Passive Voice What Is Passive Voice? In passive voice, the focus is on the object of the active voice. The subject is not important, or it is not mentioned. For example: Active Passive: Shakespeare wrote Hamlet in 1599 Hamlet was written by Shakespeare in 1599 The dog buried the bone The bone was buried The Object of the Active Verb Becomes the Subject of the Passive Verb Active Passive Everybody eats food. Food is eaten by everybody Your roommates created this mess This mess is created by your roommates The professor wrote the calculus midterm The calculus midterm is written by the professor Note that we always use by to introduce the Passive Object What are Advantages of the passive voice? 1. Emphasizes the receiver, events, or results of an action. 2. Avoid assigning responsibility or soften the responsibility. 3. Avoids the first person When to use passive voice? 1. When the object is more important than the subject 2. When the doer is not of interest Practice Problems Decide whether the following sentence is written in the active or passive voice. 1. At this very moment, chopsticks are being used by more than a billion people around the world. 2. Firecrackers and sparklers were developed in China as many as 5000 years ago. 3. Tara took the next flight to Moncton. Change the active voice into the passive voice in following sentences. 4. Joseph founded this institute in 1908. 5. They purchased this house last year. 6. I used to break into pet shops.
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