MemberFebruary 5, 2024 at 5:44 pm::
Active and passive voice are two different ways to construct sentences in English. The distinction between active and passive voice lies in the focus and structure of the sentence.
In an active voice sentence, the subject of the sentence acts. The subject is the “doer” of the action, and the verb describes that action. The object, if present, receives the action. The active voice is generally more direct.
“The cat chased the mouse.”
In this sentence, “the cat” is the subject, and “chased” is the verb describing the action performed by the subject. “The mouse” is the object receiving the action.
In a passive voice sentence, the subject of the sentence undergoes the action rather than performing it. The focus is shifted from the subject to the object or the receiver of the action. The verb is often followed by the preposition “by” and the subject acting.
“The mouse was chased by the cat.”
In this sentence, “the mouse” is the subject receiving the action, “was chased” is the verb in the passive form, and “by the cat” indicates the doer of the action.
Key differences between active and passive voice:
Focus: Active voice emphasizes the subject acting, while passive voice emphasizes the object receiving the action.
Structure: Active voice follows a subject-verb-object pattern, while passive voice follows a subject-verb-object pattern but with the subject and object positions reversed.
Clarity: Active voice is generally more direct and clearer, while passive voice can be used when the doer of the action is unknown, unimportant, or intentionally concealed.
It’s worth noting that the choice between active and passive voice depends on the context and the writer’s intention. In many cases, an active voice is preferred for its clarity and conciseness.