UNIT 04 Crime and
punishment TOPIC 01 A near-perfect crime
LANGUAGE FOCUS 04 The
passive - past tense
The newspaper article says:
The funds were
transferred to a secret account under a false name
was caught because she became careless.
seen at the opera
born into a poor family, but now for the first time
she was made to feel like
somebody important. She was flattered
by the attention she received from the salespeople
The verbs were transferred,
was seen, was born,
was flattered and was
made are passive forms of the simple past tense.
We use the passive when the
focus of the sentence or paragraph is on the person or thing affected
by the action more than on the person doing the action. For example:
She was flattered by the attention
she received from the salespeople.
(The focus of the sentences is "She", not "the attention
of the salespeople".)
We also use past passives when we don't know or care who did the
action. For example:
She was seen at the Opera
(We don't know, don't care or are not going to say who saw her.)
We form the passive form of the past tense with be
(was/were) + the past participle.
by a security guard.
in a lane.
by a gang of thieves.
Find out more about the present passive.
Find out more about the present perfect
Find out more about past participles.
Read the examples.
Listen to the examples.
each example. Use the Pause button.
A secret account was
opened under a false name.
The thefts weren't noticed
Steadman was confronted
by her husband.
Her unusual behaviour was triggered
by her unhappiness.
The best food and clothes were bought
to give her pleasure.