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:

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

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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