What's the Difference Between Active & Passive Voices?
Into today’s post we are going to be taking a look at both the active and passive voice and how we can use them.
But firstly, what is the difference between the active and passive voice?
Simply put, the active voice means that a sentence has a subject which acts upon its verb. Active sentences tend to be more straightforward, direct and clear. So for example:
- The dog chased the squirrel.
So in this example the dog (the subject) is performing the action (to chase) in the sentence.
On the other hand, in the passive voice the subject is acted upon by the verb. Another thing to note about the passive voice is that it is always constructed with the conjugated form of to be + past participle. For example:
- The squirrel was chased by the dog.
Sentences in the passive voice will often require the use of a preposition as well. In this case we can use by.
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So When do we use These Different Voices?
Generally speaking we use the active voice when we want to sound ‘stronger’ or more ‘decisive.’ Whereas the passive voice tends to sound a bit ‘weaker’ and less direct.
In general we put the majority of our sentences in the active voice however, there are some cases where you might want to change the focus of your sentence.