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Taken Over

Taken Over English, baby! Video Lesson

Date: Jun 22 2010

Themes: Soap Opera, Work

Grammar: Passive Voice


1. Learn Vocabulary - Learn some new vocabulary before you start the lesson.

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2. Read and Prepare - Read the introduction and prepare to hear the audio.

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Devan’s company has been bought. A big deal has been made. Why does this sound so mysterious? Because it’s in the passive voice.

The passive voice is a verb tense that emphasizes an action over the person who committed it. For some time now, Devan has been talking to someone about selling her company. Even though she has dropped some hints, she has kept the deal secret from her employees.

Today, she finalized the deal and can finally tell her staff about it. But she’s afraid to tell them who bought the company. Sounds like a perfect time for the passive voice!

3. Watch - Watch the video without reading the dialog.


1. Listen and Read - Listen to the audio and read the dialog at the same time.

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2. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.











Devan:  So, we’re good then? Yeah. Yeah, it’s a deal. No, not like the handshake thing. Yes, my fingers are not crossed. It’s for real this time. It’s sold. We’re good. Okay? Okay. Not! No, just kidding! I’m kidding, okay? Okay. Bye.

Devan:  May I have your attention, please! Employees. I have an important announcement to make. The company has been bought.

Ella:  What? Someone bought us?

Mason:  I have a question! Who bought us?

Devan:  That’s irrelevant at the moment. You just need to know that it has been bought. I have sold it.

Mason:  I have another question! Who bought us?

Devan:  You have all been sold to someone who is going to take good care of you.

Ella:  So, we’re like slaves?

Devan:  I’m going to get rich off of this. You guys might not, but you still have jobs so that’s cool. Okay, have a good day.

Mason:  Um, I have another question! Can I get a new mop from these people? This one’s getting kind of worn out. Seriously.

Devan:  You’re going to have to take that up with the person that it has been taken over by.

Jason:  Why are you being so cagey?

Devan:  Um…I…you know…You’ll find out all in due time.

Jason:  Why won’t you just tell us who bought us? Why are you acting so weird?

Jeff:  I bought the company.

Jason:  I knew it!

Jeff:  On behalf of Marni, of course. Is this a surprise?


Grammar Point

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Devan is on the phone with someone and finally agrees to the sale of her company. She asks for the attention of the office and using the passive voice, tells everyone that he company has been sold.

Of course, everyone wants to know who bought the company. But sticking to the passive voice, Devan only tells them that it’s been taken over, and that’s all they need to know.

Then Jeff walks in and announces in plain old active voice that he bought the company. Everyone is shocked, but even more shocked when he says that he bought it on Marni’s behalf.

Have you ever worked for a company that changed ownership? Was it scary for you? Have you ever used the passive voice to hide something?



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yousif musa


It was very easy

01:31 PM Oct 20 2011 |




No! I'm not in that position yet! It must be pretty weird 'cause you don't know what will happen after that :P

12:17 AM Jul 21 2010 |




the passive voice is cool! it helps you get your ideas through very well.

05:23 PM Jun 26 2010 |

your adviser

Saudi Arabia

I think what we need to know about the passive voice is when we make the object of an action into the subject of a sentence. That's it.

Take for example:

Why was the road crossed by the chicken?

Who is doing the action in this sentence? The chicken is the one doing the action in this sentence, but the chicken is not in the spot where you would expect the grammatical subject to be. Instead, the road is the grammatical subject. The more familiar phrasing (why did the chicken cross the road?) puts the actor in the subject position, the position of doing something—the chicken (the actor/doer) crosses the road (the object). We use active verbs to represent that "doing," whether it be crossing roads, proposing ideas, making arguments, or invading houses.Cool

10:36 AM Jun 26 2010 |




in some words davan has the reason , ,, what's the matter , they still have their jobs , there hasnt happened anythnig.

03:45 PM Jun 23 2010 |




It is a wonderful tense it expreses something that happened in the past ans its results are still in the present.

01:59 PM Jun 23 2010 |

siberian tigger


I am taken over my own challenges every signle day.

I think that each human being who takes over his or her own life little by little in our woderful world.

05:15 PM Jun 22 2010 |



i hate passive voice …;0

04:42 PM Jun 22 2010 |

rebel lee

rebel lee


I have been in the same company for about two years. This is a big company,so I don't think anyone will buy us,or our boss will sell the company.

When a company changes ownership,that means some employees will be umemployed,so it could be scary.But as long as you are good at what you are doing,you don't need to worry about it, you can always get a better job.

04:23 PM Jun 22 2010 |




I have never worked for a company, whose ownership changed, but I have worked for a company whose management changed and it was a very strange experience when old management reporting to new management and you will see the power what old management was showing is totally collapsed. One more interesting thing is the old management people work like normal employee during the hand over and take over phase and this is really strange that one who is ruling the department has lost his/her enthusiasm.


Yes, this is really scary for all those employees who work for that company because they don’t know what the new management would do for them.


I m not pretty much comfortable with the use of passive voice sentences but I make sentences as per my experience and I might have used passive voice many times in my official correspondence.

10:00 AM Jun 22 2010 |


Iran, Islamic Republic Of


I can't download audio files. what's the problem?Frown

08:22 AM Jun 22 2010 |



Iran, Islamic Republic Of

it was easy

08:12 AM Jun 22 2010 |



No I haven't ever work on that kind of company, but if I wishing reliably I would be scary though, moreover if the first owner is good. 

08:11 AM Jun 22 2010 |




I wonder… this is the same company who went bankrupt several weeks ago?

07:54 AM Jun 22 2010 |



yes its difficult to hide in a passive voice & difficult to work in that kinde of companies who never think about their employees future

06:42 AM Jun 22 2010 |



South Korea

it's quiet difficult for me.  using the passive voice to hide something?

I can't understand clearly. Is there anyone who can explain clearly?

anyway, I'd worked under some wicked owner.. at that time, I wanted to get changed owner.

03:36 AM Jun 22 2010 |

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