In English, sentences have two voices, passive and active voices.
Active voice is used when the subject is the doer of the action while passive voice is used when the subject is the receiver of the action.
Active voice is easier to understand and is commonly used in most situations, however, passive voice is used in reports, textbooks, in industry, science and technology to describe processes, and for official rules.
We use the passive in these cases because we don’t always know who the doer of the action is.
In this article, we will focus on sentences using causative verbs and their passive form.
Causative verbs express the idea of somebody causing someone to happen or causing another person to do something.
So, it can be confusing to form their passive voice since the verb after the causative verb may be in either a base form of verb, to + base form of verb or an object + past participle depending on the causative verb used.
Please have a look at the following examples:
Causative verb + base form of verb:
- Penny made her husband sell their house.
- Penny will have her husband sell their house.
- Penny let her husband sell their house.
Causative verb + to + base form of verb:
- Penny wants her husband to sell their house.
- Penny will allow her husband to sell their house.
- Penny persuaded her husband to sell their house.
Causative verb + object + past participle:
- Penny had their house sold by her husband.
- Penny got their house sold by her husband.
From the examples above, we can say that there are two causative verbs that are generally used in passive voice: they are have and get. Usually, we do not mention the doer of the action. The form is subject + have/get + object + past participle.
- I asked someone to clean my house – Active
- I had/got my house cleaned – Passive
Please note that if the verb get is followed by a personal pronoun or the doer of the action, we do not use past participle. Instead, we use to + base form of verb.
- I got Penny to clean my house.
- I will get a mechanic to repair my car.