English Master Series Day – 25

English Grammar

English Master Series Day – 25

Dear aspirants,

Here we are with our twenty-fifth module of English Master Series. Hope this will surely help you with your English Language preparation. Here in this Module we will study about Active and Passive Voice.

English Grammar

MODULE-25

ACTIVE & PASSIVE VOICE

The voice of a verb tells whether the subject of the sentence performs or receives the action. In English there are two voices: active and passive.

Voice

Ex:

  • Everybody drinks water.
  • Water is drunk by everybody.
  • active: the subject does the action
  • passive: the subject receives the action

Active Voice

In active voice, the subject performs the action expressed by the verb:

Ex: The student wrote a song.

If you are active, you are doing something. In a sentence written in active voice, the subject of the sentence is doing the verb.

Ex:

  • The lady played the piano.
  • The driver drove the car.

Passive Voice

In passive voice, the subject receives the action expressed by the verb:

Ex: A song was written by the student.

If you are passive, something is done to you. In a sentence written in passive voice, the subject of the sentence is having the action of the verb done to it by something else.

Ex:

  • The piano was played by the lady.
  • The race car was driven by the driver.

When you write sentences with active voice, you can use more interesting verbs and your writing seems to move more quickly.

Ex: The children raced around the yard and climbed all over the jungle gym. They threw balls up in the air and dodged them as they came back down. (Your attention is on the moving children.)

When you write sentences with passive voice, you end up using more helping verbs, but it can be effective if you want to slow down the action of your writing and focus on a scene.

Ex: The jungle gym was being climbed on by the children. Balls were being thrown up in the air and dodged. (Your attention is on the objects, not the children.)

Forming Tenses of Passive Verbs

The passive voice always consists of two parts: a form of the verb “to be” + past participle:

Present Tense – it is cleaned (Passive voice form)

Past Tense – it was cleaned (Passive voice form)

Future Tense – it will be cleaned (Passive voice form)

Present perfect Tense – it has been cleaned (Passive voice form)

Past perfect Tense – it had been cleaned (Passive voice form)

Future perfect Tense – it will have been cleaned (Passive voice form)

Uses of Passive Voice

Use the passive voice to:

  • Call attention to receiver of the action rather than the performer:
  • The professor was hit by three snowballs.
  • Point out the receiver of the action when performer is unknown or unimportant:
  • A love letter was slipped under the door.
  • The signs will be posted.
  • Avoid calling attention to the performer of the action (known as the “institutional passive”):
  • The fines will be collected on Monday.

Hints for Identifying the Passive Voice

  • An active verb may or may not have a direct object, but the passive verb almost never does.
  • “It is…That” construction (It is clear that… It is noted…)
  • Use of the verbs To Be, Make, or Have
  • Passive: Your exits should be made quickly.
  • Active: Leave quickly.
  • Endings that turn verbs into abstract nouns: -ion,-ing,-ment:
  • Passive: When application of force is used, the lid will open.
  • Active: Apply force to open the lid.

I hope this module will help you with your English Language preparation. We will come back soon with our next module and after each module there will be an Exercise based on the modules.

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