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Курсовая Passive Constructions сочетание to be + Participle II


Тип работы: Курсовая. Добавлен: 21.08.2012. Страниц: 26. Уникальность по antiplagiat.ru: < 30%

Описание (план):

Сочетание to be + Participle II в английском языке


I. Some problems of the Passive Voice
2. Peculiarities of Passive Voice with different verbs
3. Types of Passive Constructions
3.1. Direct Passive Constructions
3.2. Indirect Passive Constructions
3.3. Prepositional Passive Constructions
3.4. Phraseological Passive Constructions
3.5. Adverbial Passive Constructions
4. Frequency of usage


In the English Language it is rather difficult to single out the category of voice, as in English it is closely connected with syntax.
On the morphological level such forms as “is celebrated’, “was closed” do not provide any precise information about the category of Voice in the English Language.
The context plays the most important role in the English Language, so the differentiation of meanings of nominal compound predicate and passive voice is realized only on the syntactical level. On the morphological level of analyses voice opposition is realized only in the contradicting participial forms.
There is binomial opposition: active voice – passive voice In the English Language. The active voice indicates that the action is directed from the subject or issues from the subject, thus the subject denotes the doer (agent) of the action.
The passive voice indicates that the action is directed towards the subject. Here the subject expresses a person or non-person who is the receiver of the action. It does not act, but is acted upon and therefore affected by the action of the verb.
G. O. Curme wrote that the passive forms in English are used to express quite different things – action and state.
The passive is not the reverse of the active. The two constructions are not parallel in their use and serve different purposes.
The passive construction is generally used in the following cases:
1. Change of focus (it can change the emphasis of the sentence):
Charles won the prize. (focus on Charles)
The prize was won by Charles. (focus on prize)
2. Unknown agent (there is no point in adding an agent by somebody):
My wallet has been taken.
3. Obvious agent:
John has been arrested. (we assume by the police)
4. Unimportant agent:
I was advised to obtain a visa in advance.
5. Generalized agent (in the subject is “people in general” or “you” the agent is not mentioned):
Bicycles are widely used in the city instead of public transport.
6. Impersonality (the passive is a way of avoiding the naming of a
specific person):
It has been decided to reduce all salaries by 10%.
Test papers are not to be taken outside the examination room.
7. In descriptions of processes, there is emphasis on the actions performed rather than on the people who perform them:
Then the toys are packed into boxes and sent to shops.
The passive construction is impossible when the direct object of the verb is expressed by:
a) an infinitive
I have arranged to meet him at 10. oclock.
b) a reflexive pronoun or a noun with a possessive pronoun, referring to the same person as the subject of the sentence
Ann hurt herself.
Ann hurt her leg yesterday.
c) a clause
I felt that they didnt want to join us.
d) by a set-phrase, the components of which cannot be separated, such as: to take flight, to take alarm, to lose /to take courage, to lose heart, to keep ones word etc.
e) with the verbs to resemble, to suit, to become, to have and to possess.
Tom resembles his father. We have a lot of relatives.

The number of passive constructions in English is much greater than
in other languages. Most verbs with an object (transitive verbs) can be made passive.
The following types of passive constructions exist in English: direct,
indirect, prepositional, adverbial and phraseological.
There is another classification of the types of passive constructions - it includes 2 types of Passive Constructions –
(a) a two-member construction: includes the subject of the sentence, which is the object of the action, and the action.
The child is looked after.
(b) a three-member construction: includes the subject of the sentence, which is the object of the action, the action and the agent (doer) of the action.
The young chemist is admired by all.
The two-member construction is more common, the three-member construction – more emphatic, emphasizes the doer of the action.
The passive voice is widely used in English. It is used alongside the active voice in written and spoken English. Some researchers state that the reason for such frequent usage of the passive voice is the cast of mind of the English. Others are more objective and pay attention to the fact that there is no construction with indefinite pronouns, instead of which passive voice constructions are commonly used:
I was given the necessary book. (King, p. 445).
In order to draw some frequency of usage of passive constructions I have decided to analyze a text and to count how many passive constructions on the pages of the book were used. Then I have singled out of the whole number of direct passive constructions, the number of indirect passive constructions and finally the number of prepositional passive constructions and the number of adverbial passive constructions.
The book I have chosen is a novel written by a modern English writer Stephen King, which is entitled “The Library Policeman”.
For my analysis I have taken the introduction to the book and four chapters of it (these chapters are: Chapter I, Chapter II, Chapter XI and the final chapter of the novel – Chapter XV).
From my analyses it is evident that the Direct Passive is the most widely used type of the Passive Constructions.

I. Some problems of the Passive Voice
One of the most important points is to distinguish between Passive constructions and compound nominal predicate.
If the combination to be + Participle II denotes an action, then it is a simple predicate expressed by a verb in the passive voice.
It can also denote a state, then it is a compound nominal predicate consisting of a link verb and a predicative.
It is sometimes difficult to discriminate between the verb to be + Participle II as a simple predicate and as a compound nominal predicate.
1. We have the passive voice (simple predicate) in the following cases:
a) when the doer of the action is indicated (as a rule).
b) when there is an adverbial modifier of place, frequency and, as a rule, of time.
c) when the verb is used in the Continuous or in the Perfect form.
2. We have a compound nominal predicate in the following cases:
a) usually when the verb to be is in the Present or Past Perfect Inclusive and the notional verb admits of the Continuous form.
b) when Participle II denotes a state of mood. In this case the predicate is compound even if there is an object introduced by the preposition by. This object does not denote the doer of an action but the cause of the state.
When these criteria cannot be applied the context itself helps to decide whether the predicate is a simple or a compound nominal one.
But in some cases it is impossible to understand whether it is a passive construction or just a compound nominal predicate even with the help of the context, as there no marks indicating whether it is an action or a state. Sentences of this case we will call the Border-line cases.

II. Peculiarities of Passive Voice with different verbs

The passive voice with monotransitive verbs

1. Though in many cases there is an evident corre...

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