The man referredto this book.
This book was referred to by the man.
In the passive construction the subject of the prepositional passive construction corresponds to the object of the active construction and denotes the receiver of the action. The peculiarity of the construction is that the preposition sticks to the verb.
Most verbs of this type denote the process of speaking, mental and physical perception.
The prepositional passive construction has no equivalent in Russian and is translated by an indefinite personal active construction.
Caroline was also still being talked about.
Не had never been spoken to that way in his life.
He’s well spoken of as a man of science.
О Кэролайн тоже все еще продолжали говорить.
С ним так никогда в жизни не разговаривали.
О нем хорошо отзываются как об ученом.
When the prepositional passive construction contains a modal verb, an impersonal active construction is used in Russian.
These pictures must be looked at again and again with sustained attention before they completely reveal their beauty.
На эти картины надо смотреть снова и снова с неослабевающим вниманием, прежде чем полностью раскроется их красота.
Here are some of the most important prepositional monotransitive verbs:
to account for
to agree upon
to appeal to
to call on
to comment on (upon)
to deal with
to decide on
to depend (up)on
to dispose of
to dwell upon
to hear of
to insist on
to interfere with
to laugh at
to listen to
to look at
to look for
to look into
to object to
to pay for
to provide for
to put up with
to read to
to refer to
to rely on
to send for
to speak about (of)
to speak to
to talk about (of)
to think about (of)
to touch upon
to wait for
to wonder at
to catch sight of
to lose sight of
to find fault with
to make fun of
to make a fuss of
to make use of
to pay attention to
to put an end (a stop) to
to put up with
to set fire to
to take notice of
to take advantage of
to take care of
to arrive at
to come to
to live in
to sleep in
to sit in (on)
Group I in the list contains the majority (but not all) of prepositional transitive verbs. The list could be continued, for a number of verbs of the kind are used occasionally, but the pattern itself is very productive.
Some prepositional monotransitive verbs have non-prepositional equivalents, e.g. to account for is a synonym for to explain, to look on - to regard, to speak (talk) about - to discuss.
Your absence must be accounted for. = Your absence must be explained.
Group II contains phraseological units based on the fusion of a monotransitive verb and a noun as direct object. These units express one notion and function as prepositional verbs. Many of them have synonyms among monotransitive verbs, prepositional and non-prepositional:
to take care of to find fault with to put an end to to put up with to make fun of
- to look after, to tend;- to grumble at, about, to criticize;- to stop;- to reconcile oneself to;- to laugh at, to mock.
Like single prepositional verbs the phraseological units with the verb in the passive voice are usually rendered in Russian by means of indefinite personal or impersonal constructions.
In hospital patients are taken great care of.
The boy was the only child and was made a lot of fuss of.
I’m not prepared to think that I’m being made a fool of.
В госпитале за больными хорошо ухаживают.
Мальчик был единственным ребенком в семье, и с ним много возились.
Мне не хочется думать, что меня дурачат.
Sometimes a phraseological unit is split and the original direct object becomes the subject of the passive construction (the direct passive).
No notice was taken of the boy at first. - Сначала мальчика не замечали.
Group III contains a short list of intransitive verbs used with prepositional nominal groups functioning as prepositional objects or adverbial modifiers. These may form passive constructions by analogy with other verbs used with prepositions:
No conclusion was arrived at.
His bed hasn’t been slept in.
Such a dress can’t be sat down in.
He пришли ни к какому заключению.
В его постели не спали. (Она не смята)
В таком платье нельзя садиться.
The use of the passive voice
§ 71. The passive voice is widely used in English. It is used alongside the active voice in written and spoken English. Passive constructions are often used instead of active constructions in sentences beginning with an indefinite pronoun, a noun or a pronoun of indefinite reference.
Somebody left the dog in the garden.
Has anybody answered your questions?
People will laugh at you for your trouble.
They told me to go away.
= The dog was left in the garden.
= Have your questions been answered?
= You will be laughed at for your trouble.
= I was told to go away.
It is evident that in the process of speech passive constructions arise naturally, not as a result of conversion from the active into the passive.
A passive construction is preferable in case when the speaker is interested in what happens to the person or thing denoted by the subject. The verb or the whole verb phrase is thus made more prominent. The agent or the source of the action is not mentioned at all, either because it is unknown or because it is of no particular importance in the utterance, or else it is evident from the context or the situation. The predicate verb with its modifiers contains a new and most important item of information and is of great communicative value.
We were brought up together.
I am always being contradicted.
Thank you for your help, but it is no longer required.
You will be met as you leave the airport, and you will be given another ticket.
In silence the soup was finished - excellent, if a little thick; and fish was brought. In silence it was
There are a number of conventional expressions where the passive voice is constantly used.