The active voice
The active voice is a grammatical category through which the conjugation of the verb indicates the way or the way in which the subject performs the verbal action. Let’s see it with examples: key difference between active and passive voice
- Julia reads a book.
- The students chose the class delegate.
- The government has approved the new state budgets.
- The policemen arrested the offender.
In the four examples above, all verb forms are in the active voice; that is, they indicate that it is the subject who carries out the action described by the verb: “Julia”, “The students”, “The government” and “The policemen” are the subjects of these sentences.
All of them have in common a leading role in the development of the action. When the subject agrees with the verb and, semantically, performs the verbal function, it is called the agent subject.
In this video of a PROFESSOR we talk about active sentences , their meaning and their characteristics.
The passive voice
In front of the active voice, we find the passive voice , according to which the subject is no longer the protagonist of the verbal action but the one who experiences it, which is why it is called the patient subject . On the other hand, in passive sentences it is also frequent that the person who carried out the verbal action appears and, for this, a prepositional phrase is used that is called the agent complement.
In English, the passive voice can be constructed in different ways:
1. Analytical passive : Also called periphrastic passive, it is one of the most common passive formations in English. The structure that follows is: verb “ser” or “estar” (working as an auxiliary) + verbal participle. Here are some examples of passive sentences of this type: key difference between active and passive voice
- The food is not cooked.
- My cats have been vaccinated by the vet.
- The movie “The Others” was directed by Alejandro Amenábar.
- This house is decorated by my best friend.
2. Reflex passive : When the agent complement is unknown or lacks importance within the sentence, the passive construction follows the following scheme: particle “se” + conjugated verb in the third person. Here we give you other examples of passive phrases so that you better understand this concept:
- English is spoken in this bar.
- Second-hand cars for sale.
- Masons wanted.
- Any public disorder will be penalized.
Difference between active and passive voice
Active voice: The subject of the proposal is action.
Passive voice: The action is done on / on the object.
Active voice: The performer of the action is accompanied by a verb.
Passive voice: The performer of the action is preceded by a verb.
3-Recipient of the share
Active voice: The recipient of the action is preceded by a verb.
Passive Voice: The recipient of the action is accompanied by a verb.
4-clarity key difference between active and passive voice
Active Voice: The meaning is clearer and more direct.
Passive Voice: The meaning can be confusing and indirect.
Active Voice: The tone is authoritative and subjective.
Passive Voice: Tone neutral or objective. key difference between active and passive voice
5-Direct object key difference between active and passive voice
Active voice: Sentences that do not contain direct objects can be recorded in an active voice.
Passive Voice: Sentences that do not contain direct objects cannot be written in a passive voice.