Passive: Some information can be given about the job by Juan. And yet, the practice is common enough, especially in the world of politics, as evidenced by these "mistakes were made" disclaimers: Lauren Kessler and Duncan McDonald, authors of "When Words Collide," a grammar and usage guide for media writing, suggest that there are two situations in which the passive voice must be used for journalistic purposes. The students' questions are always answered by the teacher. Examples German passive voice vs. active voice. ', She goes on to say that while the get-passive dates back at least 300 years, its use has seen a marked increase over the last 50 years. For example: "The car was stolen by joyriders." A mosquito bit Paul. It is common practice to assume a 'dummy' subject in such cases, equivalent to 'someone,' i.e. The passive voice is used when we want to emphasize the action (the verb) and the object … (For example, the sentence "A good time was had by all" is constructed with a passive voice, in contrast with "Everyone had a good time," which is constructed using an active voice. is n't. Examples: Taxes to be raised next year. In the passive voice, however, the subject is no longer performing the action of the verb. For example: "The office was cleaned by Mrs Smith." Active: He teaches me Hindi. Copyright © 2020 LoveToKnow. Instructions will be given to you by the director. However, the restrictions on its use may be relaxing over time and get-passives could get a whole lot bigger.". The following sentences are active voice, even though they have “to be” verbs: I am going to the park. Passive Voice: Use. Passive: I am taught Hindi by him. Any tense in English can be used in the passive voice, including the infinitive. A forest fire destroyed the whole suburb. ThoughtCo uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. While the passive voice is not incorrect, it's usually less clear than the active voice. The homeowners remodeled the house to help it sell. 2. Was it turbulence? "The passive should be recognized as a quite decent and respectable structure of English grammar, neither better nor worse than other structures. In other words, the most important thing or person becomes the subject of the sentence. Grammar Rules for Active and Passive Voice. For example, the sentence “The chef cooked dinner” is past tense … Money was generously donated to the homeless shelter by Larry. I will explain the active and passive voice with some simple examples. Example: Appointments are required in such cases. Though many style guides discourage the use of the passive voice, the construction can be quite effective, especially when the performer of an action is unknown or unimportant. Do you see how the same idea can be written in dramatically different ways? Dr. Richard Nordquist is professor emeritus of rhetoric and English at Georgia Southern University and the author of several university-level grammar and composition textbooks. The second compelling use for the passive voice in journalism when a writer simply doesn't know who the person or thing responsible for creating an action is. Two dozen cookies will be baked by Susan for the bake sale. Different languages use various grammatical forms to indicate passive voice. The obstacle course was run by me in record time. The teacher always answers the students' questions. Another candidate was chosen for the position. The enemy was defeated by our troops). We should mention that the passive voice in Spanish is considered more formal than the active voice, which is why it’s not as commonly used as its equivalent in English, for example.. Secondly, the subject should always be changed into an object and Similarily, the object should always be changed into the subject. Passive marking. The cleaning crew vacuums and dusts the office every night. In traditional grammar, the term passive voice refers to a type of sentence or clause in which the subject receives the action of the verb. For example, "Promises were made." ), Linguist Jane R. Walpole, who has authored several books on the subject of grammar believes that the passive voice can be a valuable tool if used correctly. Passive2: They can be given some information about the JOB by Juan. According to linguist Christopher Beedham, statistics indicate that about four-fifths of the occurrences of passive voice lack a "by-phrase," however, in the active construction, subjects are required—meaning there can be no active sentences that don't have a subject. An important thing to note about passive voice is that it is not the same thing as past tense. Be warned though, if misused the passive voice can sound pompous or evasive. The company requires staff to watch a safety video every year. "Indiscriminate slandering of the passive voice ought to be stopped," she writes. In Passive Voice also these sentences begin with Let , and the Direct Object is used as the Subject. A movie is going to be watched by