PASSIVE VOICE [vb]
STEP 1: DEFINITION
English has two voices: active and passive. The active voice is used when the action is done by the subject: The dog ate my homework.
The passive voice (BE + V+-ed/-en/-t) is used when the action of the sentence is not being done by the subject: My homework was eaten by the dog.
The passive is formed with any time frame of the verb TO BE + the PAST PARTICIPLE.
The passive voice is often used:
- to describe artistic, scientific and literary endeavors:
Research is now being done on a cure for this disease.
- to explain directions and procedures:
- to describe legal and governmental matters and to avoid placing direct blame:
When active sentences have verbs with direct objects (are transitive), they can become passive:
Active: She is reserving a table.
Passive: A Table is being reserved.__________________
Active: A theif stole my stereo.
Passive: My stereo has been stolen by a theif.
Errors using the passive voice often occur when students do not edit for subject-verb agreement, omit the verb TO BE, or use the incorrect form of the past participle.
Incorrect: Legends has been passed down.
Correct: Legends have been passed down.
Incorrect: The lecture delivered by a famous professor tomorrow.
Correct: The lecture will be delivered by a famous professor tomorrow.
Incorrect: The missing man was last seeing at a park.
Correct:The lecture will be delivered by a famous professor tomorrow.
STEP 2: PRACTICE EXERCISES
STEP 3: LEARNING MORE
For more information on the passive and active voice,
follow these links: