What is the definition of passive voice?
Passive voice is a grammatical structure where the subject of the sentence is not the 'doer' of the action. Instead of 'I ate the apple', passive voice would be 'The apple was eaten by me.' It's used to shift focus away from the subject and focus more on the action.
Understanding Passive Voice
Passive voice is a grammatical construction where the subject is acted upon by the verb. For example, 'The ball was thrown by him.' In passive voice, the subject is not performing the action of the verb. In the example sentence, 'him' is the person performing the action of throwing the ball. When writing, it is often best to use active voice rather than passive voice to make writing clearer and easier to understand.
The passive voice is often used to describe events that happen without a specific actor (e.g. 'the window was broken'). This is known as the 'agentless passive'. The passive voice can also be used to emphasize the importance of the object of the sentence, rather than the actor (e.g. 'the window was broken by a rock'). This is known as the 'patient-focused passive'. Some languages, such as Latin, have more than one form of the passive voice. Latin has the perfective passive, which indicates that the action has been completed, and the imperfective passive, which indicates that the action is ongoing.
Did you know?
Can you give an example of a sentence in passive voice?
Brain break: Draw a silly-faced ice cream cone wearing a pair of funky sneakers
Which of the following is an example of a sentence in passive voice?
- Mary bakes the cake.
- Baking the cake, Mary did.
- Mary baked the cake.
- The cake was baked by Mary.
In passive voice, the subject receives or ________ the action.
Which word is often used in passive voice constructions?