大家知道,英语有些句子含有两个宾语:直接宾语和间接宾语。例如:
“The crowd gave the guest a warm welcome ”里,就有双宾语。一个是直接宾语“a warm welcome” ;另一个是间接宾语“the guest”。
 
在变成被动语态时,其中一个宾语要成为主语。在一般情况下,我们多以间接宾语为主语,直接宾语留在原位,如:
“The guest was given a warm welome by the crowd ”。
但是,如果重点在直接宾语,直接宾语便要变成被动语态的主语,如:
“We will offer any capable applicant a competitive salary.”要变成:
“A competitive salary will be offered to any capable applicant.”
接着,让我们看看名词分句如何变成被动语态,例如:
“People generally feel that social workers are offering valuable services for the public.”这句子可以“it ”作为主语,然后,把名词分句移到句子后头去:
“It is generally felt that social workers are offering valuable services for the public.”
另外一种变法是把名词分句的主语转为被动句的主语,接着把名词分句的动词变成不定式动词:
“Social workers are generally felt to be offering valuable services for the public.”
最后,谈谈怎样把不带“to”的不定式动词变成被动语态。例如:
“We saw them go out”和“He made her work”这两句话里, “go out”和“work” 不带“to ”,但是当它们变成被动句时,“ to ”出现了:
“They were seen to go out.”和“She was made to work.”
在结束本文之前,顺便指出中英文句子结构的一个差异,就是中文含有被动意义的句子,不一定要用“被”字,但在译成英文时,却要变成被动语态。例如:
①灯关掉了:The light was turned off (不是:The light turned off)
②会议延期举行:The meeting will be put off. (不是:The meeting will put off)
③这件事必须保密:This matter should be kept secret.(不是:This matter should be secret)
④发展计划提早完成:The development project was completed before schedule.
⑤我们学校去年建造了一个新的电脑室: Last year, a new computer room was built in our school.
⑥在旧社会,妇女是受轻视的:In the old society,women were looked down upon.