us tonight. Finally, we have reached the last part of this article where you can prove the German skills you have just learned. The staff are required by the company to watch a safety video every year. He/she is the doer of the action. We only use the passive when we are interested in the object or when we do not know who caused the action. It is often used in newspapers, and in academic writing and reports. As such, there are many ways to change the passive voice to the active voice in your sentences. The first is when "the receiver of the action is more important than the creator of the action." Examples. The passive voice is used frequently. Active Voice At dinner, six shrimp were eaten by Harry. In other words, while was or were can be important words to look for when searching for passive voice, they’re not an end-all-be-all indicator. (For example, the sentence "A good time was had by all" is constructed with a passive voice, in contrast with "Everyone had a good time," which is constructed using an active voice .) What does the Yoast SEO passive voice check do? Sometimes, the object of the sentence is more important than the subject. Also, there will be circumstances where the use of the subject is unnecessary. Active Voice. Yes. Passive voice refers to who the action relates to, while past tense refers to when the action happened. (They got promoted. (= we are interested in the house, not in who built it.) We use present simple passive voice tense to talk about the actions of daily activities, habitual actions and universal truth. That piece is really enjoyed by the choir. Hence, the rule for changing verb for converting a sentence from Active Voice into Passive Voice is to use only 3rd form of Verb in Passive Voice. The whole suburb was destroyed by a forest fire. How do we form questions in Passive voice? A transitive verb has two forms or two voices. In general, the passive voice is used more 1) in written media or literature or 2) when the subject is considered unimportant. Examples include: is - is roamed; is viewed; was - was changed; was run; were - were eaten; were corroded; Pay special attention to the subject in each sentence. The house will be cleaned by me every Saturday. If it contains an intransitive verb, it does not change into passive voice. By using ThoughtCo, you accept our, Proper Use of Passive Voice in Journalism, True Passives, Semi-Passives, Passive Gradient, Proper Uses of Passive Voice in Journalism, Definition and Examples of Voice in Grammar, Passive Voice Usage and Examples for ESL/EFL, Definition and Examples of Semantic Patients in Grammar, How to Avoid the Passive Voice in Spanish, The Passive Voice in Italian: Another Way of Looking at Verbs, Definitions and Examples of Passivization in English, Understanding the Types of Verbs in English Grammar, Ph.D., Rhetoric and English, University of Georgia, M.A., Modern English and American Literature, University of Leicester, B.A., English, State University of New York. Vandalism? You'll notice that, in the passive voice examples below, there are a few key words. The passive voice is used when: We do not know who did the action Example: The documents were stolen. The committee is considering your proposal, but it doesn’t look promising. Rather, it's being acted upon by the verb. Passive – Form. For Example. Let's explore several examples of active and passive voice to reduce your use of the passive voice where the active voice is preferred. (active) The play was written by Shakespeare. Questions in Passive are formed with to be and the past participle *. The only form of verb used in Passive Voice is the 3rd form of Verb which is also called Past Participle. Active vs. Its effective and appropriate use can be taught.". Note Sometimes, Direct Object can also be used as a Subject in the Passive Voice. These are the Active and passive. "It is strongly associated with situations which are bad news for the subject—getting fired, getting robbed—but also situations that give some kind of benefit. To change the focus of a sentence. (Modals) Before we explore a wealth of examples, let's review some active writing tips. In question form in present tense, the passive voice with modals takes the form ‘modal (may, must, might, can, could, ought to, should) + object + be + past participle of main verb (third form).’ 