This problem has been bothering me for almost a week. I was hoping for that lightbulb moment but it's still dark in the attic, so here I am.
In the English coursebook, MyGrammarLab Advanced C1/C2, the passive form and its usage is handled in chapter 62, pages 270-273. Section 3 deals with the Passive infinitives and offers these examples.
to be + past participle (to refer to the present or future)
- (a) Children like to be praised when they do well at school.
- (b) James was hoping to be accepted on the engineering course.
to have been + past participle (to refer to the past)
- (a) Stonehenge is the greatest monument to have been built by the ancient Britons
- (b) This ascent is the first to have been achieved without the aid of oxygen
As a personal challenge to myself, and something which I normally do in my head, I wanted to convert the infinitive passive into the active voice without losing their original meaning but I've hit on some problems.
Are the following correct or have their meanings been changed?
Children like to be praised when they do well at school. (Passive)
Children like to hear praise when they do well at school. (Active)
I changed the original infinitive verb praise with hear, and I kept children as the subject of the clause. Is there another way?
If I add the agent, “adults”, I get the following: “Adults who praise children when they do well at school are liked.” which is wrong because it means children like adults who praise them. And “Adults need to praise children when they do well at school” but that omits the verb like from the original sentence and changes its entire meaning.
James was hoping to be accepted on the engineering course. (Passive)
James was hoping that they would accept him on the engineering course (Active)
I'm quite happy with this attempt, should I be?
Stonehenge is the greatest monument to have been built by the ancient Britons (Passive)
Ancient Britons built Stonehenge, the greatest monument in New Stone Age Britain. (Active)
I feel it is acceptable but the Present Perfect tense is missing – have built, and I can't figure out how else to do it
- Ancient Britons have built Stonehenge which is the greatest monument in Neolithic Britain. (??)
This suggests that ancient Britons, the population that inhabited the British Isles circa 4,500 years ago, still exist today, which is not true.
However, I can make the Present Perfect fit for the following sentence.
This ascent is the first to have been achieved without the aid of oxygen (Passive)
This is the first time anyone has achieved this ascent without the aid of oxygen. (Active)
To sum up, I am having problems with converting 1(a) and 2(a) into the active voice. Can someone please explain where I am going wrong, if I am, it would be much appreciated. Especially seeing as I have to teach this stuff to a private Italian student.