We use some verbs more often in the passive than in the active because the agent is either unknown or obvious, or not important to what we want to say:
I was born in Italy.
My neighbour’s been arrested!
She was fined £100 for driving without insurance.
Stokholm has been dubbed the Venice of the North.
A reminder will be sent by post.
The stadium was built in 1983.
ADD ONE OF THE VERBS TO THE SENTENCES. YOU MAY NEED TO CHANGE TENSES.
|be deemed||be earmarked||be baffled||be jailed||be strewn|
a. Their work ______ to be of the highest standard.
b. The murderer should ______ for life.
c. The floor had _____ with newspapers and old magazines.
d. I ______ completely ______ and had no idea what had happened.
e. The building has _______ for demolition.
2. ADJECTIVE OR PASSIVE?
Some verbs are so commonly used in the passive, without mentioning an agent, that they work in a similar way to -ed adjectives:
I heard the news and was horrified.
Tuscan truffles are particularly prized for their pungent aroma.
I’m gutted! (Slang = very upset.)
Some common passive verbs collocate with particular prepositions. Here are some examples:
The threat was couched in the vaguest possible terms.
We’ve been conditioned into accepting TV as essential.
The athlete was acclaimed as a national hero.
The old man had been indicted as a war criminal.
I don’t think any of these remarks could be construed as positive.
I’ve been swamped with requests to do concerts all over Europe.
Add a suitable preposition to these sentences:
a. The factory is scheduled ____ demolition next year.
b. The little boy was eventually reunited ____ his parents.
c. These three chapters could be subsumed ______ a new heading.
d. I’ve been shortlisted _____ the Nobel Prize for Literature!
Some common passive verbs, e.g. be called, be named, be deemed, be dubbed, are not commonly followed by a preposition:
All his efforts were deemed a complete waste of public resources.
I’ve been called many things in my life, but never ‘inspired’.
We also commonly use particular phrasal verbs in the passive:
This coat was handed down to me by my older brother.
I was so caught up in my book that I failed to realise the time.
The get-out clause was written into their contract.