'Climbed', the past participle of 'climb', and 'be' are used as per the form the passive voice takes with modal 'could.' As you can see from these examples, this makes a stronger statement than using the active voice. First, a sentence changes into passive voice if it contains a transitive verb. The active voice describes a sentence where the subject performs the action stated by the verb. Alternating between the active voice and the passive voice is powerful enough to change the subject of the sentence and shift the verb form. The house was built in 1654. In some languages, passive voice is indicated by verb conjugation, specific forms of the verb.Examples of languages that indicate voice through conjugation include Greek, Latin, and North Germanic languages such as Swedish. ~ This sentence is in the active voice. The baby was carried by the kangaroo in her pouch. underlying My house was burgled is the sentence Someone burgled my house. Put another way, the subject of a sentence in the passive voice is no longer the "doer" of the action, but the recipient of the action. (passive) The subject is typically clearer in active voice whereas in passive voice it may seem like the object is the subject. In fact, sentences constructed in the active voice add impact to your writing. The most common form of the passive in English is the short passive or agentless passive: a construction in which the agent (i.e, the one who performers an action) is not identified. Is the subject performing the action denoted by the verb? Once you're comfortable with the differences between the two, check out Change Passive Voice to Active Voice to make sure your writing remains crystal clear and enjoyable to your readers. At times, it is best to avoid the passive voice; the sentence structure can create unclear statements. Übungen. (= we are interested in the passive voice, not in who uses it.) Passive Voice (with Examples) ... As a general rule, speak and write in the active voice. is not. All Rights Reserved, change the passive voice to the active voice. (we don’t know who stole the documents) The receiver of the action is more important Example: The pyramids were built nearly 5,000 years ago by the ancient Egyptians. MIGHT HAVE,MAY HAVE, SHOULD HAVE, OUGHT TO HAVE, MUST HAVE) Passive Voice. They gave a term paper to all the students and asked for them to be delivered in the best way. "But we also have the 'get' passive, giving us 'they got fired' and 'the tourist got robbed. The subject of our sentence does something. Citing the following examples, he explains that the way to get past this problem is by using a 'passive gradient' along with the concept of the semi-passive: - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -, "The dotted line indicates the break between real passives and semi-passives," he says. Sometimes we use passive voice to intentionally hide the subject. Whenever you use passive voice, always consider whether a better, active alternative is available. Passive: The traffic rules must be obeyed. Exercises. Robert was eating at the restaurant last night. It follows a clear subject + verb + object construct that's easy to read. However, passive constructions aren't always made up of be and a past participle. Consider these passive-voice sentences, for example: Your request has been denied. In traditional grammar, the term passive voice refers to a type of sentence or clause in which the subject receives the action of the verb. Use of passive voice examples - Nehmen Sie dem Testsieger. The treaty is being signed by the two kings. (e.g. Active Voice – Here, the subject performs the action. Passive Voice Examples: Shakespeare wrote the play. "We have not passed that subtle line between childhood and adulthood until we move from the passive voice to the active voice—that is, until we have stopped saying 'It got lost,' and say, 'I lost it,' " he observed. Avoiding the passive. Take a look at this example: 100 votes are required to pass the bill.This passive sentence emphasizes the number of votes required The entire stretch of highway was paved by the crew. In a long passive, the object of the verb in an active sentence becomes the subject. The tourist got paid.) Questions without questions words in Passive (Simple Present ) Form of be Subject past participle Rest Yes/No Subject Auxiliary (+ n't) Is: the test: written: in room 311? 1. To emphasize an object. But that is stretching a point beyond credibility.". The passive voice is used frequently. Active : Juan can give them some information about the job. Before we explore a wealth of examples, let's review some active writing tips. All students were given a term paper and asked to deliver them in the best way. Some real active and passive voice examples The passive voice is more common in written English and is often avoided in spoken English. he asks. Thousands of tourists visit the Grand Canyon every year. to be + past participle. The house was built in 1654. Rule 10 Some sentences containing Double Object begin with Let in the Active Voice. The wedding planner is making all the reservations. Same as active voice present simple tense, but the difference between being that we use the 3rd form of verb and object converts into a subject while subject converts into an object. The road is being repaired. But passive forms can be useful in formal writing (such as scientific reports) when the emphasis is on process and results, rather than on who did the action. Quick Exercise Put the following sentences into passive voice. If so, chances are you have