受動態

受動態の機能

受動態は、行動を行なう人や物よりもそれを体験している人や物に興味を示すことに使われます。つまり、最も重要な人や物が文章の主語になるのです。

Examples
  • The passive voice is used frequently. (= それを使う人ではなく、受動態に興味がある)
  • The house was built in 1654. (= それを建てた人でななく、家自体に興味がある)
  • The road is being repaired. (= それを修理している人ではなく、道自体に興味がある)

誰がその行動をしたかを知らない、または述べたくないので受動態を使う場合もあります。

  • I noticed that a window had been left open.
  • Every year thousands of people are killed on our roads.
  • All the cookies have been eaten.
  • My car has been stolen!

正式な文書に受動態がよく使われます。能動態に変えると、文書がより明確になり読みやすくなります。

受動態 能動態
A great deal of meaning is conveyed by a few well-chosen words. A few well-chosen words convey a great deal of meaning.
Our planet is wrapped in a mass of gases. A mass of gases wrap around our planet.
Waste materials are disposed of in a variety of ways. The city disposes of waste materials in a variety of ways.

受動態を使いながら、その行動をした人や物を述べたい場合は、前置詞byを用います。その行動をした人がわかっている時や、その人に興味がある場合、能動態を使うほうが良いでしょう。

受動態 能動態
"A Hard Day's Night" was written by the Beatles. The Beatles wrote "A Hard Day's Night".
The movie ET was directed by Spielberg. Spielberg directed the movie ET.
This house was built by my father. My father built this house.

詳細は、すべての英語の動詞の時制の受動態とそれに相当する能動態をご覧ください

受動態の作り方

英語の受動態は二つの要素から成ります:
動詞 'to be'の適切な形態 + 過去分詞

肯定文 否定文 疑問文 否定疑問文
The house was built in 1899. The house wasn't built in 1899. Was the house built in 1899? Wasn't the house built in 1899?
These houses were built in 1899. These houses weren't built in 1899. Were these houses built in 1899? Weren't these houses built in 1899?
To clean、受動態
主語 + to be (conjugated) + 過去分詞 + 残りの文章
単純現在形
The house is cleaned every day.
現在形継続
The house is being cleaned at the moment.
単純過去形
The house was cleaned yesterday.
過去形継続
The house was being cleaned last week.
現在完了
The house has been cleaned since you left.
過去完了
The house had been cleaned before they arrived.
未来
The house will be cleaned next week.
未来形継続
The house will be being cleaned tomorrow.
条件付現在
The house would be cleaned if they had visitors.
条件付過去
The house would have been cleaned if it had been dirty.
不定詞
The house must be cleaned before we arrive.
不定詞と一緒に使う受動態

不定詞の受動態は 法動詞やその他のほとんどの動詞の後に置かれます。

  • You have to be tested on your English grammar.
  • John might be promoted next year.
  • She wants to be invited to the party.
  • I expect to be surprised on my birthday.
  • You may be disappointed.
動名詞と一緒に使う受動態

動名詞は前置詞や動詞の後に置かれ、一般にその後に過去分詞が来ます。

  • I remember being taught to drive.
  • The children are excited about being taken to the zoo.
  • The children are excited to be taken to the zoo.
  • Most film stars hate being interviewed.
  • Most film stars hate to be interviewed.
  • Poodles like to be pampered.
  • Poodles like being pampered.
"To be born"を使って

"To be born" は、受動態で過去形で最も良く使われますが、現在形や未来形でも適切な場合があります。

  • I was born in 1976.
  • Where were you born?
  • Around 100 babies are born in this hospital every week.
  • We don't know on exactly which day the baby will be born.

受動態の中には、動詞to beの代わりに動詞to getto have が使われる場合もあります。別のページで受動態を使う他の方法を取り上げています。