Remember to be passive

As the tap handle rotated the spindle moves up inside the tap body.

Indonesian flag Bahasa Indonesia has a special construction for passives – ‘di‘ + verb: diputar. Maybe that’s why Indonesians writing in English find it easy to produce the passive form of the verb, adding ‘ed‘ to regular verbs as a substitute for their own ‘di‘. However they often forget to include ‘to be’ in the English passive structure:

  • As the tap handle is rotated the spindle moves up inside the tap body.

If you want a good score for GRA in IELTS writing, don’t forget ‘to be’ in passives. Here’s a little rhyme to aid memory:

  • to be + V3, the English form of ‘Di’, to be + V3, the English form of ‘Di’!

2 comments on “Remember to be passive

  • In Indonesia two kind of passive form di- and ter-, sometimes it confuses me when active form in English but in Indonesia it is passive form
    For an instance: Overall, the tap comprises many parts

    Secara keseluruhan, kran terdiri dari/atas banyak bagian.
    Any further explanation please Pak Guru Steve?

    Reply
    • mm

      I think you have established your own rule, Adi – that in English there are both active and passive forms available for ‘terdiri dari’, whereas in Indonesian there is only the passive. Languages have similarities and differences, and an important part of language learning is noticing these similarities and differences. Good job! 😉

      Reply

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