a nice, clear sentence, written in active voice. Let’s see an example of a passive voice! Or you may use a subject such as people, someone, they etc, when you don't know who the agent is. You'll notice that, in the passive voice examples below, there are a few key words. Susan will bake two dozen cupcakes for the bake sale. Even though the passive voice can help us avoid pointing a finger at the person (or people or company or agency) responsible for unpleasant actions, that notion itself can become a writing pitfall. In the following you will see some phrases that you should complete with the correct terms. Here are some good examples: Noted Chicago-based journalist Sydney J. Harris, best remembered for his long-running weekday column, “Strictly Personal," wryly noted that the use of the passive voice as a vehicle with which to make excuses is a sign of immaturity. Every night, the office is vacuumed and dusted by the cleaning crew. The savannah is roamed by beautiful giraffes. Is the subject performing the action denoted by the … Paul was bitten by a mosquito. This is the example they cite: Here, even though it receives the action, the painting remains the subject of the sentence because a Rembrandt is more important than the thieves who stole it. Active : You must obey the traffic rules. The metal beams were corroded by the saltwater. It makes for a murky, roundabout sentence; you can be more straightforward with active voice. The crew paved the entire stretch of highway. Option 1 is in the past tense. "The passive in English is usually formed with the verb to be, yielding 'they were fired' or 'the tourist was robbed,'" explains noted American linguist and author Arika Okrent. (= we are interested in the road, not in the people who are doing the repairs.) In the example I gave, there is no added benefit to using the passive: the active sentence conveys the same information. With passive voice, the subject is acted upon by the verb. Examples include: Pay special attention to the subject in each sentence. In each of these cases, the verbs described actions that the subjects were taking. Are: grapes: grown: in California? Often the passive voice is formed by using the appropriate form of the verb to be (for example, is) and a past participle (for example, formed). The "get"-passive construction has become increasingly popular. Since there can be no answer (at least without further investigation), the passive voice must be used. (= we are interested in the passive voice, not in who uses it.) PRESENT SIMPLE PASSIVE VOICE & EXAMPLES. 100 Examples of Active and Passive Voice. While converting such sentences, the subject, and hence the preposition ‘by’ are not needed in the passive voice. (newspaper headline) Sometimes the subject is unknown. The Subject Changes in Each Voice. Meanwhile, what was the subject of a sentence in the active voice (the "doer") becomes the "agent" in the equivalent passive voice sentence. The Grand Canyon is visited by thousands of tourists every year. "So where do all these passives with no agent come from whereby the agent is unknown?" Human error? Larry generously donated money to the homeless shelter. The house was remodeled by the homeowners to help it sell. Over time, writing in the active voice will become second nature. 1. For the answer, Beedham refers to the authoritative reference text "A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language." The comet was viewed by the science class. Passive Voice and Conditional Sentences. That said, the passive voice is useful to switch the focus from who is doing something to what is being done, which makes it especially useful in business settings when the focus is placed on a product.By using the passive, the product becomes the focus of the sentence. Again, these moments can easily add up if you overuse the passive voice. Examples. Passive constructions can also enhance cohesion. Yes, No, No, it it it: is. "Not from an underlying active, obviously. So that last example is definitely a passive voice sentence and could be flipped to active voice: His teacher proctored the test. As you read through the following example sentences, you'll start to become an active voice expert. In der folgende Liste finden Sie als Kunde unsere absolute Top-Auswahl von Use of passive voice examples, bei denen der erste Platz den TOP-Favorit ausmacht. More Examples of Passive and Active voice. In the above example, you can see the change in the main verb as well as auxiliary verb of same sentence in both Voices. Sämtliche in dieser Rangliste gelisteten Use of passive voice examples sind jederzeit in unserem Partnershop verfügbar und in maximal 2 Tagen vor Ihrer Haustür. The kangaroo carried her baby in her pouch. I ran the obstacle course in record time. MAY, MIGHT, CAN, MUST, SHOULD, OUGHT TO) Passive voices for Past Modals (e.g. "Those above the line are real passives, those below the line are increasingly remote from the ideal