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               Passive Voice

In passive voice, the subject does not perform the action of the sentence.  Instead, the subject receives the action.

      The test  was taken by sixty eight students.

      A solution  was found for the problem.

      Four interceptions  were thrown during yesterday's game.

As the above examples show, the passive voice is created with the appropriate tense of the verb be plus a past participle.


In general, writers and speakers should

limit the use of passive voice because

passive voice is wordy and indirect. 

Instead, writers and speakers should

use active voice unless they make a

deliberate and purposeful choice to

use passive voice.


          Active and Passive Voice

Verb Tenses      Active Voice             Passive Voice

Simple present    Everyone makes mistakes.             Mistakes are made by everyone.

Simple past        He forgot his keys.                       His keys were forgotten.

Simple future        Many people will run the race.      The race will be run by many people.

Present perfect    Joe has donated a lot of money.     A lot of money has been donated by Joe.

Past perfect        Sue had pitched six innings.            Six innings had been pitched by Sue.

Future perfect    Sai will have written many essays.   Many essays will have been written by Sai. 

Modals                   We could win the game.               The game could be won by us.

                                My parents might buy a new car.   A new car might be bought by my parents.

                                  Quincy should draw portraits.         Portraits should be drawn by Quincy.