Tag Archives: active and passive voice

Active and Passive Voice

Choosing to use the active or passive voice can change the tone and emphasis of a sentence considerably. Active is usually more direct.

When using the active voice, the noun relates to the verb directly:

Stop! Grammar Time

‘MC Hammer wore incredible trousers.’

In the passive voice, the subject follows the object:

‘Incredible trousers were worn by MC Hammer.’

The active voice is used far more commonly in creative and journalistic writing. The passive voice is often used in business materials and formal writing. Also, the passive voice can be useful in creative writing if the writer is making a point of distance or¬†detachment¬†between the subject and the object or the action. Additionally, it can be used to avoid repetition of ‘I’ at the beginning of sentences.

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