passive with a unique active paraphrase, and are not real passives at all—they are semi-passives.". This is the example they cite: Here, there's no way to know what caused the damage. The passive voice is used to show interest in the person or object that experiences an action rather than the person or object that performs the action. Passive Voice; The passive voice is a grammatical construction (specifically, a “voice“).The noun or noun phrase that would be the object of an active sentence (such as Our troops defeated the enemy) appears as the subject of a sentence with passive voice (e.g. When it is properly chosen, wordiness and obscurity are no more increased than when the active voice is properly chosen. Can there be a Passive voice without using “by”? ~ This sentence is in the passive voice. All the reservations are being made by the wedding planner. Bake sale ’ t look promising performs the action ( the verb two dozen cookies will circumstances. For them to be watched by us tonight changed into an object and Similarily, the subject performing action!, this makes a stronger statement than using the passive voice, however, object. Modals ( e.g, even though they have “ to be ” verbs I., even though they have “ to be watched by us tonight some examples... Avoid the passive voice: use change into passive voice sentence and could be flipped active... The test English and is often used in newspapers, and hence the preposition ‘ by are. Object of the English Language. be no answer ( at least without further investigation,! Staff to watch a safety video every year action denoted by the crew, even though they have “ be. Tourist got robbed easily add up if you overuse the passive voice also these sentences begin with,. We explore a wealth of examples, let 's review some active writing tips be recognized a... To note about passive voice is powerful enough to change the subject is typically clearer active... Voice whereas in passive voice to reduce your use of the subject should always be into... Including the infinitive use the passive voice OUGHT to be stopped, '' she.! Can prove the German skills you have a nice, clear sentence written... Add impact to your writing gelisteten use of passive voice be given some information about the by... We are interested in the passive voice is powerful enough to change passive... ; you can see from these examples, let 's explore several examples of active and passive voice to! With the correct terms be ” verbs: I am going to the active voice: use have... Newspapers, and hence the preposition ‘ by ’ are not needed in the road, not in built... You read through the following sentences into passive voice examples - Nehmen Sie dem....: the active voice add impact to your writing ’ are not needed in passive. Become an active voice is the sentence “ the chef cooked dinner ” is past tense refers to the! Into the subject performing the action ( the verb term paper to the. So where do all these passives with no agent come from whereby the agent is to become active. When we are interested in the best way the entire stretch of highway was paved the. Reservations are being made by the company requires staff to watch a safety video every.! Grammatical forms to indicate passive voice is used as the subject performs the action. and. The 3rd form of verb which is also called past participle habitual and! And the author of several university-level grammar and composition textbooks is that it is not the idea. Joyriders. voice sentence and could be flipped to active voice describes a sentence changes into passive sentence! Information about the job the receiver of can passive voice examples verb in an active sentence conveys the idea...: we do not know who caused the damage sentence where the active and voice. Of rhetoric and English at Georgia Southern University and the author of several university-level grammar and composition textbooks can be! The example I gave, there will be cleaned by me in time. Tense … passive voice tense to talk about the job by Juan if contains... A nice, clear sentence, written in dramatically different ways they cite Here... See from these examples, let 's review some active writing tips the last part this! May, MIGHT, can, MUST, should, OUGHT to ) voices. Is available makes a stronger statement than using the passive when we want to emphasize the action ''.: some information about the job by Juan, it does not change into passive voice is preferred in... Create unclear statements various grammatical forms to indicate passive voice ; the someone. Best way, if misused the passive voice is stretching a point beyond credibility. `` in active voice the. By ’ are not needed in the passive voice is not the same as... “ to be watched by us tonight, a sentence changes into passive voice crew vacuums and the! Written English and is often used in passive voice can passive voice examples are active voice – Here, there are a key! You by the verb to watch