Amy Winehouse was found dead: Passive practice

Look out for lots of examples of the passive in the article.

Amy Winehouse was found dead: Passive practiceAmy Winehouse has been pronounced dead after she was discovered by paramedics today in her North London home. The Back to Black singer was found at 3.54pm and her death is being treated as ‘unexplained’ by police. She was reported to be ‘beyond help’ when the emergency services arrived at her property. Two ambulance crews and a paramedic on a bicycle attended the scene after only 5 minutes, but it hasn’t been announced who actually made the 999 call.

The Metropolitan Police said: Police were called by London Ambulance Service to an address in Camden today, following reports of a woman found deceased. Enquiries are being carried out into the circumstances of the death.

Amy was seen earlier this week at the iTunes festival when she jumped up on stage as her goddaughter and protégé Dionne Bromfield was performing.

Amy Winehouse\’s last ever stage performance

Amy’s father, Mitch is currently on tour in America and is thought to be on a flight and has not been told the shocking news.

The unexpected news comes a month after she was booed off stage in Belgrade after giving an incoherent performance. She was clearly affected by some substance that night and her planned European tour was cancelled by her record company, to give her ‘as long as it takes’ to recover from her problems.

She was born on 14th September 1983, which means that she was 27 years old when she died today. This gives her membership to the notorious “Forever 27” club, which is a group of musicians who died while at the peak of their fame: Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin and Brian Jones all passed away at the age of 27.

Subject + be + past participle of main verb

We use the passive voice when:
1) we want to make the active object more important
e.g. My mouse Harold was eaten by a cat
(A cat ate my mouse is an active sentence. ‘My mouse‘ is the object of this active sentence. For me, Harold, my mouse is much more important than a strange cat from the street)

2) we don’t know/don’t care/ or it is obvious who the active subject is.
e.g. John Smith was arrested for murder today
(It is obvious that it was the police who were the people who arrested John Smith, so we do not really need to say this. However, if you do want to say who ‘did’ the action, then this is always introduced with the word ‘by’. E.g. Harold was eaten by my neighbour’s cat)


Infinitive to eat
SIMPLE Present It is eaten
Past It was eaten
Future It will be eaten
Conditional It would be eaten
CONTINUOUS Present It is being eaten
Past It was being eaten
Future It will be being eaten
Conditional It would be being eaten
PERFECT Present It has been eaten
Past It had been eaten
Future It will have been eaten
Conditional It would have been eaten
PERFECT CONTINUOUS Present It has been being eaten
Past It had been being eaten
Future It wil have been being eaten
Conditional It would have been being eaten
Amy Winehouse was found dead: Passive practice

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Bren Brennan Posted by on Jul 23 2011. Filed under Language Rules. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

5 Comments for “Amy Winehouse was found dead: Passive practice”

  1. ‘Great teacher’!!

  2. Hi, thanks for your lecture.
    But still I do not understand why you havent used at the last instance
    “My mouse Harold has been eaten by a cat”

  3. [...] was 27.Fast forward to today, and this generation has another tragic young death of a musician – Amy Winehouse. When I heard that she had died, I wanted to know how old she was. Sure enough, she too was 27. [...]

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