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4.2: Passive Adjective Expressions

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    Passive Adjective Expressions

    On the following pages is a list of Passive Adjective Expressions.  These expressions are passive in nature, which means they are formed with the verb To Be.  They are then followed by an adjective and a preposition.  Note the examples below.

    I am interested in learning how to write correctly in English.

    He was concerned about his children’s grades in school.

    My friend will be mad at his brother for making a mess.

    He is good at sports and music.

    The father warned his boys about the dangers of drugs and gangs.

    The children are excited about going on vacation and visiting their aunt.


    1.  To be absent from

    Some students are often absent from school.  It can be a problem if you are absent from work without an excuse.

    2.  To be accustomed to

    I am accustomed to living in Seattle and the Seattle weather.  As much as I don’t enjoy it, I am accustomed to getting up at 6:00 AM during school days.

    3.  To be acquainted with     

    My sons are acquainted with many of my wife’s and my friends.  It often takes time for students to get acquainted with each other.

    4.  To be afraid of

    Some people are afraid of my dog because she is big and barks at strangers.  Believe me, there is nothing to be afraid of her for because she is very gentle and not dangerous to people.

    5.  To be angry about something

    Some people get angry about the traffic and the weather in Seattle, but it doesn’t do them any good to be angry.  Some teachers are angry about students’ not doing their homework.

    6.  To be angry at someone (for doing something)

    My wife was angry at my son for making a mess in the kitchen.  My elder son was angry at my wife for her complaints about his girlfriend.

    7.  To be appropriate for

    My clothes are appropriate for teaching.  Chopsticks are not appropriate for eating soup.   

    8.  To be ashamed of someone for something

    I was ashamed of my students for causing trouble in the library.  I have never been ashamed of my sons.

    9.  To be associated with

    Sicknesses are associated with eating unhealthy food.  Most parents don’t want their children associated with kids who are troublemakers.       

    10.  To be aware of

    I am aware of who comes to class every day and who misses class.  My students are aware of the fact that I want them to skip lines when doing homework.

    11.  To be capable of

    All of you are capable of speaking very well in English.  I am not capable of flying an airplane.

    Note number 53 to be incapable of.

    12.  To be certain of

    People can never be certain of the weather in Seattle.  I am certain of what I ate for dinner last night.  I am certain of the difficulty of learning English as a second language.

    13.  To be close to

    Seattle is close to Burien.  Even though my sister and I live far apart, we are close to each other.

    14.  To be committed to

    I am committed to working hard for my students and teaching them well.  When my son gets married, I hope he remains committed to his wife forever.

    15.  To be compared to / with

    I could never be compared to my brother because he was a very big and strong man.  Poor people have much more difficult lives compared with the lives of rich people.

    16.  To be compensated for something by someone

    You will be compensated for studying hard by learning how to speak and write English very well.  When people work overtime, they are compensated for the extra work with more pay.

    17.  To be composed of

    Water is composed of hydrogen and oxygen.  This class is composed of students from many countries.  A cake is composed of many different ingredients.

    18.  To be concerned about

    Parents are always concerned about their young children.  I am concerned about my son’s car because it is leaking oil.

    19.  To be content with

    I have always been very content with my life.  My sons are content with their jobs.  People are content with their jobs if they like their jobs and their pay is good.

    20.  To be contrary to

    Contrary to what some Americans think, learning English is not easy at all.  The weatherman said it was going to be sunny and warm today.  Contrary to what he said, it is cold and rainy today.

    21.  To be covered with

    The wedding cake was covered with strawberries and cream.  When the boys came home from the park, they were covered with dirt.                      

    22.  To be dedicated to

    I am dedicated to my profession, teaching.  I was a dedicated son to my mother and father because I loved them very much.

    23.  To be delighted at / with

    I am delighted with my students because they are hardworking and nice.        My son was delighted at receiving a pay raise last week.       

    24.  To be devoted to

    Babies and mother are devoted to each other.  Some people are more devoted to their jobs than to their families.

    25.  To be different from

    I am different from many other people because of my long beard.  Girls are usually very different from boys.

    26.  To be disappointed in / by / with

    My wife was disappointed with the present she got from my son’s girlfriend.  The student was disappointed in the score she got on the exam.  The teacher was disappointed with her students when they were noisy and caused trouble at the assembly.

    27.  To be divorced from

    My sister has been divorced from her first husband for about forty years.  People who are crazy are divorced from reality because of their mental disease.

    28.  To be done with

    After we are done with eating dinner, I usually do the dishes.  We will be done with school today after this class is finished.

    29.  To be dressed in

    Most brides are dressed in white in America.  I am usually dressed in a nice shirt and tie for school.

    30.  To be engaged in

    You are engaged in learning English now.  When I am not teaching school, I am usually at home engaged in working in my garden.

