Passive Voice in Present Simple sentences-Definition, Examples, and Practice exercise.

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Meaning and use of Passive voice in a proper sentence

How do I use Passive Voice in a proper sentence?

There’s a format for converting Simple Present Tense Active Voice sentences into the Passive Voice. It’s: 

Object + is/are + Past Participle

For Example, “The pottery is made by Gilda.”

“The pottery” is the Object. And then we have “is.” “Made.” “Made” is the Past Participle of the verb make. Finally, we throw the Preposition “by” into the mix and our Subject “Gilda.” 

But, this can easily be rewritten in the Active Voice.

“Gilda makes the pottery.” 

Sentences like this focus on the subject and the reader’s thoughts are with Gilda.

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As a writer, I’m often told not to use Passive Voice because it’s used to shift blame. Sentences like:

“Mistakes were made by the fire department,” place the focus on “mistakes” rather than the “fire department.” It’s almost like the fire department wants the reader to be aware of the mistakes but only vaguely associate the fire department with them. To rectify the sentence, in regards to placing blame, not grammar, it might be better to write: 

“The fire department made mistakes.”  

Even style guides suggest using Passive Voice lightly. 

However, Passive Voice can be used to highlight a sentence’s Object. Or, as aptly described by Steven Pinker, “Passive [Voice] allows the writer to direct the reader’s gaze, like a cinematographer choosing the right camera angle (The Sense of Style).” 

For example: 

“The pottery is made by Gilda,” draws attention to “the pottery.” Typically, “the pottery” would be in the sentence’s Object and the sentence would read like this:

“Gilda makes the pottery.” 

Examples of Passive Voice

  • Passive: He is loved. 
  • Active: Andrea bakes a cake.
  • Passive: A cake is baked by Andrea.
  • Active: They think of crazy ideas. 
  • Passive: Crazy ideas are thought of by them. 

Let’s practice 

Q1: Change the active sentence “The boy teases her every day.” into a passive voice. 

Q2: Try making your own sentence. 

Q3: Why is discipline done by parents? 

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