: Business Grammar Builder. : (.. .. )


: 4292

Unit 10 passive 2


 Uses: linking to previous information A


 The choice of active or passive often depends on how we want to continue from the previous sentence:


Hasso Plattner is one of Germanys best known businessmen. He founded

SAP in 1972 after working for IBM. (active)


SAP is a world leader in business software. It was founded by Hasso

Plattner in 1972 after he left IBM. (passive)


 Uses: being formal/impersonal B


 The passive is often used in business correspondence where the writer wants to be impersonal.



ACTIVE more personal

We ordered twenty filter units from you on the 16th March and the courier delivered them yesterday. Unfortunately, when we opened the package someone had damaged two of the units. Our production department needs these items urgently.


PASSIVE more impersonal

Twenty filter units were ordered from you on the 16th March and they were delivered yesterday. Unfortunately, when the package was opened two of the

units had been damaged. These items are needed urgently by our production department.


 Passives are frequent in formal writing generally, e.g.: reports and legal documents. Other language in the text will be also formal:


Contract of Employment


(i) Offer of employment. The offer may be expressed directly or it may be implied by conduct. It must be communicated to the employee. The offer can be withdrawn at any time before acceptance.


(i) Written conditions. After the contract is made, every employee must be given a written statement of terms and conditions of employment.


 Passives are used in phrases with it to report what people said in a formal



Id like to go into finance after my MBA.

(= start working in an area)

way: It was said/agreed that


 Try to find a balance between active and passive forms. Too many passive forms can make a letter or report difficult to understand.


 Verbs with two objects C


 Some verbs have two objects. We can: give/lend/offer/promise/sell/send/take something to somebody book/buy/keep/prepare/save something for somebody


 In active sentences we can use these verbs in two ways:

ABB gave a large order to us last year. (with to)

ABB gave us a large order last year. (without to)


 Each way can be made passive. One of the objects becomes the subject of the passive sentence, the other stays as an object.

A large order was given to us by ABB last year. (with to)

We were given a large order by ABB last year. (without to) Again, the form without to/for is more usual.




 Passive + infinitive D


 The verbs believe/expect/know/report/say/think/suppose/understand are often used in the Present Simple Passive followed by an infinitive (to do). This use is common in news reports:

The Hungarian economy is expected to expand 6\% over the next two years as rising demand across Europe boosts demand for locally produced cars and refrigerators. Consumer prices are predicted to rise by an annual

average of 7\% next year.


 To refer to the past we use believe, expect etc. with to have done.

Many investment banks are believed to have suffered losses and the higher

yield, or junk, bond market in recent months.


 To refer to an activity in progress at the moment we use believe, expect, etc. with to be doing.

Ericsson is known to be looking at the possibility of outsourcing its low

price, entry-level phones in Taiwan.



Hes really into windsurfing.

(to be into = like and be interested in)

 Have something done E


 When a professional person, e.g, a technical or an accountant, does some work for us, we can use have something done:

Were going to have a new air conditioning system installed. You must have your computers checked for viruses.


 We can use get in place of have in most cases. This is more informal.

We got the contract checked by our lawyers.



I should be able to get off at about five.

(= leave work)



Exercise 1 (A)

Read each statement 1-5 then choose which sentence a) or b) should follow. Put a tick (٧) by the correct answer.


1 Chevron and Texaco are going to merge via a $36 billion offer by Chevron. a) Senior executives first discussed it a year ago.  b) It was first discussed by senior executives a year ago. 

2 The process of economic union in Europe is progressing quickly.

a) A commissioner from Spain called Pedro Solbes is directing it. 

b) It is being directed by Pedro Solbes, a commissioner from Spain. 

3 Pedro Solbes is Europes commissioner for economic and monetary affairs.


a) He is directing the difficult process of economic union.

b) The difficult process of economic union is being directed by him.


