The passive vs the active voice:
|The Active Voice||The Passive Voice|
Most countries in Latin America speak Spanish.
Spanish is spoken in most countries in latin America.
Use of the passive voice:
- Passive voice is used when the focus is on the action. It is not important or not known, however, who or what is performing the action.
Example: "A letter was written."
The focus, here, is on the fact that a letter was written. We don't know, however, who wrote it.
- Sometimes a statement in passive is more polite than active voice, as the following example shows:
Example: A vase was broken.
Focus, here, is on the fact that a vase was broken, but we don't blame anyone. Compare this to: "You broke the vase."
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.)
|Passive||Tea||is made||(by Nancy)|
|object becoming subject||verb||subject becoming object or is dropped|
|Simple present passive on line exercises|
|Simple past passive on line exercises|