Site Search:

Using Passive Voice (#4), by Dennis Oliver

Using Passive Voice #4:
Showing Subjects with "By"


In sentences with passive verbs, the subject receives
the action: it is not the "doer" of the verb's action. For
that reason, the passive is most often used when the
verb and the object are known, but the subject is
either unknown or unimportant.

The passive can also be used when the subject is known,
but the writer or speaker wants to emphasize the object.
In this situation, the writer or speaker uses passive voice,
but also shows the actual subject. The subject is preceded
by by.


Radar was invented in 1940 by Watson-Watt.
(The emphasis is on the object, radar,
not the actual subject, Watson-Watt.)
In 1969, an experimental version of the Internet
was established by the U.S. Department of Defense.
(The emphasis is on the object,
the Internet, not the actual subject,
the U.S. Department of Defense.)
"Dave's ESL Cafe on the Web" has been managed
by Dave Sperling since late December 1995.
(The emphasis is on the object,
"Dave's ESL Cafe on the Web,"
not the actual subject, Dave Sperling.)
These "Hints of the Day" are being written
by Dave Sperling and Dennis Oliver.
(The emphasis is on the object,
These "Hints of the Day," not
the actual subjects, Dave Sperling
and Dennis Oliver.)
On February 5th, 2000, the Year of the Dragon
was welcomed by people in most parts of Asia.
(The emphasis is on the object,
the Year of the Dragon, not
the actual subject, people in most
parts of Asia.)


Next: more on passive voice

Dave's ESL Cafe is maintained by the one and only Dave Sperling.
Banner Advertising | Bookstore / Alta Books | FAQs | Articles | Interview with Dave
Copyright 1995-2007 Dave's ESL Cafe | All Rights Reserved | Contact Dave's ESL Cafe | Site Map