#104 - Active and Passive Voice - English Grammar

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Active and Passive Voice

Verbs are either active or passive in voice. In the active voice, the subject and verb relationship is straightforward: the subject is doing the action and the object is receiving the action. In the passive voice, the action is doing or is being done to the subject. Passive voice is used when the action is the focus, not the subject. It is not important (or not known) who does the action.

Most sentences are spoken and written in the active voice.

Active and Passive Voice

Active voice shows the subject doing the action and the object receiving the action: "subject + verb + object". Passive voice shows the action being done to the subject. Sometimes it is not important or stated who does the action.

Active VoicePassive Voice
Sam wrote a letter to Jamie.A letter was written to Jamie by Sam.
The city built a new bridge.A new bridge was built by the city.
Karen recommended this doctor.This doctor was recommended by Karen.
Sally made dinner tonight.Dinner was made by Sally.
The event planners will close the doors at 5:00 pm.The doors will be closed at 5:00 pm.

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