Differences Between Active Voice And Passive Voice (With Examples)

Differences Between Active Voice And Passive Voice: English grammar may occasionally be difficult to comprehend, especially for novices. Nevertheless, you shouldn’t give up. You may confidently take on every new grammar lesson with the help of concise explanations and numerous examples.

One of these is the active and passive voices in English grammar. Do you understand how the active and passive voices differ? Although the majority of people don’t, you shouldn’t be reluctant to learn. Understanding this will help you write better English.

It is vital to utilize the passive voice sparingly while writing since it may be used to make sentences appear more succinct and beautiful. The active voice is better for most sorts of writing since it is more direct and punchy. Let’s find out more about them and how they vary.

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What is Active Voice?

The statement can be regarded as being in the active voice if the subject really does the activity. In everyday language, the majority of phrase structures are in the active voice. ones in the active voice are shorter and more direct than passive voice ones.

They are therefore clearer and less unclear. Finding the subject first, then determining if the subject is carrying out the action, is the best approach to determine whether a sentence is active. When a phrase uses the active voice, the doer—the person or thing doing the action—comes first and the recipient of the action comes after the verb.

Examples of sentences using the active voice are shown below:

1. We took a vacation.

2. She gave me a grin.

3. I took out a loan from a buddy.

4. She is content.

It’s vital to remember that the active voice is often where linking verbs and intransitive verbs appear. This is so because, unlike passive voice statements, active voice sentences do not call for direct objects.

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What is Passive Voice?

Active voice is the antithesis of passive voice. In this case, the action is done to the topic rather than being done to the subject. The action’s doer comes after the verb and is received at the beginning of the phrase. For illustration

The trainees were taught by the lecturer.

Remember that a sentence cannot use the passive voice unless it has a direct object. Passive voice causes active verbs to shift significantly, hence these phrases are typically lengthier than active ones. Passive phrases are also used to highlight the verb and the recipient of the action. They provide a neutral or objective tone and are less blunt. The item or person doing the activity can occasionally be left out of a statement.

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Main Differences Between Active and Passive Voice

1. Academic Preference: Teachers favor active voice usage over passive voice in academic settings. This makes sure that any writing done in a school context is done so in the active voice, and it also means that any student who is caught using the passive voice repeatedly will be penalized.

Active vs. Passive Voice_ What_s The Difference
Active vs. Passive Voice_ What_s The Difference

Universities all across the world, but notably those in English-speaking nations, have also encouraged their students to employ active voice while abiding by the prohibitions on passive voice usage. This explains why active voice is frequently used in academic writing, as opposed to passive voice, in journals and papers. Anyone who has experienced the educational systems of the United States or the United Kingdom can clearly see that active voice is preferred over passive voice.

2. Wordiness: Many scholars and researchers in the field of literature have come to the same conclusion: while passive voices have long sentences and many words, which make it difficult for many people to read, active sentences are concise and easy to understand.

Passive and active voice examples
Passive and active voice examples

It is important to note that many people avoid reading lengthy, dense books because they find them boring and taxing. People prefer reading short phrases with concise messages because they don’t have as much time to read. Because it uses fewer words per sentence than an active sentence, only actual writing provides this.

active voice; The dog ate the meat.
passive voice; The meat was eaten by the dog.
Despite the fact that the two lines above express the same idea, it is evident from the two sentences that the active voice is brief since it only has five words and the passive sentence is wordy because it has seven.

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3. Directness: Passive speech comes off as hostile, but active voice is typically straightforward and dramatic. The information given by an active sentence seems to be straightforward and dramatic without any elements of ambiguity or wordiness due to the brief character of the active voice.

100 examples of active and passive voice
100 examples of active and passive voice

However, information conveyed in the passive voice is not clear or concise, making it difficult for readers to understand the meaning of the sentence and contributing to its vagueness and indirectness. Teachers dislike it when students utilize passive phrases in their writing because it compromises the formality of their work and makes them look combative and impolite.

4. Necessity of Use: Another distinction between passive writing and real writing is that, on occasion, the active voice is insufficient to convey the essential information. Police may be looking into a crime, for instance, but they are unable to identify the perpetrator.

50 sentences of active and passive voice
50 sentences of active and passive voice

As there is no other way to report the incident, this puts the media and newspaper outlets between a rock and a hard place because they will have to report the incident in passive voice. Laboratory also use passive voice rather than active voice. This is the case because the sentence must begin with the sentence’s topic, not the action’s performer. For instance, “Electricity was first discovered by the Egyptians,” or “The corrosive solution was placed in the beaker.” The above sentences demonstrate why using active voices is not appropriate.

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5. Accountability: The question of accountability in sentences written utilizing the two grammatical constructions is the final distinction between active and passive voices. One of the primary problems is that active sentences exhibit high degrees of responsibility and accountability whereas passive sentences raise the question of responsibility and accountability since they do not require a subject in their formation.

Active voice definition and examples
Active voice definition and examples

For instance, “fiscal spending exceeded and is currently being investigated” is how the passive phrase is written.

Due to the absence of information about who committed the “exceeding” and is conducting the “investigation,” the penalty lacks accountability and responsibility. Use of active phrases is crucial because they emphasize a high degree of accountability and responsibility.

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Conclusion: A sentence can be written in either the active or passive voice. Passive voice may give your work a more official tone whereas active voice is more straightforward. In most situations, you should write in the active voice since it has more impact.

However, there are some circumstances in which it is preferable to use the passive voice. Some of them involve academic writing or situations where you must place more emphasis on the action or result than the actor. It’s critical to remain conscious of your writing voice at all times. Although passive voice occasionally does convey information more effectively than active voice, active voice is typically the best option.