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Active and passive voice

  1. Using Active and Passive Voice
  2. Verbs and Voice Voice is the form a verb takes to indicate whether the subject of the verb performs or receives the action. There are two types of voice: active voice and passive voice.
  3. Active Voice Active voice shows that the subject of the sentence is “the doer” of the action. My dog dug a big hole in the backyard. dog is the doer, dug is the action.
  4. Passive Voice Passive voice is the form of the verb that is used when the subject of the sentence is the receiver of the action. The hole in the backyard was dug by the dog. hole is the receiver of the action was dug is the action
  5. Why choose active voice? Active voice is more direct and concise. Passive voice is often wordier because of the need to use a helping verb and a prepositional phrase.
  6. How to recognize passive verbs 1. Look for the helping verb and the past participle form of the verb. Breakfast was eaten in the kitchen. 2. Look for a prepositional phrase beginning with the word “by.” (This contains the doer of the action). The holes in the backyard were dug by the dog.
  7. When to use Passive Voice 1. When intentionally trying to hide the subject of the sentence. “Mistakes were made.” avoids the need to place the blame on someone specific. 2. When passive voice better emphasizes the main point of the message, such as “The fire was caused by a careless smoker.