Novartis shares rose by 32 Swiss francs in Zurich yesterday.



a) They are going to launch a new drug called Starlix later this year.

b) A new drug called Starlix is going to be launched by them later this





Starlix is a powerful new drug for treating diabetes.


a) Novartis are going to launch it later this year.


b) It is going to be launched by Novartis later this year.



Exercise 2 (C)

Complete the second sentence so it has a similar meaning to the first sentence.


1 David Gill from Marketing lent me this book.

.. this book by David Gill from Marketing.

2 This sample was given to me at the Trade Fair.

.. this sample at the Trade Fair.

3 They promised us delivery within two weeks of our order.

We .. within two weeks of our order.

4 A textile firm near Milan made this fabric for us.

.. for us by a textile firm near Milan.

5 This order was sent to us through our website.



Can you drop me off?

(= take me in your car and leave me)

.. this order through our website.

6 My secretary booked the flight for me.

.. for me by my secretary.


Exercise 3 (C)

Read the article about Manchester United, then complete it with the verbs in the brackets. Put the first verb in the Present Simple Passive (to be done) and the second verb in the suitable form of the infinitive (to do, to be doing, to have done).


Manchester United: just a game of football?

Manchester United is (1) .. (suppose / have) between 10 minion and 30 million supporters throughout the world. In Norway, for example, one in every 140 people (2)

.. (say/be) a registered supporter. Ticket sales and merchandising contribute over half of the clubs revenue, with television contributing a further 20\%.

But senior executives (3) .. (know / look, at) other ways to generate income at the moment. For example, the club (4) .. (believe / develop) e-com- merce initiatives through a series of alliances. Costs at the club continue to increase. A few years ago (7) .. the club (5) .. (report/ spend) £30m on a plan to expand the capacity of the

stadium from 55,000 seats to 67,400 seats. But this (6) .. (think / be) a good investment as it will generate nearly £7.5 million in additional turnover annually. The main costs at the club are the salaries of the players. Last year the teams captain (7) .. (understand / negotiate) a four-year contract worth over eight figures.



Exercise 4 (B)

Complete the report by putting the verbs in brackets into the Present Perfect Active

(has been) or Passive (has been done).


Investment opportunities: Brazil

Brazil (1) .. (transform) from an economy based on sugar and coffee into a leading

industrial power, and this (2) .. (happen) over a relatively short time period. Over recent years inflation (3) .. (bring) under control, and foreign direct investment (4)

.. (encourage).


The government (5) .. (privatise) many state-owned companies, and they (6) ..


Im sorry, I think we were cut off.

(= lose the signal in a phone call)

(also/invest) a lot of money in advanced infrastructure. In an attempt to decentralise the economy, Campinas was chosen to be Brazils IT capital, and car production

(7) .. (move) away from traditional centres to states such as Rio Grande do Sul in the south. No one pretends that all the old problems (8) .. (solve), but Brazil is finally taking its place on the world stage.


Exercise 5 ( , , F)

Underline the correct words.


1 I had my car be repaired / repaired yesterday.

2 Profits are expected grow / to grow by 10\% in the next quarter.

3 I was born / born in a little town just outside Dijon.

4 Were getting the machines cleaned / to be cleaned tomorrow.

5 The Board is thought to be demanded / have demanded his resignation.

6 We have the components assembling / assembled in Taiwan.

7 Where exactly were you born / did you born?

8 She is supposed to been looking / to be looking for a new job.


Exercise 6 (B)

The two emails below are very similar, but the one on the right is more impersonal. Complete it by using verbs from the first email in the correct form of the passive.


Thank you for your order for PCplus software which we received this morning. Our fulfillment team is dealing with your order, and we expect that we will deliver the package to you within 10 working days. I have included our current price list as an attachment. Please note we only guarantee these prices until 31 December. Thank you for choosing soft.com.

Thank you for your order for PCplus software which (1) .. this morning. Your order (2) .. by our fulfillment team and we expect that the package (3) .. to you within 10 working days. our current price list (4) .. As an attachment. Please note that these prices (5) .. until 31 December. Thank you for choosing soft.com.

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