2.2 the passive

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término English
definición English

Form the passive with
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be + past participle.

In a passive sentence, the agent (the doer of the action)
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may or may not be mentioned.

The press follows him everywhere.
active, present simple
empezar lección
He's followed everywhere by the press.
passive, present simple

The police are monitoring his emails.
active, present continuous
empezar lección
His emails are being monitored by the police.
passive. present continuous

Fire destroyed the building.
active, past simple
empezar lección
The building was destroyed by the fire.
passive, past simple

Someone's eaten my sandwich.
active, present perfect
empezar lección
My sandwich has been eaten.
passive, present perfect

Someone will tell you.
active, will
empezar lección
You'll be told.
passive, will

We can't do it now.
active, modals
empezar lección
It can't be done now.
passive, modals

I don't like people criticising me.
active, -ing form
empezar lección
I don't like being criticised.
passive, -ing form

The organisers want people to give feedback.
active, infinitive with to
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The organisers want to be given feedback.
passive, infinitive with to

The company has apologised for losing email details of hundreds of its customers. The details were left on a train by a member of staff.
In the second sentence the writer uses the passive to keep the focus of the text on the email details and not on the person who left them.
empezar lección
Use the passive to emphasise the main focus of a text or sentence.

A man's been arrested on suspicion of murder.
empezar lección
Use the passive when the agent is obvious

I hate being watched when I'm practising Tai Chi.
empezar lección
Use the passive when the agent is not important

I'm being sent a large number of spam emails these days.
empezar lección
Use the passive when the agent is unknown.

The issue is discussed later in this paper. No survivors have been found in the disaster.
empezar lección
In more formal texts (e.g. academic writing, scientific reports) and certain text types (e.g. some newspapers articles, radio/TV news)

All complaints will be taken seriously.
empezar lección
to create a distance between the agent and the action, for example to avoid responsability

It is said / believed / reported / thought / understood ... that... It is reported that a shockingly large proportion of the world population is out of work.
empezar lección
In formal writing this construction is often used:

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