    31.  To be engaged to

    I was engaged to my wife before we got married.  My son is engaged to his girlfriend.

    32.  To be enthusiastic about

    I am enthusiastic about teaching my students these words.  Good students are enthusiastic about learning.  People are usually enthusiastic about going on vacation.

    33.  To be envious of

    I am envious of men who have a lot of hair.  Old people are envious of young people because young people can do many things without getting too tired.

    34.  To be equal to

    Women are equal to men in America because there are laws that make inequality against the law.  My ability in English is equal to my friend Roger’s ability in English.

    35.  To be essential to

    Understanding grammar is essential to understanding English writing.  Love is essential to children so that they can develop well.

    36.  To be excited about

    My son is excited about getting married.  At Christmas time, children are excited about receiving presents for Christmas.

    37.  To be faithful to

    Most people are fairly faithful to their religion.  Married people should be faithful to each other.

    38.  To be familiar with

    I am familiar with many cultures in the world.  My wife is familiar with many different kinds of cooking.

    39.  To be famous for

    Seattle is famous for its rainy weather.  New York is famous for its skyscrapers.

    40.  To be fed up with

    Many people are fed up with the lies that politicians tell.  By the end of March, many residents of Seattle are fed up with the cold, rainy weather.

    41.  To be finished with

    I usually wash the dishes when we are finished with dinner.  It will probably take me a couple of hours to be finished with writing these sample sentences.

    42.  To be fond of

    I am fond of eating apple pie and ice cream.  My son is fond of living in Japan.

    43.  To be friendly to / with

    Most people in the world are friendly to each other.  We are friendly to our neighbors.

    44.  To be frightened of / by

    Some people are frightened of spiders, rats, and snakes.  I am frightened by people driving too fast in cars.

    45.  To be full of

    The file cabinet in my office is full of many important papers.  The malls are full of people during the weekend.

    46.  To be generous about

    My wife is always generous about feeding people who come to our house.  Some people are generous about giving money to their church or mosque.

    47.  To be glad about

    I am glad about not working on Fridays.  Healthy people are glad about not being sick.

    48.  To be good at

    I am good at thinking up sentences for these words to use as examples so that my students will understand them.  My wife is good at cooking many kinds of food.

    49.  To be grateful to someone for something

    I am grateful to my parents for bringing me up correctly.  Students should be grateful to their teachers for teaching them and giving them knowledge.

    50.  To be guilty of

    When I was a boy, one of my friends was guilty of stealing a car.  Some students are guilty of being late to class every day.

    51.  To be happy about / with /for

    I am very happy about having two good sons.  I was happy for my friend when his wife had their first baby.

    52.  To be interested in

    I hope all of you are interested in getting an education.  My son has been interested in composing music since he was a little boy.

    53.  To be incapable of

    Men are incapable of giving birth to babies.  Most old men are incapable of lifting heavy objects.

    54.  To be in charge of

    Teachers are in charge of their classes.  George H. Bush was in charge of the United States for eight years.

    55.  To be in danger of

    Whenever I am driving on snow and ice, I am in danger of having an accident.  When people gamble, they are in danger of losing all of their money.

    56.  To be in favor of

    I am in favor of children going to school on Saturdays.  Most people are in favor of living peaceful lives.

    57.  To be innocent of

    I am innocent of committing any serious crimes.  A jury decided that my friend was innocent of robbing a bank, so he didn’t go to jail.

    58.  To be in touch with

    I am often in touch with my sister by telephone.  When I was a young man and traveled a lot, I was always in touch with my family by sending letters.

    59.  To be jealous of

    My friend has a beautiful wife, and he is always jealous of other men looking at her.  I am not jealous of anyone about anything because I am happy with what I have.

    60.  To be known as

    My father was known as a very kind man.  The Seattle baseball team is known as the Seattle Mariners.

    61.  To be known for

    Seattle is known for its cool rainy weather.  Bill Gates is known for his computer company, Microsoft Corporation.

    62.  To be lazy about

    My wife and I are both lazy about dusting our furniture.  We both hate to do it.  Children are lazy about cleaning their rooms.

    63.  To be mad at someone for / something

    My wife as mad at my son for not getting her a nice birthday present.  The people were mad at President Bush for starting a war.

    64.  To be mad about something (two meanings)

    (Good Meaning)  Many people all over the world are mad about soccer (football).  Many women are mad about shopping for shoes and clothes.  (Unhappy Meaning)  My son was mad about getting a parking ticket last week.  My friend is mad about losing his wallet in the river when he was fishing.

    65.  To be made from

    Paper is made from wood pulp.  Coffee is made from coffee beans.

    66.  To be made of

    Most of my shirts are made of cotton cloth.  My briefcase is made of leather.

    67.  To be married to

    I have been married to my wife for 36 years.  My younger son is not married to anyone; he is still a bachelor.

