Difference Between Active Voice and Passive Voice (With Table)

The voice of a verb expresses how the subject behaves or how the receiver receives information about the subject matter. Active voice and Passive voice are the two main types of verb voices. Both voices are the difficult area of the English verb for the learners because one needs to remember many facts to turn a sentence into its actual meaning.

In Active voice, the verb’s action is carried out by a subject in a sentence. The person or the things has a grammatical subject that represents the action of a verb.

In Passive voice, the beneficiary of a verb’s action, or even the action itself, is insisted upon by the sentence’s subject.

Active Voice vs Passive Voice

The main difference between Active Voice and Passive Voice is that Active voice is used when the subject of the phrase performs the verb’s action, whereas passive voice is used when the subject of the statement symbolizes the action verb’s receiver.

Active Voice vs Passive Voice

For example, The man must have eaten five hamburgers. Here, in this sentence, the subject acts upon the verb, so the sentences are said to be in Active voice.  

The man must have eaten five hamburgers. In this sentence, the subject is no longer active but is, instead, being acted upon by the verb, such sentences are said to be in Passive voice.

Comparison Table Between Active Voice and Passive Voice

Parameters of ComparisonActive VoicePassive Voice
DefinitionLet it be put there by me. A forest fire destroyed the whole suburb.When the sentence has its subject that represents the recipient of the verb’s action. 
PositionThe subject appears in the first place as it is responsible for the action of a verb.The verb acts upon it
StructureSubject+ verb+ objectObject+ verb+ subject
SubjectIt acts upon the verbHere, the object that acts appears first, while the subject comes at the end.
ExampleLet me put it there. A forest fire destroyed the whole suburb.Let it be put there by me. The whole suburb was destroyed by a forest fire.

What is Active Voice?

A Grammar term is used to classify the set of forms of the verb in which the subject of the sentence is performing the action or the person or the thing that can take the direct object, known as the active voice. Sentences of the active voice have a direct, strong, and straightforward tone.

In this voice, the subject is the person or thing to which the things are talking, and the object is the person or thing to which the given action is targeted. Its structure is the first subject, then the verb, and at the end, the object.

In an active voice, the verb directs the subject’s action; it is expressed as the agent of the main verb. It is helpful for beginners to learn English as it has a very simple structure. Here are some examples of active voice:

  • After talking to you, something about my life became clearer.
  • Reporters write news reports.
  • They have already discussed the book.

What is Passive Voice?

A grammatical subject that some other performer acts upon to receive the verb’s action. It gives the sentence a new look with the writing style, which is used when, instead of emphasizing the subject, we stress the action, the verb, and the object.

It appears to be far more sophisticated than it is, but it is rather simple to spot. It’s always comprised of the verb’s past participle and a conjugated form of to be. Its structure is that first comes the object, then the verb, and at the end, the subject.

In this case, the object carries out the verb’s action, and the subject is only mentioned at the conclusion. They are less direct and give an objective or neutral tone. Take a glance at the examples given below:

  • After you talked to me, some things have been clarified about my life.
  • News reports are written by reporters.
  • The book has already been discussed.

Main Differences Between Active Voice and Passive Voice

  1. The active voice is used when the sentence’s subject acts on the verb, whereas the Passive voice occurs when the verb acts on the subject of the sentence.
  2. The verb’s action is carried out by the active voice, on the other hand, the Passive voice represents the recipient of the verb’s action.
  3. Active voice is direct and straightforward, whereas Passive voice is neutral and used for styling.
  4. In the Active voice, the actor subjected to acting appears in the first place. In contrast, in the Passive voice, the person or thing in which the action takes place appears in the first place, while the subject comes at the end.
  5. The structure of the Active voice is subject+ verb+ object, whereas the structure of the Passive voice is object+ verb+ subject.

Examples:

  • Active voice: I am learning English from an expert.
  • Passive voice: English is being learned by me, from an expert.
  • Active voice: john buy a new car.
  • Passive voice: a new car is being purchased by john.
  • Active voice: he is playing cricket.
  • Passive voice: cricket is being played by him.
  • Active voice: the cashier counted the money.
  • Passive voice: money was counted by the cashier.
  • Active voice: the dog chased the squirrel.
  • Passive voice: the squirrel was chased by the dog.

Conclusion

The above examples show how the same sentences have been dramatically written in different ways. They both give the power to change the subject or action of the sentence. The sentence’s subject is to act as the verb known as active voice, whereas the sentence with the subject represents the recipient of the verb’s action.

Generally, the active voice makes the sentences more simple, direct, and easy to understand for writing purposes. On the other hand, Passive voice is mainly for stylistic and legal writing.      

References

  1. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14640746808400129
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022537168801975

Avatar of Nidhi

AboutNidhi

Hi! I'm Nidhi.

Here at the EHL, it's all about delicious, easy recipes for casual entertaining. So come and join me at the beach, relax and enjoy the food.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *