Passive with 被 让 叫 给
Please note: It is important that one should learn and practise resultative and directional complements and the 把 construction before starting on this section.
Other terminology: passive preposition 被, the 被 construction, 被字句.
被 sentences describe how a particular object (abstract or physical) is dealt with or disposed of by somebody or something. The verbs in these constructions take complicated forms. They are verbs of method of action, plus other elements.
Most of the elements attached to the main verbs in 被 sentences are similar to those used in the 把 construction:
All modal verbs, such as 想, 要, 能, 可以 and 应该; adverbs such as 常, 都, 就, 还, 已经 and 曾经; and negation such as 不, 没 and 非, should be placed before 被, 让,叫 and 给.
Adverbs, which describe actions, such as the 地 adverbial construction, may appear before 把, but in the 被 construction they should be placed before the main verbs of sentences:
tā xiăoxīn de bă chábēi fàng zài zhuōzi shàng
他 小心 地 把 茶杯 放 在桌子 上
HE CAREFULLY BA CUP PUT ON TABLE TOP
He carefully put the cup on the table.
chábēi bèi tā xiăoxīn de fàng zài zhuōzi shàng le
茶杯 被 他 小心 地 放 在 桌子 上 了
CUP BY HIM CAREFULLY PUT ON TABLE TOP LE
The cup was carefully put on the table by him.
The book has been borrowed by him.
Xiao Wang was viciously beaten by his father.
Can the photo be seen by him? / Should we let him have a look at the photo?
The book has already been taken into the house by him.
Don't let all the bottles be thrown into the bin by him.
Will the paper be blown up into the tree?
All the letter has been left at Lao Wang's home by him.
No, for the following reasons:
qĭng nĭ bă wăn xĭ yì xĭ
请 你 把 碗 洗 一 洗.
COULD YOU BA BOWL WASH YI WASH
Could you please wash up the bowls?
nĭ bă gōngkè zuòhăo
你 把 功课 作 好!
YOU BA HOMEWORK DO WELL
Complete your homework!
One cannot say
Although the conditions for forming a被sentence are very similar to the ones for the 把construction, there are however some differences. For instance, the particle 过 cannot be used in the 把 construction but can be used in the 被 construction. Unlike in 把 sentences, sensory resultative complements such as 见 and 到, (e.g., 看见/到, to see, 听见/到, to hear, 碰见/到 to run into) can be used in 被 sentences, but they have a negative sense:
bié bèi tā kànjiàn le nĭ shuō de huà bèi tā tīngjiàn le
别 被 他 看 见 了. 你 说 的 话 被 他 听见 了.
DON'T BEI HIM SEE LE YOU SAY DE SPEECH BEI HIM HEAR LE
Don't let him see. He has heard what you said.(Something which he should not have heard.)
No, not all 被 sentences have a negative sense,
nĭ de diànshì jī bèi tā xiū hăo le
你的 电视机被 他 修 好 了.
YOUR TV SET BEI HIM REPAIR GOOD LE
Your T.V. set has been repaired by him.
The above sentence doesn't have a negative sense.
A 被 sentence would have a negative sense in the following situations:
1. When the sensory complement 见 is used.
2. When the particle 了 is used as a resultative complement which implies (完) completion and (掉, 走) to get rid of something.
Some verbs of method of action can be used, but they are followed by the particle 了 which means完 (completion), 走(away), or 掉(to get rid of....). These sentences can imply that the actions are undesirable,
fàn bèi tā chī le
饭 被 他 吃 了. (吃完了)
RICE BY HIM EAT LE
The meal has been eaten by him.
xiăo wáng ràng rén dă le
小 王 让 人 打 了. (打了一顿)
XIAO WANG BY SB. HIT LE
Xiao Wang has been beaten up by someone.
qián jiào rén tōu le
钱 叫 人 偷 了. (偷走了)
MONEY BY SB. STEAL LE.
The money has been stolen by somebody.
The first sentence means that the meal has been finished by him, so the implied element is (to complete)完. The second sentence means that Xiao Wang has been beaten up by somebody, so the implied element is an action measure 一顿. The third sentence implies (away)走. It means that the money is not with the speaker. So one could also say:
饭给他吃完了 小王让人打了一顿 钱叫人偷走了
Sometimes a simple verb is used in an interrogative without additional elements, e.g.,
zhè jiàn yīfu bèi nĭ chuān ma
这 件 衣服 被 你 穿 吗?
THIS JIAN JACKET BY YOU WEAR MA?
Is this jacket going to be worn by YOU?
(This sentence implies that you are not good enough to wear this jacket.)
1. The agent can be omitted if you use 被 and 给,
fàn bèi chī (wán) le xăio wáng gĕi dă le (yídùn)
饭 被 吃 (完) 了. 小 王 给 打 了 (一顿).
RICE BY EAT (FINISH) LE. XIAO WANG BY HIT LE (YIDUN).
The rice has been eaten. Xiao Wang has been beaten up.
2. But the agent cannot be omitted if you use 叫 and 让,
fàn jiào xiăo wáng chī (wán) le
饭 叫 小 王 吃 (完) 了.
RICE BY XIAOWANG EAT (FINISH) LE
The rice has been eaten by Xiao Wang.
xiăo wáng ràng tā bàba dă le (yídùn)
小 王 让 他 爸爸 打 了 (一顿).
XIAO WANG BY HIS FATHER BEAT LE (ONE DUN)
Xiao Wang was beaten up by his father.
Sometimes the meaning of 给, 让 and 叫 can be ambiguous, because they can be used as main verbs, and 给 can also be used as a co-verb, but 被 is a co-verb and cannot be used as a main verb in sentences,
nà jiàn shì ràng tā bàn hăo le
那 件 事 让 他 办 好 了.
THAT JIAN MATTER BY(LET) HIM DEAL WITH WELL LE
1. That matter has been dealt with by him.
2. Let him deal with that matter.
被 can be followed by a simple verb + 的 to form a 的 clause. In this case 被 is similar to 挨 and 受 which mean to RECEIVE, SUFFER FROM..., but 让, 给 and 叫 are not used in this way.
bèi mà de shì bié gàosù lăoshī
被 骂 的 事 别 告诉 老师.
BEI TOLD OFF DE MATTER DON'T TELL TEACHER
Don't tell the teacher that we were told off.
No, it is not necessary.(Also see the notes on passive without 被,让,叫 and 给.) It depends on the relationship between the subject and the verb of a sentence. Let's look at the above two examples. The first one is: 饭 被 吃 (完)了. One can omit 被, and say 饭吃(完)了 without changing the meaning. Because the subject 饭 (rice) cannot 吃 (eat) itself, so the rice must be eaten. But in the second example, 小王被打了, the 被 cannot be omitted, otherwise it could mean 小王 (Xiao Wang) 打了 (has hit) somebody else.
Yes. Let's look at the emphasis on the following three examples.
tā zuò wán fàn le
1. 他 作 完 饭 了.
HE COOK FINISH MEAL LE
He has finished cooking.
[The emphasis is on cooking.]
tā bă fàn zuò wán le
2. 他 把 饭 作 完 了.
HE BA MEAL COOK FINISH LE
He has finished cooking the meal (or rice).
[The emphasis is on (饭) the meal (or the rice).]
fàn bèi tā zuò wán le
3. 饭 被 他 作 完 了.
MEAL BEI HIM COOK FINISH LE
The meal has been cooked by him.
[The emphasis is on (他) him, the agent and the result of the action (完).]
Fill in the gaps in the following sentences.
Translate the following sentences
Translate the following sentences into English. Change the following sentences into the passive voices, where possible.
Make 被sentences with the following information.