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Hi

Active sentence: Somebody stole my bicycle.

Passive sentence: My bicycle has been stolen.

Is the passive sentence OK, in your opinion? I would write: My bicycle was (simple past) stolen.

As far as I know if the active sentence is written in simple past than the passive one should also be written in simple past?

One more question. I never know whether I should write it with the definite article or not: present simple, simple present, present simple tense etc. Should I put the "the" before each of them or always omit it?

thanks
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If you decide to use the present perfect, then it doesn't matter whether the sentence is active or passive. You have decided to use the present perfect. Period.

Likewise, if you decide to use the past simple, then it doesn't matter whether the sentence is active or passive. You have decided to use the past simple. Period.

If you are asked on a test to change the sentence "Someone stole my bicycle" to a passive sentence, it would very likely be marked as incorrect if you changed it to the present perfect passive -- even though there wouldn't be much difference in meaning as compared to the past simple passive sentence in this case. When you are asked on a test to transform such an easy sentence to the passive, you are usually being tested on your ability to build the passive in the same tense.

People do sometimes omit the word 'the' when talking about tenses, but my advice would be to always include it.
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Hi,
good question. If you want the "exact" passive version of "stole", then it's "was stolen". But if you consider that example you gave, then... it's something I've always wanted to know. I think I also asked here, but I got no answer. Let's try again.

American active exclamation #1: Damn! Somebody stole my bike! Where is it? It was here a second ago...
American active exclamation #2: Damn! Somebody's stolen my bike! Where is it? It was here a second ago...
American passive exclamation #1: Damn! My bike was stolen! Where is it? It was here a second ago...
American passive exclamation #2: Damn! My bike's been stolen! Where is it? It was here a second ago...

I think that the active version would be #1 90% of the times. But I don't know why I feel the passive version would actually be #2. So the preference for the verb tense changes, at least in American English.
So even though the passive form of "stole" should be "was stolen", I feel that's not completely true, and it depends on the context.

Now we need some native speakers to know more about this. Emotion: smile
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 Yankee's reply was promoted to an answer.
Hi Amy,
you are right... when you consider "tests". But what about my previous post? Do you think that since most people would say "Damn, someone stole my bike!", then the most common passive version is "Damn, my bike was stolen!" instead of "Damn! My bike's been stolen!"?
Thanks Emotion: smile
YankeeIf you decide to use the present perfect, then it doesn't matter whether the sentence is active or passive. You have decided to use the present perfect. Period.

Likewise, if you decide to use the past simple, then it doesn't matter whether the sentence is active or passive. You have decided to use the past simple. Period.

If you are asked on a test to change the sentence "Someone stole my bicycle" to a passive sentence, it would very likely be marked as incorrect if you changed it to the present perfect passive -- even though there wouldn't be much difference in meaning as compared to the past simple passive sentence in this case. When you are asked on a test to transform such an easy sentence to the passive, you are usually being tested on your ability to build the passive in the same tense.

People do sometimes omit the word 'the' when talking about tenses, but my advice would be to always include it.

OK. I got it. Thanks.
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Hi Kooyeen

I was not referring to tests in the first few comments of my last post (the ones ending with "Period.").

As I'm sure you know, we Americans tend to steer clear of the present perfect whenever possible -- sometimes we steer past the point a Brit might consider to be "grammatically acceptable". Emotion: wink

I do see your point, though. I suppose we would tend to be more "willing" to use the present perfect in a sentence such as "My bike's been stolen." -- especially with "Damn!" preceding it. Still, I wouldn't find "Damn! My bike was stolen!" particularly odd in everyday AmE.

Also keep in mind the original question did not include "Damn!" Adding that changes the context. It adds context that did not exist in the original question.Emotion: wink
YankeeI do see your point, though. I suppose we would tend to be more "willing" to use the present perfect in a sentence such as "My bike's been stolen." -- especially with "Damn!" preceding it. Still, I wouldn't find "Damn! My bike was stolen!" particularly odd in everyday AmE.
Thanks Amy.
So you mean that both tenses would be equally good in American English, in passive sentences like that one? I mean, both of these are ok in AmE...
Damn, someone stole my bike! Where is it?
Damn, someone's stolen my bike! Where is it?

...but I think the past simple is probably more common.
If you now consider the passive versions, does the preference change so it's the other way around? (= the past simple is not the most common anymore)
Damn, my bike was stolen! Where is it?
Damn, my bike's been stolen! Where is it?

Sorry that I ask again, but I didn't undestand. Thanks Emotion: smile

PS: after reading your post again, I think you said the past simple is still the most common one in American mouths, even in passives like that.
Hi Kooyeeen

I agreed with you that, in AmE, using the present perfect would be more "natural" in that sort of passive sentence than it would be in the active version of the same sentence. However, I also wanted to emphasize the fact that you added context -- and context tends to influence people's choice of tense. For example:

A: I was really bummed out yesterday.
B: Why? What happened?
A: Somebody stole my bike./My bike was stolen./Somebody has stolen my bike./My bike has been stolen.

(The stuff that is in red and crossed out is absolutely wrong in this context!)
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HI again Amy, Emotion: crying
I'm so sorry... I still don't understand and I have the exact same problem, LOL. I think we are not understanding each other well, so I'll try to be clearer now.
YankeeI agreed with you that, in AmE, using the present perfect would be more "natural" in that sort of passive sentence than it would be in the active version of the same sentence.
I wanted to know if the present perfect was more or less natural than the simple past in the passive sentence. That is, I was interested in the comparison between these two, considering the context too:
Damn, my bike was stolen! Where is it?
Damn, my bike's been stolen! Where is it?
YankeeHowever, I also wanted to emphasize the fact that you added context
I should have emphasized that I was actually interested in that specific context. Emotion: wink I know about other contexts (I would never say what you wrote in red), but I am really unsure what to do in contexts like the one I provided.

Thanks again Emotion: smile
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