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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.In a world that is largely represented by ‘things’ and ‘objects’ passive voice result in confusion and result in readers losing sight of the significance of a prose that is subjugated by objects and things.
Passive voice is often wordier, but can still be useful in certain situations.
In each of these sentences, the subject (I, You and Ben respectively) performs the action of the verb (threw, making, will watch).
Typically, a sentence is thought to be in passive voice whenever the subject of that sentence is the object that is being acted on.
On the other hand, a sentence is considered to be in active voice when the subject is doing the active.
Throughout the twentieth century, passive voice was prominent in scientific or academic writing; nevertheless, there has been a dominant shift in agreement as of late.
Many of the leading writing style guides (APA, etc.) champion the use of active voice for conciseness and clarity.
For many forms of writing, this can create an undesired effect: sentences often become confusing or simply dull.
In each of these sentences, the subject (“the ball”, “too much noise”, “popcorn” and “a movie”) is being acted upon by the verb. And surely someone’s going to watch that movie and eat that popcorn?
With sentences written in this way, we can even eliminate the agent who is performing this action: These are all perfectly correct sentences, but the reader has the sense that something is missing. If you’ve ever had a go at creative writing, you’ll probably have come across the advice to always write in the active voice.
This is a good rule of thumb for most pieces of fiction: sentences in the active voice have energy and directness, both of which will keep your reader turning the pages!