Get for the Passive Voice

ScottsEnglishScottsEnglish Administrator Posts: 1,220 admin ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

How can we use 'get' to indicate the passive voice?

Remember that the passive voice means that the subject receives the action of the sentence. In some cases, the word 'get' (get - got - gotten) can indicate the passive voice instead of the traditional structure of be + past participle.

For example, "The man was thrown out of the car when the accident happened". A correct rephrasing is, "The man got thrown out of the car when the accident happened."

This is considered to be a familiar form and does not work in every case of the passive voice. For example, this sentence cannot be re-written as "This gets considered". 

You can use the get passive when something has changed, like in the first example. It is discouraged as a written form, though, and in formal speaking.

Decide if you can use the "get passive" in the following sentences. If so, change the sentence.

1. The memo is changed every day according to the latest news.
2. She was known as the fastest woman on ice skates.
3. Her dogs are put out every night at 7 pm.
4. The water should be changed frequently to keep the fish healthy.
5. Diamonds are believed to be the hardest known substances.

Click here for the correct answers.

1. The memo is changed every day according to the latest news. The memo gets changed every day according to the latest news.
2. She was known as the fastest woman on ice skates.
3. Her dogs are put out every night at 7 pm. Her dogs get put out every night at 7 pm.
4. The water should be changed frequently to keep the fish healthy. The water should get changed frequently to keep the fish healthy.
5. Diamonds are believed to be the hardest known substances.

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