They built [this house] in 1486. (active)
This house was built in 1486. (passive)
Channel Islanders speak [French] and English, (active)
[French] is spoken in France, Belgium, Switzerland, the Channel Islands, . . . (passive)
A friend of ours is repairing [the roof].(active)
[The roof] is being repaired by a friend of ours, (passive)
This book will change [your life]
[Your life] will be changed by this book.
When we say what people or things do, we use active verbs. (For example built, speak, is repairing, will change.)
When we say what happens to people or things — what is done to them
— we use passive verbs. (For example was built, is spoken, is being repaired, will be changed.)
The object of an active verb corresponds to the subject of a passive verb.
PASSIVE: Active or passive?
We often prefer to begin a sentence with something that is already known, and to put the 'news' at the end. Compare:
Your little boy broke my kitchen window this morning.
That window was broken by your little boy.
In the first sentence, the hearer does not know about the broken window. So the speaker starts with the little boy, and puts the 'news' — the window — at the end. In the second sentence, the hearer knows about the window, but does not know who broke it. By using a passive structure, we can again put the 'news' at the end.
'John's writing a play. ' I didn't know that.'
'This play was written by Marlowe. ' 'Was it? I didn't know that. ' To make passive verb forms, we use the auxiliary be. .
Longest Rail Tunnels In the World
Although still under construction the Eiksund Tunnel in Norway is already the deepest underwater tunnel in the world at 942ft below sea level. At 4.8 miles long, the tunnel will service the areas of Heroy, Sande, Ulstein and Hareid. The reinforcement of this mammoth tunnel has already consumed around 172,000 square foot of concrete. More than 1,300 tonnes of explosives and a staggering 5 million blast holes were used to blast out the route. The tunnel was originally intended to be opened to the public in July of 2007, but numerous delays have pushed the date back into 2008.