Active Voice vs. Passive Voice - Learn the Different

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Active Voice vs. Passive Voice

Active Voice

Active Voices are sentences where the Action Verbs act directly for the Nouns/Pronouns, which means the Subjects of the sentence perform these actions directly. The subject of the sentence is the performer of the task in the Active Voices.

Active Sentence Structure: Subject + Verb + Object

  • He will find something in time.
  • Rina gave me the book I was looking for.
  • I watch all the latest movies.

Subjects are the ones in focus in the sentences in the Active Voice above. They use verbs as per the respective tenses of the sentences. This is how Sentences are naturally constructed in the English language. Without the reference to the Passive Voice, it is rather hard to understand the Active Voice properly. 

Passive Voice

Passive Voices are the types of sentences where the object of the sentence comes into focus and what is being done to it (by the subject) is the agenda. The events in the passive sentences are described from the object’s side.

Passive Sentence Structure: Object + Verb + Preposition + Subject

  • Something will be found by him in time.
  • The book I was looking for was given to me by Rina.
  • All the latest movies are watched by me.

The Objects of the sentences above are being affected by the subject or the one taking the actions. Passive voice is precisely used to express the other side of the story. Passive sentences are often used in English to overcome the monotonous use of regular sentence formation in speech and writing.

Active vs. Passive Voice

The sense and focus of passive sentences are the opposite of active ones. They stand for the two polar opposite outlooks on the same incident. Active is the most commonly used form of sentence in the English language but without the right mix of the passive sentence, any spoken or written piece will fail to stay as dynamic to the people at the receiving end.

Verb Change in Active and Passive Sentences

The change of the verb forms according to the tenses can prove to be a challenge but this is the most important part to concentrate on for the learners when it comes to mastering these two voices. A complete list of verb form changes across active and passive voices is given below with the help of the base verb - Take:

Tense Name

Active Form

Passive Form

Present Indefinite

Take 

Am/is/are taken

Present Continuous

Am/is/are taking

Am/is/are being taken

Present Perfect

Have/has taken

Have/has been taken

Present Perfect Continuous

Have/has been taking

Have/has been being taken (Rarely used)

Past Indefinite

Took

Was/were taken

Past Continuous

Was/were taking

Was/were being taken

Past Perfect

Had taken

Had been taken

Past Perfect Continuous

Had been taking

Had been being taken

Future Indefinite

Shall/will take

Shall/will be taken

Future Continuous

Shall/will be taking

Shall/will be being taken (Rarely used)

Future Perfect

Shall/will have taken

Shall/will have been taken

Future Perfect Continuous

Shall/will have been taking

Shall/will have been being taken

Infinitive

To take

To be taken

Perfect Infinitive

To have taken

To have been taken

Gerund

Taking

Being taken

 

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