Active vs. Passive Voice

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Today we are going to focus on the difference between active and passive voice. An example of the two different types are:

The Active Voice:
Most countries in Asia speak Mandarin.

The Passive Voice:
Mandarin is spoken in most countries in Asia.

Using the Passive Voice:

1. Passive voice is used when there is a focus on the action. Although, it is not known who or what is performing the action.
Example: “A ball was kicked.”
The focus, here, is on the fact that a ball was kicked. Thought, we do not know, who kicked the ball.

2. Sometimes a statement in passive is more polite than active voice.
Example: A glass was smashed.
Focus, here, is on the fact that a glass was smashed, but there is no one being blamed in this situation. Compared to if someone said “You dropped the glass and it smashed on the floor”.

Form of the passive voice:
Subject + the appropriate form of to be + Past Participle

NOTE: The appropriate form of to be = To be is put in the the tense of the active voice main verb.

When rewriting active sentences in passive voice, note the following:

  • The object of the active sentence becomes the subject of the passive sentence.
  • The form of the verb is the appropriate form of to be (the tense of the active voice main verb) + the past participle.
  • The subject of the active sentence becomes the object of the passive sentence (or is dropped.)

How to form sentences using the passive voice:

Active: Talia (subject) bakes (verb) cupcakes (object).

Passive: Cupcakes (object becoming subject) are made (verb) [by Talia] (subject becoming object or is dropped).

Passive Voice Quiz

Complete the following sentences to change them from active to passive voice.

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