Active vs Passive Voice

A) Active Voice

- In active voice sentences, the subject performs the action expressed by the verb. It is direct, clear, and often more engaging for the reader.

- Active voice sentences typically follow the subject-verb-object (SVO) pattern.

Structure of Active Voice:

- Subject + Verb + Object

Examples of Active Voice:

1. The cat chased the mouse.

   - Subject: The cat

   - Verb: chased

   - Object: the mouse

2. Sheila ate the cake.

   - Subject: Sheila

   - Verb: ate

   - Object: the cake

3. The teacher explains the lesson.

   - Subject: The teacher

   - Verb: explains

   - Object: the lesson

Characteristics of Active Voice:

1. Clarity: Active voice sentences are straightforward and clear, making it easier for the reader to understand who is performing the action.

2. Engagement: Active voice sentences are often more engaging and dynamic, as they highlight the subject's actions.

3. Directness: Active voice sentences typically have a more direct and concise structure, which can enhance the flow of writing.


B) Passive Voice

- In passive voice sentences, the subject receives the action expressed by the verb. It is often used when the focus is on the action or the recipient of the action rather than the doer.

- Passive voice sentences typically follow the object-verb-subject (OVS) pattern.

Structure of Passive Voice:

- Object + Verb (in passive form) + Subject

Examples of Passive Voice:

1. The mouse was chased by the cat.

   - Object: The mouse

   - Verb: was chased

   - Subject: by the cat

2. The cake was eaten by Sheila.

   - Object: The cake

   - Verb: was eaten

   - Subject: by Sheila

3. The lesson is explained by the teacher.

   - Object: The lesson

   - Verb: is explained

   - Subject: by the teacher

Characteristics of Passive Voice:

1. Focus on the Object: Passive voice sentences shift the focus from the subject to the object or recipient of the action.

2. Formality: Passive voice is often used in formal writing or scientific reports to maintain objectivity and emphasize the action rather than the doer.

3. Ambiguity: Passive voice sentences may sometimes lack clarity about who is performing the action, leading to potential confusion.

4. Complexity: Passive voice sentences can be more complex and less direct than active voice sentences, which may affect readability.


Choosing Between Active and Passive Voice

- Active voice is preferred in most cases for its clarity, directness, and engagement.

- Passive voice may be appropriate when the focus is on the recipient of the action, when the doer is unknown or irrelevant, or when maintaining objectivity in formal writing.


Example of Active and Passive Voice:

- Active Voice: The chef cooked the meal.

- Passive Voice: The meal was cooked by the chef.