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C1 - PASSIVE VOICE Part 2
POR RRHH Digital, 00:04 - 03 de Marzo del 2014

Have and get something done, need doing:

· Have / get something done.

This typically describes a service performed for us by someone else.

I’ve just had/got my car serviced. I have/get it done every winter.

It can also describe something unfortunate that happens to someone.

We had/got our car broken into last month.

Get is more likely to be used than have when:

- there is a feeling that something must be done.

I really must get my hair cut.

- there is a feeling of eventually managing to do something.

I eventually got the car fixed at the Fast Service garage.

- in orders and imperatives.

Get your hair cut!

Note that get should not be used in the present perfect passive, where it could be confused with have got.

I’ve just had my hair cut. I’ve just got my hair cut.

· The need to have a service done can be described with need doing.

Your hair needs cutting.

Passive with agent:

You can use the passive voice and still say who or what performed an action by using by or with.

· You use by to say who or what was responsible for the action.

The basement has been flooded by the washing machine.

· You use with to talk about the instrument which is used to perform the action.

The lights were switched on with the car phone.

You also use with to talk about materials or ingredients.

The bedroom windows are covered with ice.

Passive constructions with say, believe, etc.:

You can use the following passive constructions with verbs of speech or thought to show that you are not sure of the truth of the statement or that you want to distance yourself from it. You use these constructions in a formal style.

You can use it + passive + that clause.

It is believed that the government will reduce the taxes.

You can use subject + passive + to +infinitive when the belief or thought is referring to an earlier action.

The government is said to have reduced the taxes.

Here are some of the verbs you can use:

consider expect know report say understand

think consider allege claim acknowledge

Reporting verbs in the passive voice:

With verbs such as believe, know, say, think, which report people’s opinions, a passive construction is often used to avoid a weak subject, and give a generalized opinion.

· Present reference.

The passive is followed by the present infinitive.

The criminal is thought to be in hiding in the NY area.

Vitamin C is known to be good for treating colds.

· Past reference.

The passive is followed by the past infinitive.

Thompson is believed to have left France last week.

· Past reporting verb.

If the reporting verb is in the past, the past infinitive tends to follow, though not always if the verb be is used.

People thought Mary had paid too much -> Mary was thought to have paid too much.

· Past reference with two objects.

In this case there are two ways of making a passive sentence.

Everyone knows the portrait was painted by an Italian.

The portrait is known to have been painted by an Italian.

· Continuous infinitive.

Past and present continuous infinitives can also be used.

Susan is thought to be living in Ireland.

The taxi-driver is thought to have been doing a detour.

Verbs with prepositions in the passive voice:

· Ending a sentence with a preposition.

This can be done in a sentence where a prepositional verb is made passive.

Somebody broke into our house. -> Our house was broken into.

· Make followed by to when used in the passive.

My boss made me work hard. -> I was made to work hard.

· Cover and verbs which involve similar ideas such as surround, decorate, can use with or by. Cover can also be followed by in.

The furniture was covered in dust.

The living room had been decorated with flowery wallpaper.

Verbs which cannot be passive:

Most verbs with an object (transitive verbs) can be made passive. However, a few transitive verbs cannot be used in the passive. These include become, fit (be the right size), get, have, lack, let, like, resemble, suit.

Verbs with no object (intransitive) cannot be passive.

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