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THE IMPERSONAL PASSIVE & THE CAUSATIVE

The Impersonal Passive

If you want to be more formal in speech or in writing, you can use the impersonal passive.

Instead of saying ‘People think that drugs are dangerous’, which is the active form, we can say ‘It is thought that drugs are dangerous’We can also use ‘Drugs are thought to be dangerous’.

 

The forms are:

 

It + be + past participle of reporting verb + that

Ob + be+ past participle of reporting verb+to + clause

 

Instead of using said or thought, you can use believed, claimed, estimated or other reporting verbs.

  1. a) It is saidthat classical music is the most mathematical of all music.
  2. b) Classical music is said to be the most mathematical of all music.

 

The Causative

 

Very simply, the causative form shows that other people do an action for us.

 

The form is:

 

Sb + have sth + past participle.

 

We use it for two reasons, 1) to show that someone arranges for someone else to do an action for them, and 2) to talk about a negative situation which was definitely not arranged.

  1. c) I have had my hair cut at the same salon for ten years.
  2. d) I had my car broken into last night. I was so upset.

It is possible to use get instead of have, but that makes the form more informal.

Exercise 1.- Grammar

 

Change the sentence from the active to the impersonal passive:

  1. a) People believe that smoking is very bad for you.

 

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  1. b) People think that not doing exercise can make you fat.

 

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  1. c) People say that money makes the world go around.

 

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  1. d) People admit that they don’t sleep as much as they should.

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Correct these Causative sentences

  1. e) Why don’t you to cut your hair done professionally?

 

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  1. f) While I do my shopping, I am having my car cleaned.

 

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  1. g) She always has does her nails done in the salon.

 

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  1. h) He always have his coffee made for him by the time he gets to work.

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