The passive is a verb form. Verbs can be in the active or passive form. An active verb is used when the subject ‘does’ the verb: The voters of Merthyr Tydfil elected Keir Hardie as the first Labour Party MP in 1900. The subject is ‘voters’ and they ‘elected’. A passive verb is used when the subject does not ‘do’ the verb: Keir Hardie was elected as the first Labour MP by the voters of Merthyr Tydfil in 1900. The subject is ‘Keir Hardie’ but he did not ‘elect’ – the voters ‘elected’. In the example above, the passive is more effective because Keir Hardie is the main focus of the sentence, not the voters. The passive is made using a form of the verb be + past participle (designed, taken, etc.). Here are examples in the main tenses, and in the modal, gerund and infinitive forms: A candidate is chosen by a constituency party.
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