress can't be washed, it must be dry-cleaned

19 The entire block is being demolished

20 He recommends that new tyres should be fitted

21 He suggested that council tenants should be allowed

22 These calculations used to be done by men; now they are done by a computer

23 The man was tried, found guilty and sent to prison

24 The knockers of all the flats are polished. . . mine hasn't been polished

25 My piano is being repaired

26 Tickets shouldn't be thrown away. . . they may be checked

27 Jack was invited but Tom wasn't (invited)

28 All the sandwiches were eaten. . . and all the beer (was) drunk. Nothing was left

29 Has my parcel been posted

30 Why wasn't I informed of

31 The book was written by Tom Smith and published by Brown and Co.

32 The car will have to be towed

33 all our copies have been sold but more have been ordered

34 Trespassers will be prosecuted

35 My car was stolen and abandoned. . . The radio had been removed but no other damage had been done

36 Dogs must be kept on leads

 

 2) Active to passive


Put the transitive verbs into the passive voice. Do not mention the agent unless it seems necessary.

 

1 They haven't stamped the letter.
2 They didn't pay me for the work; they expected me to do it for nothing.
3 He escaped when they were moving him from one prison to another.
4 She didn't introduce me to her mother.
5 A frightful crash wakened me at 4 a.m.
6 When they have widened this street the roar of the traffic will keep residents awake all  night.
7 They threw away the rubbish.
8 A Japanese firm makes these television sets.
9 An earthquake destroyed the town.
10 A machine could do this much more easily.
11 Visitors must leave umbrellas and sticks in the cloakroom.
12 We ask tenants not to play their radios loudly after midnight.
13 We can't repair your clock.
14 We cannot exchange articles which customers have bought during the sale. (Articles...)
15 We have to pick the fruit very early in the morning; otherwise we can't get it to the market in time.
16 The police shouldn't allow people to park there.
17 They are watching my house.
18 The examiner will read the passage three times.
19 Candidates may not use dictionaries.
20 You need not type this letter
21 This used to be number 13, but now I see that someone has crossed out 13' and written 12A' underneath.
22 You mustn't move this man; he is too ill. You'll have to leave him here.
23 They searched his house and found a number of stolen articles.
24 Nobody has used this room for ages.
25 They took him for a Frenchman, his French was so good.
26 You should have taken those books back to the library.
27 They brought the children up in Italy.
28 They have taken down the For Sale notice, so I suppose they have sold the house.
29 Someone broke into his house and stole a lot of his things.
30 We have warned you.
31 A lorry knocked him down.
32 They returned my keys to me; someone had picked them up in the street.
33 We had to give the books back; they did not allow us to take them home.
34 You shouldn't leave these documents on the desk. You should lock them up.
35 They handed round coffee and biscuits.
36 They have tried other people's schemes. Why have they never tried my scheme?

 

Keys:

 

1 The letter hasn't been stamped
2 I wasn't paid for the work; I was expected to do
3 he was being moved
4 I wasn't introduced
5 I was awakened by a frightful crash
6 When this street has been widened the residents will be kept awake all night by the roar
7 The rubbish was thrown away
8 These TV sets are made by a Japanese firm
9 The town was destroyed by an earthquake
10 This could be done much more easily by (a) machine
11 Umbrellas and sticks must be left
12 Tenants are asked not to play
13 Your clock can't be repaired
14 Articles (which have been) bought during the sale cannot be exchanged.
15 Fruit has to be picked very early otherwise it can't be got to the market
16 People shouldn't be allowed to park
17 My house is being watched
18 The passage will be read three times
19 Dictionaries may not be used
20 This letter need not be typed
21 '13' has been crossed out and '12A' has been written
22 This man mustn't be moved; he is too ill/he is too ill to be moved. He will have to be left
23 His house was searched and stolen articles were found
24 This room hasn't been used
25 He was taken for
26 These books should have been taken back
27 The children were brought up
28 The For Sale notice has been taken down. . . the house has been sold
29 His house was broken into ...a lot of his things (were) stolen
30 You have been warned
31 He was knocked down by a lorry.
32 My keys were returned to me; they had been picked up
33 The books had to be given back; we were not allowed to take
34 These documents shouldn't be left. . . They should be locked up
35 Coffee and biscuits were handed round
36 Other people's schemes have been tried. Why has my scheme never been tried?