    68.  To be opposed to

    Many people in America are opposed to smoking.  I am opposed to people carrying guns.

    69.  To be out of date

    My clothes never go out of date because I wear them until they fall apart.  You should be careful not to buy or use food that is out of date.

    70.  To be out of order

    Many public telephones are always out of order.  Sometimes soft drink machines such as Coke machines don’t work because they are out of order.

    71.  To be patient with

    It is very necessary to be patient with children when they are learning to do new things.  I try to be patient with my students when they are answering questions.

    72.  To be pleased with

    I am pleased with my life; I have no complaints.  I am always pleased with the meals my wife makes because she is an excellent cook.

    73.  To be polite to

    I have always insisted that my sons be polite to older people.  If you have a business, it is very important to be polite to your customers.

    74.  To be prepared for something

    When you have an examination, you need to study before the examination to be prepared for the questions.  I always write lesson plans for each class the night before I teach so that I can be prepared for my lessons.

    75.  To be prevented from

    Foreign people are prevented by law from owning guns in America until they become green card holders or citizens.  Students and teachers are prevented from smoking inside any building on SSC campus by law.

    76.  To be proud of

    My parents were always proud of me because I always did well in school.  I am very proud of my sons because they are good, kind, honest men who are polite and well-educated.

    77.  To be relevant to

    These words are relevant to your speaking and writing good English.  Eating healthy food is relevant to having good health.

    78.  To be responsible to someone for something

    I am responsible to my family for providing money in order to support our family.  I am responsible to the college for teaching my students to speak and write English.

    79.  To be ready for

    By the end of the quarter, I will be ready for some time off from teaching.  You need to study in order to be ready for examinations.

    80.  To be satisfied with

    I am satisfied with my family and job because both of them give me pleasure and happiness.  I hope you are satisfied with my teaching style.

    81.  To be scared of

    A lot of people in the world are scared of ghosts.  Many people are scared of dying.

    82.  To be sensitive to

    Young children are sensitive to the way people speak to them.  Some people can’t wear woolen clothes because their skin is sensitive to wool and if they were wool, they break out in a rash.

    83.  To be sorry about

    Some students are sorry about not doing their homework because they don’t have any free time.  I was sorry about going too fast on I-5 because I got a speeding ticket from a state trooper.

    84.  To be suitable for

    The clothes I wear to class are suitable for teaching in, but they are not suitable for working in my garden.  Carrying heavy loads is not suitable work for old people.

    85.  To be sure of / about

    I am usually sure of what I am going to teach every day.  My wife was sure about not wanting to go to the party.

    86.  To be surprised at / by

    My wife and I were surprised at how much weight our son had gained when we saw him after one year away from home.  The woman’s husband was surprised by the price she paid for a pair of new shoes.

    87.  To be suspicious of

    The store keeper was suspicious of the young boys who came into his shop because he thought they wanted to steal something.  The man’s wife was suspicious of her husband because he came home with lipstick on the collar of his shirt.

    88.  To be terrified of

    The people in Japan were terrified of the on-rushing water during the tsunami.  Many people in the park were terrified of the two gangs that were fighting and shooting guns.

    89.  To be thankful to someone for something

    I am thankful to my students for being hard working and nice.  Men should be thankful to their wives for taking care of them, their children, and their homes.

    90.  To be tired from

    When I get home at night, I am tired from teaching.  My son was tired from playing video games all night long and not getting enough sleep.

    91.  To be tired of

    I have been correcting English homework papers from my students for 46 years.  I am tired of correcting homework papers.  A lot of people hate to live in Seattle because they are tired of the rain and the cold cloudy weather.

    92.  To be uneasy about

    I am uneasy about working on electrical problems because I always think I am going to electrocute myself.  Many people are uneasy about going to the dentist.

    93.  To be unsure of

    I am unsure of what I will do after I retire.  I worry about being bored.  My son is unsure of when he will get married.  He and his fiancée have not set a date for their wedding yet.

    94.  To be used to

    I am used to waking up at 6:00 AM every morning.  My family is used to eating my wife’s food.

    95.  To be used for

    A knife is used for cutting things.  A washing machine is used for washing clothes.

    96.  To be useful for

    A dictionary is useful for finding out the definitions, pronunciation, and spelling of words.  Knowing English is very useful for traveling all over the world because people everywhere study and speak at least some English.

    97.  To be warned about

    My friend was warned about speeding in the morning when crossing the Aurora Bridge in North Seattle because the police always have a speed trap on the other side of the bridge.  Children are always warned about not speaking to strangers by their mothers and fathers.

    98.  To be worried about

    Some students are worried about passing to the next level in ESL classes.  During the winter, many people are worried about driving on the snow and ice.

    4.2: Passive Adjective Expressions is shared under a CC BY-NC 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Don Bissonnette.

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