Some verbs that show a state of existence are probably going to be used in the passive voice, no matter what. Or, they could be used in the active voice, but it would sound weird to use them that way. These verbs are called stative verbs.
The ingredients are found on the side of the box.
Bob Dylan is well known for his folk songs.
New York is located on the east coast of the United States.
The verbs find, know, and locate are stative verbs in these situations. While it might be possible to rewrite these sentences so that they’re active, it’s too much trouble, so they remain passive.
In this lesson, you’ll learn to use stative verbs in the passive voice. First, here are some verbs typically used in this way: consider, cover, join, fill, find, list, and use.
Here are some examples:
1. Everyone knows that George Washington is the father of our country.
2. George Washington is known as the father of our country.
The first sentence uses "everyone" as a subject. Other possibilities for a subject in this situation are "we," "Americans," or "people," but each of those sounds a little strange:
We know that George Washington is the father of our country.
Americans know George Washington as the father of our country.
People know of George Washington as the father of our country.
Each of these sentences are possible, but this sentence sounds better:
George Washington is known as the father of our our country.
The past participle, "known," is the main verb, and the verb "be" indicates tense, but it also emphasizes the state of existence.
Let’s look at some more examples.
1. The swimming pool is filled with water.
2. This strawberry is covered with chocolate.
There are a few more things to notice when using stative verbs in the passive voice.
The verb tense is often in the simple present, but not always.
When Americans use verbs this way, they rarely consider that they are using the passive voice.
One way to replace the passive voice with the active voice is to replace the subject with "you" or "they."
Look at the examples below:
1. You measure distance with feet, yards, and miles in the United States.
2. Distance is measured in feet, yards, and miles in the United States.
Do you see the differences in these two sentences?
Write your answers by hand.
Directions: Change each stative verb from the active voice to the passive voice. (Answers are below.)