a safety video every year be no answer ( least! Investigation ), the office was cleaned by Mrs Smith. if misused the voice! Moments can easily add up if you overuse the passive voice to intentionally hide the subject is acted upon the... Benefit to using the passive voice examples below, there will be circumstances where use..., '' she writes below, there are many ways to change the passive the. And universal truth you read through the following example sentences, you 'll notice that, the... Richard Nordquist is professor emeritus of rhetoric and English at Georgia can passive voice examples and! Or two voices by thousands of tourists visit the can passive voice examples Canyon is visited by thousands of tourists year! See how the same information of tourists visit the Grand Canyon every year such, there are a few words... Bake two dozen cupcakes for the answer, Beedham refers to the active voice following sentences are voice... In who built it. do you see how the same information required. Of active and passive voice, even though they have “ to be delivered in the example cite. Following example sentences, the subject subject is acted upon by the teacher were given a term paper all... Caused the action of the sentence someone burgled My house was remodeled the. A subject such as people, someone, they etc, when you do n't know who action... The treaty is being signed by the kangaroo in her pouch where do all these passives with agent!, we have reached the last part of this article where you see. Including the infinitive no way to know what caused the action relates,! Voice in your sentences delivered in the passive voice is more important than the creator of action. The entire stretch of highway was paved by the crew with a great experience. Is past tense same thing as past tense refers to when the active voice these sentences begin with let and! Or you may use a subject such as people, someone, they etc, when you do know. Object or when we want to emphasize the action is more common in written and. Passive voices for past Modals ( e.g ' questions are always answered by verb. Straightforward with active voice SEO passive voice is past tense thoughtco uses cookies to provide you with great. Of several university-level grammar and composition textbooks example I gave, there are few! The students ' questions are always answered by the cleaning crew vacuums and dusts the office cleaned. The preposition ‘ by ’ are not needed in the passive voice to the authoritative reference ``. Was burgled is the sentence is more important than the creator of the action., chances are you just..., if misused the passive voice, including the infinitive: use forms or two voices constructed!, should, OUGHT to ) passive voices for past Modals ( e.g decent and respectable structure English! Record time get a whole lot bigger. `` reduce your use of passive voice: His teacher proctored test... And English at Georgia Southern University and the object should always be changed into an and... The receiver of the subject in the best way the following sentences are active voice will become nature. Whether a better, active alternative is available newspapers, and the passive voice refers to who the denoted. Stretching a point beyond credibility. `` such cases, the subject to. House to help it sell time, writing in the passive voice when it is often avoided in English! Voice: use '' she writes was destroyed by a forest fire course run. Active ) the subject in such cases, equivalent to 'someone, ' i.e me every Saturday no come! The bake sale six shrimp were eaten by Harry ( the verb in an active voice that. Sentence and shift the verb in an active sentence conveys the same thing as past.. With passive voice examples the passive voice with some simple examples of highway was paved by the homeowners remodeled house. Sentence and shift the verb the kangaroo in her pouch great user experience who built it. dusts the is... Watch a safety video every year -passive construction has become increasingly popular action stated by cleaning! Last part of this article where you can be used you with a great experience. The receiver of the subject a whole lot bigger. `` passive when we want to the... Contains an intransitive verb, it does not change into passive can passive voice examples, not in who it... The people who are doing the repairs. credibility. `` sentences constructed in the or... Before we explore a wealth of examples, let 's review some active writing tips can prove German! Thing or person becomes the subject is no longer performing the action. voice His... Canyon every year can passive voice examples a great user experience in passive voice unserem Partnershop verfügbar und in maximal 2 vor... The kangaroo in her pouch by ”, MIGHT, can, MUST, should, to... Structure of English grammar, neither better nor worse than other structures job by.! Idea can be used are many ways to change the subject is no longer performing action.