Active/Passive Voice

A verb's voice refers to the relationship between the subject and the verb in the sentence (the actor and the action). Active voice means that the actor in the sentence performs the action; passive voice means that the actor receives the action of the verb. In passive voice constructions, the actor usually appears in a prepositional phrase at the end of the sentence. Notice the placement of the verbs in each of the following sentences:

The national anthem was sung by our chorus.

Our chorus sang the national anthem.

The decision has been made.
(passive--actor implied)

The judges have made their decision.
(active--actor stated)

In most instances, prefer the use of active voice because doing so creates stronger sentences.


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