ACTIVE VOICE 'Voice' refers to the relationship between the subject and the verb in a sentence. A sentence is said to be in the active voice if the subject is performing the action of the verb.
In English, as in many other languages, the passive voice is the form of a transitive verb whose grammatical subject serves as the patient, receiving the action of the verb . English's passive is formed using a form of the auxiliary verb be together with a verb's past participle. PASSIVE VOICE designed. were being was being The car/cars Past progressive designed. are being is being The car/cars Present progressive designed. will have been will have been The car/cars Future perfect designed. will be will be The car/cars Future designed. had been had been The car/cars Past perfect designed. were was The car/cars Past designed. have been has been The car/cars Present perfect designed. are is The car/cars Present Plural Singular Past Participle Auxiliary Subject Tense
<ul><li>Use passive instead of active: </li></ul><ul><li>If the agent is unknown. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Denise’s computer was stolen from her office. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>If the agent is not focus. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The new library was finished about a year ago. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>If the agent is obvious from context. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>I had an accident yesterday. This other car went through a red light and hit me. My car was completely destroyed. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>To focus on receiver. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Did you hear the news? Matt was injured slightly in the earthquake, but Jeff was O.K. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>To make general explanations, statements and announcements, or in scientific and technical writing. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Passengers are asked to refrain from smoking. </li></ul></ul>
<ul><li>Because we most often use passive verbs to describe situations when the agent is not the primary focus, we usually do not include the agent (by noun phrase) in passive sentences. However, sometimes it is necessary to include the agent. </li></ul><ul><li>When the agent gives us additional new information. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Many important scientific discoveries have been made by women. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>When information about the agent is too important to omit. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Radioactivity was discovered by Marie Curie in 1903. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>When the agent is surprising or unexpected. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>That picture was painted by a monkey. </li></ul></ul>
PASSIVE VOICE EXAMPLES PRESENT: IS, ARE PAST: WAS, WERE
The passive voice is typically contrasted with the active voice , which is the form of a transitive verb whose subject serves as the agent, performing the action of the verb. The subject of a verb in the passive voice corresponds to the object of the same verb in the active voice.
Future simple It will be finished tomorrow. I will finish it tomorrow. Future intention with going to A new factory is going to be built in Portland. They are going to build a new factory in Portland. Present perfect Over 20 models have been produced in the past two years. They have produced over 20 models in the past two years. Past continuous The house was being painted when I arrived. They were painting the house when I arrived. Past simple "Dubliners" was written by James Joyces. James Joyce wrote "Dubliners". Present continuous Dinner is being cooked by Susan Susan is cooking dinner. Present simple Fords are made in Cologne. They make Fords in Cologne. Time Reference Passive Active
If you want to change a passive-voice sentence to active voice, find the agent in a "by the..." phrase, or consider carefully who or what is performing the action expressed in the verb. Make that agent the subject of the sentence, and change the verb accordingly. Sometimes you will need to infer the agent from the surrounding sentences which provide context.
Special cases: Verbs with no passive forms and other verbs with no active forms Some verbs don’t have passive form because they do not take direct objects. This category includes verbs such as: Occur, happen, take place, appear, seem, look, emerge, vanish, disappear, appear, resemble, consist of, collide, etc. Few changes have occurred at Stonehenge over the years. The discovery of Nazca Lines happened in the 1930s. NOT: A ceremonial function was had by these pictures. NOT: Some animals are resembled by the pictures. Jeff was born in Kansas. NOT: Jeff’s mother bore him in Kansas.
A stative verb, generally, cannot be made into a passive sentence. However, some stative verbs have "active" forms in which the verb has another meaning . Stative verb: "weigh" Some verbs have different meaning when in the passive voice: Passive The College of San Mateo is located on a hilltop. (exists) Active The Board of Regents voted to locate the new college on a hilltop. (situate / build) Active The police located the lost child. (found) The baby was weighed by the doctor. (no passive possible) Passive The doctor weighed the baby . (active) Arnold weighs 250 lbs. (stative) Active EXAMPLE Transitive Verb Intransitive Verb