5. 2 THE PASSIVE

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Question English
Answer English

Read the statements. Are any of them true? The Great Wall of China is the only man-made object visible from space.
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False. The Great Wall of China cannot be seen from space with the naked eye, but cities can be made out, specially at night.
Nope, no wall here!

Caesar Salad is named after Julius Caesar.
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False. Caesar Cardini, a restaurateur, invented the recipe in Tijuana, Mexico, in 1924. He had the dish named after him.
A Caesar salad is a salad of romaine lettuce and croutons dressed with parmesan cheese, lemon juice, olive oil, egg, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, and black pepper.

Eskimos have over one hundred words for snow.
Which Language Has the Most Words for Snow?
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False. It is claimed by linguists that Eskimos actually have about as many words for snow as we have in English (sleet, blizzard, slush, powder, etc) - nothing like one hundred.
sleet, blizzard, slush, powder

Sleet is a regionally variant term that refers to two distinct forms of precipitation:
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Rain and snow mixed, snow that partially melts as it falls (UK, Ireland, and most Commonwealth countries) Ice pellets, one of three forms of precipitation in "wintry mixes", the other two being snow and freezing rain (United States, Canada)
Snow, sleet and freezing rain are all different types of precipitation that occur during winters.

a severe snowstorm with high winds. snowstorm, snow blast, snow squall; white-out a large or overwhelming number of things arriving suddenly. "a blizzard of forms"

partially melted snow or ice. "the snow was turning into brown slush in the gutters" informal excessive sentiment. "the slush of Hollywood's romantic fifties films"
When snow turns to slush...

loose, dry, newly fallen snow. "in Aspen, blue skies and good powder drew in record numbers"
Fresh, powder snow

Chewing gum takes seven years to pass through the digestive system.
Does gum really stay in your stomach for 7 years?
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False. Chewing gum is processed through the body like any other food.

A sudden shock or great stress can suddenly turn your hair white.
Does stress cause grey hair?
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False. Hair isn't expected to change colour suddenly, but some people's hair turns white quickly even in a stress-free situation.

Underline examples of passive forms. Why do we use passive forms? The Great Wall of China cannot be seen from space with the naked eye, but cities can be made out, specially at night.
a passive used because we do not know who performs the action (or it is not important), and we are interested in the action itself.
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cannot be seen, can be made out

Caesar Cardini, a restaurateur, invented the recipe in Tijuana, Mexico, in 1924. He had the dish named after him.
a pattern that uses have/get + object + past participle to describe something that is done to the subject.
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had the dish named

It is claimed by linguists that Eskimos actually have about as many words for snow as we have in English (sleet, blizzard, slush, powder, etc) - nothing like one hundred.
a passive used to show that we are not certain about a statement.
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is claimed

Chewing gum is processed through the body like any other food.
a passive used when the important information in the sentence is the object of the verb.
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is processed

Hair isn't expected to change colour suddenly, but some people's hair turns white quickly even in a stress-free situation.
a passive infinitive (to be + past participle + to + verb).
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isn't expected to change

Which sentences contain examples of: a passive used when the important information in the sentence is the object of the verb?
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Chewing gum is processed through the body like any other food.

a passive used to show that we are not certain about a statement?
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It is claimed by linguists that Eskimos actually have about as many words for snow as we have in English (sleet, blizzard, slush, powder, etc) - nothing like one hundred.

a pattern that uses have/get + object + past participle to describe something that is done to the subject?
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Caesar Cardini, a restaurateur, invented the recipe in Tijuana, Mexico, in 1924. He had the dish named after him.

a passive used because we do not know who performs the action (or it is not important), and we are interested in the action itself?
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The Great Wall of China cannot be seen from space with the naked eye, but cities can be made out, specially at night.

a passive infinitive (to be + past participle + to + verb)?
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Hair isn't expected to change colour suddenly, but some people's hair turns white quickly even in a stress-free situation.

Complete the second sentence so it has similar meaning to the first.
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Use the passive or causative and the word in brackets.

Police are investigating the case.
(being) The
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The case are being investigate by the police.
might also be formal written English.

The university lets you borrow a car for official business.
(allowed) You
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You are allowed to borrow a car for official business.
might also be formal written English.

They are delivering Mike's washing machine today.
(having) Mike
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Mike is having his washing machine delivered today.

Some people say the tradition began in the nineteenth century.
(claimed) It
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It is claimed that the tradition began in the nineteenth century.
might also be formal written English.

