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For many forms of writing, this can create an undesired effect: sentences often become confusing or simply dull.
The form of verb that indicates whether the person or object (the subject) of a sentence does something or has had something done to them is referred to as the voice. For example, when a sentence has only a single auxiliary verb, like are, am, been, be, and also has a past participle of verbs, like written, drawn, learned or broken, that sentence is considered to be in passive voice.
What changes sentences from active to passive voice?
In the example section below, you will make note that the tense of the verb in the passive voice is always identical to the tense of the main verb in the active voice.
To effectively use that active voice, you must make the subject of the action obvious.
There are a few rules to keep in mind when changing sentences from active to passive form.
In the majority of English sentences that have an action verb, the subject or object that is performing the action will be denoted by the verb.
The sentence using active voice appears first, the sentence using passive voice follows.
Julia ate pasta for lunch (active) At lunch, pasta was eaten by Julia (passive)Giant elephants roam the safari (active) The safari is roamed by giant elephants (passive)Kyle changes the lightbulb (active) The lightbulb was changed by Kyle (passive)We are going to see a concert tomorrow (active) A concert is going to be seen by us tomorrow (passive)I ran the race in record time (active) The race was run by me in record time (passive)The construction workers built the entire house (active) The entire house was built by construction workers (passive)She mailed her application for college (active) The application for college was mailed by her (passive)Joe painted the fence (active) The fence was painted by Joe (passive)The baker baked one dozen cupcakes (active) One dozen cupcakes were baked by the baker (passive)Donald Trump is signing the amendment change (active) The amendment change is being signed by Donald Trump (passive)The maid washes the floor and the windows every week (active) Every week the floor and windows are washed by the maid (passive)Molly will bake a cake for the school bake sale (active) For the school bake sale, Molly will bake a cake (passive)Who ate the sandwich (active) The sandwich was eaten by whom (passive)The dance instructor will give you lesson (active) The lessons will be given by the dance instructor (passive)The team will celebrate their win next week (active) The win will be celebrated by the team next week (passive)She will graduate high school on Tuesday (active) On Tuesday, she will graduate high school (passive)The above referenced sentences demonstrate who the same sentence can sound different when written in either active or passive voice.
Typically, it is advisable for writers to write in active voice since it is more concise and easier to understand.
This is especially true for academic or scientific writing or when gendered language needs to be avoided.