Hello, all. Neste episódio, falo sobre usos muito comuns e corriqueiros da voz passiva no tempo passado na conversa em inglês de todo dia.
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So today let’s take a look at these sentences: I was told to look for you. He was paid last week. I was given a phone number during my visit to that office. During our last meeting, it was said that profits are on the rise. What do all these sentences have in common? They use the passive voice, in the simple past.
The passive voice is useful to put the focus on the action, and sometimes on the person or object receiving the action. Notice that we’re not really interested in whoever did that action when we say I was told to look for you. Or It was said that profits are on the rise. Someone told me to look for you… but whoever that was, I don’t think it’s relevant to name that person right now so I’m saying that I was told to look for you. I can’t really remember who said that profits were on the rise during our last meeting, and who said it is not important anyway… So I’m going with It was said that profits are on the rise. This is very similar to what we do in Portuguese: “Disseram que os lucros estão crescendo.” “Me disseram pra eu te procurar.”
This structure is very, very common in everyday speech – particularly those kinds of examples I mentioned. So, obviously, you’ve got to use the past participle of verbs, such as told, paid and given. For this episode, I’m gonna focus on these verbs because they’re so common and I would like to see a lot more English learners using them in past passive form.
So here we go with the examples – and notice that since I’m using the simple past, all examples refer to a specific event in the past. So when I arrived at school, I was told the teacher was ill. And I was also told I should go home. At the theatre, last night, we were told our session had been canceled. When we arrived at the stadium, we were told we needed to show IDs.
My friend was paid two thousand a month in her first job. That man revealed that he was paid to sabotage our equipment. We were paid a lot of money to solve this problem and that’s what we’re going to do. That actress was paid three thousand pounds to promote our company.
How are you doing so far? Can you think of your own examples? Do you have a job? How much were you paid last month? What’s your example for “I was told to do this, I was told to do that” and where and when did that happen?
So let’s keep going: before I left the party, I was given a gift bag. We were given a hotel room that was so dirty we could not sleep in it. As soon as I joined the company, I was given the freedom to make any suggestions I wanted. You were given many opportunities to do the right thing but you failed to take them.
So – can you think of any examples from your life? Please let us know in the comments, and talk to you next time!
- I was told
- We were given
- He was paid
- It was said
on the rise = crescendo
ID = algum documento que comprove sua identidade