It's common in English to use sentences with two objects – a direct and an indirect one. This tutorial will help you understand how to form such sentences in passive voice. Let's dive in.
Introduction to Passive Sentences with Two Objects
In English, some verbs allow two objects – a direct object and an indirect object. The direct object represents the entity to which an action is directed or on which action is carried out, whereas the indirect object denotes the recipient of this action or result. In passive language, where the emphasis is on the action rather than who is doing the action, sentences with two objects can be rephrased in two ways. The entity that gets emphasis is often the one that is made into the subject of the sentence.
Structure of Passive Sentences with Two Objects
In the passive form, the structure takes the following forms:
1. Passive form with the person as the subject:
Indirect Object + verb (in passive voice) + by + Direct Object
2. Passive form with the thing as the subject:
Direct Object + verb (in passive voice) + to/for + Indirect Object
Examples of Passive Sentences with Two Objects
Passive Sentences with the Person as the Subject
In these sentences, the indirect objects ('John', 'Students', 'Me') have become the subjects of the sentences in the passive voice, and they are followed by the passive form of the verb and then by the direct object.
Passive Sentences with the Thing as the Subject
In these sentences, the direct objects ('apple', 'Mathematics', 'book') have become the subjects of the sentences in the passive voice, and they are followed by the passive form of the verb and then by the indirect object.
Guidelines for Forming Passive Sentences with Two Objects
When forming passive sentences with two objects, one should follow these guidelines:
1. Not all verbs can accommodate two objects. Only verbs like give, tell, send, show, teach, etc., can be used this way.
2. The prepositions 'to' or 'for' are used when the 'thing' is the subject of the sentence in its passive form. Use 'to' when referring to action verbs and 'for' when referring to verbs of communication or giving.
3. Remember that the term 'passive' means that the subject of the sentence is the one that the action is being done to, not the one carrying out the action. The emphasis is placed on the action, not the doer.
How to Choose Between Two Possible Passive Forms?
Both forms of passive sentences with two objects are grammatically correct, which can lead to some confusion. How then do we know which one to use?
The choice between these two forms depends a lot on what you want to emphasize. If you want to emphasize the person (indirect object) then use the first form; if your emphasis is on the thing (direct object), then use the second form.
For instance, 'John was given an apple by Mary' emphasizes John as the receiver, making him more significant in the sentence. Conversely, 'An apple was given to John by Mary' emphasizes the apple, making the fruit the crucial element in the sentence.
To sum it up, understanding how to correctly use passive sentences with two objects can significantly enhance your English writing and speaking skills. It allows a shift in focus between the subjects (either person or thing) and can aid in more engaging and varied language use.