active vs passive voice

Learn Writing Sentences in Active and Passive Voice

Description: The article covers the point on active vs passive voice. At the end of the material, we will be guided to grasp the skills of defining active voice and passive voice, identifying the differences between active voice and passive voice and changing sentences in active voice to passive voice.

At the end of this lesson, you will be able to define active voice, define passive voice, identify the differences between active voice and passive voice, change sentences in active voice to passive voice and vice-versa.

What are you busily doing? I’m writing about how you kick the ball so hard yesterday, let it fly over the fence, let’s see what ZZ has written in her book, Fleck and I went to the park yesterday, Fleck was playing with a ball the ball was kicked very hard by Fleck, it flew over the fence, let’s take a look at the two sentences.

Fleck kicked the ball, the ball was kicked by Fleck, the first sentence tells us what Fleck did, the second sentence tells us what was done to the ball, do these two sentences mean the same?

Let’s find out, a sentence has two parts, the subject and the predicate in the sentence, Fleck kicked the ball, Fleck is the subject and kicked the ball is the predicate, let us now look at the predicate here.

The ball is the object and the verb kicked explains what was done to the ball, so we can say Fleck is the subject or the agent of the verb ball is the object, kicked is the verb, a sentence in which the subject is the agent or the doer of the action denoted by the verb is said to be in the active voice.

This sentence is in the active voice, because it tells us what Fleck did, so here FLAC is the subject and the doer of the action the ball is the receiver of that action, the action or the verb is kicked since what the subject did affected the object ball.

The verb kit here is transitive, let us study the second sentence, the ball was kicked by Fleck, in this sentence, the ball is not the doer of the action here, the subject is the receiver of the action, a sentence in which the subject does not act, but the receiver of the action is said to be in passive voice.

This sentence is in the passive voice, it tells us what was done to the ball, so here the ball is not the doer, but the receiver of the action, the action is was kicked, the verb was kicked does not have an object.

Hence, it is intransitive, we saw two sentences meaning the same thing, but being written differently, let’s understand the differences between them, let us first take a look at the subject in the active voice, the subject of the verb is the agent or the doer of the action denoted by the verb.

But in the passive voice, the subject of the verb is not the doer, rather it is acted upon or is the receiver of the action denoted by the verb, it is therefore passive or inactive, let us take a look at the verb used in both the sentences.

The verb used is to kick which is the same for both sentences, however, the form of the verb differs the form of the verb in the first sentence is kicked and the form of the verb in the second sentence is was get, so the form of the verb helps us identify the voice of the sentence usually in the passive voice use the to be form of the verb according to the tense of the sentences followed by the past participle form of the active verb.

So in this sentence, the ball was kicked by Fleck, we use was which is the past tense of the verb to be and the verb kicked which is the past participle form of the verb to kick the voice of a verb tells us whether the subject is the doer or the receiver of the action denoted by the verb in the case of a sentence in the active voice.

The subject is the agent or doer of the action denoted by the verb, this first sentence is in the active voice, so the subject fleck is the agent or doer of the action denoted by the verb to kick the second sentence is in the passive voice.

Here the subject ball is not the agent or the doer of the action denoted by the verb to kick it is rather acted upon or is the receiver of that action in a sentence in the passive voice, the agent of the action denoted by the verb may or may not be mentioned in a sentence in the passive voice where the agent of the action is mentioned.

We always use a preposition such as by or with after the passive verb and then mention the agent, the agent, then it becomes the object of the preposition in the first sentence, we do not add a preposition since it is in the active voice since the second sentence is in the passive voice, the preposition by is used after the passive verb was kicked and then the agent flag is mentioned, the agent flag is the object of the preposition by when the agent is not mentioned, an appropriate form of the verb get is sometimes used instead of be with the past participle.

For example, the children got busy during the term and exams while changing the voice from active to passive, there are a few other changes that need to be followed as well, let us study them in detail.

Look at the following sentence, in the active voice, the pattern followed in the sentence is the subject Zizi, the verb told and the object story when changing the voice from active to passive the object story of the active verb now becomes the subject of the passive verb.

So the sentence in the passive voice becomes a story that was told by ZZ, therefore, it follows that usually only active transitive verbs which can have objects can be changed into passive voice, the next thing to remember while changing to passive voice is that the subject of the active verb or the agent can be mentioned only with the help of a preposition usually by or with the passive verb is followed by the preposition by or with.

Then the agent is mentioned, the agent becomes the object of the preposition used in the sentence, the verb was told is followed by the preposition by an active transitive verb may have two objects direct and indirect.

Let us look at an example that explains this statement Z Z told a beautiful story to flag, let us ask the questions who told the story and to whom was it told, we get the answer z Z and Fleck respectively.

So story is the direct object and Fleck is the indirect object while changing the sentence to passive voice, any one of the objects can be made the subject of the passive verb, the other object that may be retained as the object of the passive verb is known as the retained object.

So we can write the sentence in two ways, in the passive voice, Fleck was told a story by Z Z, a story was told to Fleck by Z Z in the first sentence story which was the direct object of the active verb now becomes the retained object of the passive verb, in the second sentence, fleck which was the indirect object of the active verb now becomes the retained object of the passive verb the preposition to is also kept before the redeemed object flag flag is an object of the preposition.

Let’s look at some more examples of changing sentences in active voice to passive voice, the girl was singing a beautiful song in this sentence, the subject girl is the agent of the active verb was singing the object is song while changing this sentence to passive voice depending on the tense of the active verb.

An appropriate passive form of the verb to be has to be used with the past participle of the active verb, in this sentence, the tense of the active verb was singing is past continuous, the passive voice of this sentence will be a beautiful song was being sung by the girl.

The appropriate passive form of the verb to be in this case, it was being the past participle form of the active verb sing is sung, let’s look at another example, the dog chased the cat, in this sentence, the subject dog is the agent of the active verb, chase cat is the object the tense of the active verb, chased is simple fast the passive voice of this sentence will be the cat was chased by the dog.

The appropriate passive form of the verb to be in this case is was the past participle form of the active verb chase is chased to, remember to change the dances of the verbs gathered in most of the sentences the subject verb and object are clearly identified.

However, this may not be in the case of imperative sentences, let us take a few examples of changing an imperative sentence from active to passive voice clean the floor in the passive voice, this sentence will be let the floor be clean bring your books to school every day, in the passive voice, this sentence will be books should be brought to school every day, we generally use the passive voice in writing reports where the action done or to be done is more important than the agent.

Fleck give me back my book, let us revise all the points you have learned in this lesson, active and passive voice, a sentence has two parts, the subject and the predicate, the predicate contains the verb and the object a sentence in which the subject is the doer of the action denoted by the verb is said to be in active voice, a sentence in which the subject does not act, but is the receiver of the action is said to be in passive voice.

The voice of a verb tells us whether or not the subject is the doer or the agent of the action denoted by the verb in a sentence in the passive voice, we usually use the to be form of the verb according to the tense of the sentence with the past participle form of the verb in a sentence in the passive voice where the agent of the action is mentioned, we always use a preposition such as by or with after the passive verb and then mentioned the agent.

The agent then becomes the object of the preposition only active transitive verbs which can have objects can be changed into passive voice, an active transitive verb may have two objects direct and indirect while changing a sentence with two objects to passive voice, any one of the objects can be made the subject of the passive verb, the other object that may be retained as the object of the passive verb is known as the retained object, passive voice is generally used in writing reports where the action done or to be done is more important than the agent.

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