Voice

Definition: Voice shows the relationship between the verb and the noun phrases connected to it.

The "voice" of a verb has to do with whether or not the subject of a sentence acts upon something else (as agent) or whether the subject is acted upon (by an agent).

There are two voices in English: the passive and the active:

Active
The verb is active, when the subject (agent) does the action (verb) to something (object).

Passive
The verb is passive, when the subject takes the action upon itself.

For example:

  • Active: John ate the apples.
    * John, the subject, is the one performing the action of the verb.

  • Passive: The apples were eaten by John.
    * The apples, the subject in this sentence, are receiving the action of the verb.



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