 

3 Active to passive with phrasal verbs

In this exercise most of the sentences contain a verb + preposition/adverb combination. The preposition or adverb must be retained when the combination is put into the passive.
In most of the sentences it is not necessary to mention the agent.
1 The government has called out troops.
2 Fog held up the trains, (agent required)
3 You are to leave this here. Someone will call for it later on.
4 We called in the police.
5 They didn't look after the children properly.
6 They are flying in reinforcements.
7 Then they called up men of 28.
8 Everyone looked up to him. (agent required)
9 All the ministers will see him off at the airport, (agent required)
10 He hasn't slept in his bed.
11 We can build on more rooms.
12 They threw him out.
13 They will have to adopt a different attitude.
14 He's a dangerous maniac. They ought to lock him up.
15 Her story didn't take them in. (agent required)
16 Burglars broke into the house.
17 The manufacturers are giving away small plastic toys with each packet of cereal.
18 They took down the notice.
19 They frown on smoking here.
20 After the government had spent a million pounds on the scheme they decided that it was impracticable and gave it up. (Make only the first and last verbs passive.)
21 When I returned I found that they had towed my car away. I asked why they had done this and they told me that it was because I had parked it under a No Parking sign. (four passives)
22 People must hand in their weapons.
23 The crowd shouted him down.
24 People often take him for his brother.
25 No one has taken out the cork.
26 The film company were to have used the pool for aquatic displays, but now they have changed their minds about it and are filling it in. (Make the first and last verbs passive.)
27 This college is already full. We are turning away students the whole time.
28 You will have to pull down this skyscraper as you have not complied with the town planning regulations.

 

Key:

 

1 troops have been called out

2 trains were held up by fog

3 this is to be left here. It will be called for

4 police were called in

5 children were not properly looked after
6 reinforcements are being flown in

7 men of 28 were called up

8 he was looked up to by everyone

9 he will be seen off at the airport by all the ministers

10 bed hasn't beenslept in 11 more rooms can be built on

12 he was thrown out

13 different attitude willhave to be adopted

14 he ought to be locked up

15 they weren't taken in by her story

16 house was broken into

17 small plastic toys are being given away

18 notice was taken down

19 smoking is frowned on

20 after a million pounds had been spent. . . the scheme was given up

21 my car had been towed away. I asked why this had been done and was told that. . . it had been parked

22 weapons must be handed in

23 he was shouted down

24 he is often taken for his brother

25 the cork hasn't been taken out

26 pool was to have been used. . . it is being filled in

27 students are being turned away

28 sky-scraper will have to be pulled down as the town planning regulations have not been complied with

 

 

4 Active to passive with changes of construction.

Some of the following sentences when put into the passive require or can have a change of construction.
1 believe, claim, consider, find, know, say, suppose and think when used in the passive can be followed by an infinitive:
They say he is a spy = He is said to be a spy.
They say he was a spy = He is said to have been a spy.
It is said that he is/was . . . is also possible.
2 Subject + be supposed + infinitive often conveys an idea of duty, particularly when the subject is you:
It is your duty to obey him = You are supposed to obey him.
3 Infinitives after passive verbs are normally full infinitives.
4 Note the use of have + object + past participle:
Get someone to mend it = Have it mended.
5 Note the use of should in the passive. (See PEG 235.)

 

Put the following sentences into the passive, using an infinitive construction where possible.

 

1 We added up the money and found that it was correct.
2 I'm employing a man to tile the bathroom.
3 Someone seems to have made a terrible mistake.
4 It is your duty to make tea at eleven o'clock. (Use suppose.)
5 People know that he is armed.
6 Someone saw him pick up the gun.
7 We know that you were in town on the night of the crime.
8 We believe that he has special knowledge which may be useful to the police, (one passive)
9 You needn't have done this.
10 It's a little too loose; you had better ask your tailor to take it in. (one passive)
11 He likes people to call him 'sir'.
12 Don't touch this switch.
13 You will have to get someone to see to it.
14 It is impossible to do this. (Use can't.)
15 Someone is following us.
16 They used to make little boys climb the chimneys to clean them. (one passive)
17 You have to see it to believe it. (two passives)
18 You order me about and I am tired of it. (lam tired of. . .)
19 He doesn't like people laughing at him.
20 You don't need to wind this watch.
21 They shouldn't have told him.
22 They decided to divide the money between the widows of the lifeboatmen.  (They decided that the money ...)
23 People believe that he was killed by terrorists.
24 They are to send letters to the leaders of charitable organizations.
25 We consider that she was the best singer that Australia has ever produced. (one passive)
26 We don't allow smoking.
27 We know that the expedition reached the South Pole in May.
28 Before they invented printing people had to write everything by hand.
29 They urged the government to create more jobs. (two ways)
30 They suggested banning the sale of alcohol at football matches.

 

Keys:

 

1 money was added up and found to be correct

2 I am having the bathroom tiled

3 a terrible mistake seems to have been made

4 you are supposed to make tea

5 he is known to be armed

6 he was seen to pick up

7 you are known to have been

8 he is believed to have

9 this needn't have been done

10 you had better have it taken in

11 he likes to be called 'sir'

12 this switch isn't to be/mustn't be touched

13 you will have to have/get it seen to or it will have to be seen to

14 this can't be done

15 we are being followed

16 boys used to be made to climb

17 it has to be seen to be believed

18 I am tired of being ordered about

19 he doesn't like being laughed at

20 this watch needn't be wound/doesn't need to be wound

21 he shouldn't have been told

22 they decided that the money should be divided

23 he is believed to have been killed

24 letters are to be sent

25 she is considered to have been

26 smoking is not allowed

27 the expedition is known to have reached
28 before printing was invented everything had to be written

29 the government was urged to create/they urged that more jobs should be created

30 they suggested that the sale of alcohol should be banned