Unit 5.2



Passive Voice Verbs with To-Infinitive + Object

Syntax

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Introduction

The passive form expresses the idea of something or someone receiving an action or experiencing a particular event or effect. {see Passive Structure, B1 level and Passive Voice of Verbs, B2 level}

After passive verbs, we could find the to-infinitive + object structure.

Form

Sometimes we find the to-infinitive + object structure after the passive form.

This structure has this formula:

Subject + passive verb* (of saying) + to + verb + object…

We usually find verbs of saying before the to-infinitive structures.

Verbs of saying are: advise, agree, ask, encourage, expect, invite, order, persuade, promise, refuse, remind, say, tell, warn

*{See Passive Structure, B1 level}

Example

  • I am asked to deliver a private letter.
  • You are encouraged to have a therapeutic massage for your  backache.
  • The editor of the newspaper is persuaded by them to write an article about communication.
  • We are reminded to use dental floss everyday.
  • They are asked to make a comment about the topic.

Use

We use the to-infinitive + object with passive forms, to focus the attention on the subject, and not on the agent.

We use it also to create a more complex sentence in terms of syntax.

Summary

After passive verbs, we could find the to-infinitive + object structure.This structure makes us focus on the subject, and not on the agent. We usually find it after verbs of saying, such as: advise, agree, ask, encourage, expect, invite, order, persuade, promise, refuse, remind, say, tell, warn

In a sentence it is formed like this: We start with the subject of the sentence, followed by the the passive form of a verb (of saying), the preposition to, the base form of a verb and by an object.

For example:
“The boy was refused to go to the bathroom during the class.” = After the verb of saying was refused we place to and the verb go in its base form, to emphasise on the subject the boy.
“She was advised to wear a coat before going out.” = After the verb of saying was advised we place to and the verb wear in its base form, to focus on the subject she.
“They advised (that) she wear a coat before going out.” = When the verb advise and other recommendation verbs are in the active voice, they are followed by a non-obligatory that-clause and a subjunctive.

Let’s revise this content within the {Form} section. Take a look at the {Example} section that shows its use within a context.

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