Structure: Verb Forms II
In our previous lesson, we discussed transitive and intransitive verbs as a way of preparing you for the lesson on verb forms. We noted that a transitive verb requires an object for its meaning to be understood while an intransitive verb does not require an object.
The verb killed is transitive.
The verb smiled is intransitive.
We also noted that some verbs could be both transitive and intransitive
i. Mother cooked rice for lunch.
ii. Mother cooked for the visitors.
Verb forms are otherwise known as active and passive voices.
The Active Voice
A sentence in the active voice has the structure: subject + verb + object (SVO) or subject + verb + object + complement (SVOC)
|ii.||The students||are holding||the meeting||now|
|iii.||The gardener||is planting||the grass||——-|
|iv.||The bishop||is visiting||the parish||tomorrow|
The Passive Voice
A sentence in the passive voice has the structure: object + verb + subject (OVS)
|Object||Verb||by + Subject|
|English||is taught||by Miss Obi|
|A pen||was bought||by John|
Changing from the Active to the Passive Voice
Note the following rules:
1. Only transitive verbs can be made passive.
We greeted the new teacher.
The new teacher was greeted by us
2. The tense of the transitive verb in the active sentence determines the tense of the be in the passive sentence
People speak French in many parts of Africa
French is spoken in many parts of Africa
3. Sentences which cannot be changed into the passive form
- Sentences with intransitive verb:
She slept for a whole day
Ada travelled with Obi to Enugu
- Sentences with linking verbs:
He became a lawyer
Your friend seems a very nice person
- Sentences with special transitive verbs like the following:
They have a nice house
The arrangement suits me
The new dress fits the girl
4. Some of the special transitive verbs can, however, occur in the passive without the by phrase
Our library contains many books = Many books are contained in our library
- Oral English Without Tears by I. Udoka
- New Oxford Secondary English Course for SSS 2 by Ayo Banjo et al
Intensive English for SSS 2 by Benson O. Oluikpe et al