How to Differentiate Active and Passive Voice
All forms of verbs follow a specific voice which describes the link between the subject and the action that has to be taken. Verbs consist of five key properties: tense, voice, mood, number, and person. We are going to emphasize the voice. It is active or passive; as per the context of the content.
It is fundamental for the English language; nevertheless, something which also confuses the native speakers and writers. The professionally trained expert English writers in a content writing company are well-versed with these rules.
Usually, the language experts recommend avoiding passive voice since it is considered incorrect and weak. This makes active voice a preferable choice as it brings clarity to the context.
The Key Difference: Active Voice And Passive Voice
The active voice describes the action being performed by the subject, such as writing, walking, singing, running, etc. The sentences constructed in the active voice are clear, direct, and considered stronger in tone. Let us have a look at a few examples.
Examples Of Active Voice
- The lady adores children.
- The cat chased the rat.
- The girl loves chocolates.
In all three sentences, we can notice a basic structure. There is a subject, a verb, and an object. The subject girl executes the action explained with "loves". In another sentence, the subject lady performs an action described by "adores”. The subject cat takes an action expressed by “chased”. The subjects are taking an action in their respective sentences.
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The passive voice describes that the subject is acted upon by the verb. Sentences in the passive voice are constructed with a set of rules of a consolidated form of "to be" followed by the past participle of the verb. Contradictory to the general notion, passive voice could be the best choice for certain situations. Let us illustrate it better with some examples.
Examples of Passive Voice
- Children are adored by the lady.
- The rat was chased by the cat.
- Chocolates are loved by the girl.
Let us look at these examples, “The lady wrote the letter”, and “The letter was written by the lady”. In the active sentence, lady (subject) + adores (verb) + children (object). However, in the passive sentence, children (object) + are adored (a conjugated form of to be+ past participle adored) + by (preposition) + lady (subject).
Here, the whole sentence structure has tossed in the passive voice, and is supported with the preposition "by". This stands true for all three sentences.
Experienced language writers in a content writing company are proficient in such rules. Hence, you could save time and hire them to draft the content copies. This ensures grammatically sound content.
The Usage of Active And Passive Voice In a Sentence
As we have already explained, using an active voice in sentence formation ensures the tone is direct and clear. On the other hand, passive voice is considered rather a weaker choice. It is primarily used in legal writing and stylistic writing.
Therefore, for normal sentence construction, it is highly suggested to keep the majority of the part in active voice. If you struggle with proper sentence structuring, a content writing company could be your guiding light.
Here are some scenarios in which passive voice suits perfectly:
- The writer wants to emphasize the action’s recipient.
- The action has to be emphasized.
- When the subject performing the action is insignificant or irrelevant.
- When the writer doesn’t know who is executing the action.
Change Any Sentence From Passive Voice to Active Voice
During writing, you might require to convert passive voice into active voice or vice versa. Hence, it is crucial to understand how it works.
If you closely notice these two forms of verbs, the key difference between them is the placement and roles of the subject and the object.
In the active voice sentences, the subject is the doer and the action is received by the object. However, passive voice follows the opposite approach. Here, the subject receives the action and the object is the doer.
Let’s clarify it with the help of an example.
Active voice: Shawn created an art piece.
Passive voice: An art piece was created by Shawn.
In this example, the active voice denotes "Shawn" as the subject and the doer. While, the object is "an art piece", which is also the recipient of the verb "created".
In the passive voice, things flipped. Here, "Shawn" became the object instead of "an art piece", which was the original object in the sentence. It rather becomes the subject of the sentence.
Are you confused? Let us help you understand it better with a few quick tips:
- Toss the placements of the subject and the object. Doing this will convert the original object into the subject, and the original subject into the object.
- The new object shall be followed with a “by”.
- The verb shall be converted into its "to be" form of the past participle. It would be based on the original tense used in the sentence.
While converting passive voice to active voice, keep the tense as it is in the original sentence:
- Is done – do/does
- Is/are being done – is/are doing
- Will be done – will do
- Was/were done – did
- Was/ were being done – was/ were doing
This could be a bit tricky for amateur writers and non-native speakers. Thus, it is best to rely on a content writing company for the best results.
The active and passive voice defines the voice of a verb in a sentence. Both of the voices are useful in academic and professional writing depending on the context. Active voice is considered a better option since it is concise and clear. The professional services by a content writing company would be an ideal choice if you are undecided about the usage of voices in sentence formation.
Jason Lava is an expert professional writer in Content writing, who creates engaging business content that enhances your business. He is having more than 5 years of experience, in which He has written content for more than a hundred happy clients. He has expertise in writing blogs, articles, Press releases, business proposals and social media content.