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11. Active and passive 1

FORM 9

1 What is the sentence about?

Compare these two entries in an encyclopedia.

Look at these two sentences.

The two sentences have the same meaning, but they are about different things. One sentence is about Bell, and the other is about the telephone. Each sentence begins with the subject. The subject is the starting-point of the sentence, the thing we are talking about. The new information about the subject comes at the end of the sentence.

2 The passive and by the police, in 1876, etc.

In a passive sentence, when we want to say who or what did the action, we use by.
On our way home we were stopped by the police.
The new hospital will be opened
by the Queen.
The paper was all blown away by the wind.

We can give other details about the action. For example, we can use a phrase saying when or where something happens.
The telephone was invented in 1876.
The visitors will be driven
to the airport.
The concerts are usually held at the university.

Sometimes there is no phrase after the verb.
A new swimming-pool is being built.
All the documents
have been destroyed.

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