It might sound odd to realize that sentences written in English have a voice, but it’s even strange to realize there are arguments over which of the two options – active and passive voice which one is more appropriate in writing. This article outlines the meaning of each voice and provides example sentences of how both can be used properly.
What is the Active Voice?
In the active voice, the subject of the sentence is the one doing the action expressed by the verb. Writers typically convey their message using an active voice. Active voice uses simple and straightforward speech. The active voice has an authoritative and clear tone.
Active Voice Example Sentences
- Dad read the novel in two days.
- She will clean the kitchen every Sunday.
- Jake painted the entire wall.
- Sophia followed the thief.
- The student viewed the comet.
- She told them the truth.
- The instructor will give you instructions.
- Thousands of tourists visit the Bali every year.
- The saltwater corroded the metal beams.
- I am playing football.
What is the Passive Voice?
In the passive voice, subject is the person or thing acted on or affected by the action of verb. In English, like in other languages, it’s possible to switch the sense of a written sentence from the active voice to the passive voice. This change is in relation to what or who is the subject of a sentence.
Passive Voice Example Sentences
- Banana is adored by a monkey.
- The money was counted by the shopkeeper.
- The squirrel was chased by the hen.
- The lamp was knocked over by William.
- The washroom has been cleaned.
- An old truck was found in the forest.
- The mango was eaten by the Amelia.
- The fish was caught by the bear.
- The bus was hit by the girl.
- The meat was eaten by the loin.
- The spider was hated by Mia.
- The coins were collected by Victor.
Difference Between Active and Passive Voice
The following points are essential in the sense of the difference between active voice and passive voice.
- A sentence where a subject does the work or completes the task and is referred to as an active voice. In contrast, if the action is viewed by the person who is reading it in a sentence, the sentence is referred to as passive voice.
- In the active voice, the object responds to the verb, while the subject is acting upon the verb with the passive voice.
- Suppose you speak in an active voice because an actor becomes the one in charge of the action in question; that is why it appears at the top. Contrarily in a silent voice, the subject or object that the action is taking place is the first to be seen while the actor is to the end of the sentence, marked by the preposition “by.”
- Active Voice: Oliver likes Olivia.
- Passive Voice: Olivia is liked by Oliver.
- Active Voice: Mother was cooking food last night.
- Passive Voice: Food was being cooked by mother, last night.
- Active Voice: The children have cleaned the bike.
- Passive Voice: The bike has been cleaned.
When to use active and passive voice?
Sentences should be written using the active voice at all times. This is because this can help make your writing less rambling. However, as is evident in the examples, the passive voice typically calls for more words. Therefore, it can seem ambiguous and sloppy when written poorly, especially when the topic to be addressed is implied and not explicitly mentioned.
But, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the passive voice is not to be used at any time. There are many advantages. In particular, many writers employ it as a tool for writing fiction. Particularly those who write mysteries are avid admirers of the passive voice because it lets them hide the secrets of their stories.
The lack of attention to the actor has resulted in the passive voice being the preferred option for academic or scientific writing. Although there has been an evolution in permitting scientists to talk about their decisions in the tests they’ve conducted, the scientific field remains averse to using the passive voice to keep the tone of impartiality. This is because it does not place a specific emphasis on the individual’s perspective but instead focuses on the steps taken and the results.
When writing, you must always think about whether you want to use the active or passive voice. It’s all about the message you, as a writer, are trying to convey. If you are trying to emphasize the person doing the work, you should use the passive voice. On the other hand, if your goal is to draw attention to the actions, choose the active voice.
Recap of we just learned
- What is the Active Voice?
- Active Voice Example Sentences
- What is the Passive Voice?
- Passive Voice Example Sentences
- Difference Between Active and Passive Voice
- When to use active and passive voice?
The passive and active voices are everywhere – you only need to look for them! Make sure to pay attention when listening to the radio or watching television. First, try to discern the differences between the passive and active voice. Then try to figure out the reason behind each one. It is also possible to switch sentences between different voices to see what impact it has!
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