There's a possibility someone recognised Wilhelm.
(might) Wilhelm
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Wilhelm might have been recognised.

She instructed the players to stretcht before the game.
(had) She
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She had the players stretch before the game.

Someone is checking in our luggage right now.
(being) Our
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Our luggage is being checked in right now.

The researchers have only tested the product on volunteers.
(been) The
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The product has only been tested on volunteers
might also be formal written English.

Why might sentences 1-8 be better in the passive? Which might be formal written English?
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Because we want to emphasise the action rather than the agent. 1, 2, 4 and 8 might also be formal written English.

Rewrite the underlined phrases in the passive.
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Omit the "doer" of the action.

They say...
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It is said...

They need to keep these secrets...
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These secrets need to be kept...

what can the authorities do...
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what can be done...

they considered brainwashing...
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brainwashing was considered...

they discovered...
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it was discovered...

they could erase certain memories...
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certain memories could be erased...

Which phrases would be better in the passive?
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Change them as appropriate.

One piece of conventional wisdom that people have passed on throughout the generations is that Friday 13th is unlucky.
people have passed on
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One piece of conventional wisdom that has been passed on throughout the generations is that Friday 13th is unlucky.
has been passed on

No one knows where this superstition came from,
OK
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No one knows where this superstition came from,
or It isn't known where this superstition came from,

though some people have attributed it to the fact that...
some people have attributed
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though it has been attributed to the fact that
it has been attributed

on Friday 13th October 1306, King Philip of France arrested the Knights Templar and began torturing them.
OK
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on Friday 13th October 1306, King Philip of France arrested the Knights Templar and began torturing them.

People know the fear of the number thirteen as triskaidekaphobia,
from Greek triskaideka = “thirteen” (tris = “three” + kai = “and” + deka = “ten”) + phobos = “fear”
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The fear of the number thirteen is known as triskaidekaphobia,

and people consider thirteen unlucky in many cultures.
people consider thirteen
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and thirteen is considered unlucky in many cultures.
thirteen is considered

We can see this superstition in different contexts:
OK
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We can see this superstition in different contexts:
or This superstition can be seen...

In Italy, the organisers omit the number thirteen from the national lottery,
the organisers omit the number thirteen
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In Italy, the number thirteen is omitted from the national lottery,
the number thirteen is omitted

while on streets in Florence people give the house between number 12 and 14 the number 12½.
people give the house between number 12 and 14 the number 12½
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while on streets in Florence the house between number 12 and 14 is given the number 12½.
the house between number 12 and 14 is given the number 12½.

In Japan, people often omit the unlucky number four from hotels,...
people often omit the unlucky number four
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In Japan, the unlucky number four is often omitted...
the unlucky number four is often omitted

Complete the text with the correct active or passive form of the verbs in brackets.
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The story of maybe

It (believe) that this story comes from an ancient civilisation in the Americas.
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It is believed that this story comes from an ancient civilisation in the Americas.

A farmer had a champion horse. One day, the horse (disappear).
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A farmer had a champion horse. One day, the horse disappeared.

Everyone thought the horse (steal) and all the farmer's neighbours visited him. "What terrible news", they said. "Maybe", said the farmer.
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Everyone thought the horse had been stolen and all the farmer's neighbours visited him. "What terrible news", they said. "Maybe", said the farmer.

A few days later, the horse (come) back with two magnificent wild horses. The neighbours visited again to offer their congratulations.
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A few days later, the horse came back with two magnificent wild horses. The neighbours visited again to offer their congratulations.

The next day, the wild horses (be) tamed by the farmer's son,
a tame animal is not wild any more because it has been trained to obey people and not to fear them
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The next day, the wild horses were being tamed by the farmer's son,

when he (throw) off one of them and broke his leg.
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when he was thrown off one of them and broke his leg.

Again the farmer's neighbours visited. "We are so sorry. This is awful news".
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"Maybe", said the farmer.

The next day, an army captain came to recruit men for a war., but because the farmer's son had broken his leg, he(not recruit).
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The next day, an army captain came to recruit men for a war., but because the farmer's son had broken his leg, he wasn't recruited.

He stayed at home and (help) to tame the wild horses, which became champions.
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He stayed at home and helped to tame the wild horses, which became champions.

The farmer's neighbours said, "What wonderful news that your horses (recognise) as the best in the country!"
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The farmer's neighbours said, "What wonderful news that your horses have been recognised as the best in the country!"

"Maybe", said the farmer.
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And the next day the now famous horses were gone.


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