The Difference between ‘Active Voice’ and ‘Passive Voice’

The difference between ‘ Active Voice ‘ and ‘ Passive Voice’

In Active Voice the subject is given more importance than the Object.  Here the Subject-Verb-Object order is followed.  But when we give more emphasis on the object, Passive Voice is used. The following are the relevant points which will clarify why Passive Voice is important.

  • When the subject is not known/clear.
  • When using of Active Voice becomes awkward.
  • When more importance is given for the result rather than the doer(or Subject)
  • The last but not the least, the sentence without object cannot be converted into Passive Voice.

Examples for Passive Voice.

  • He was killed in an accident.( Here, who killed him is not clear.  The only thing one knows is that the accident caused his death.  We cannot say that the accident killed him.In such a situation use of Passive Voice is more appropriate and that allows a natural flow of expression.
  • He was drowned in the swift flowing current.
  • The workmen were electrocuted while they were doing the repair work.
  • She was given 5 Grammy Awards.( ‘ by whom ‘ is omitted because it is either not important or known)
  • You will be asked to make good the loss to the company if the lapse is on your part.( ‘who will ask’ is omitted here conveniently)
  • The trophy will be given to the winners at a function.
  • He was hurt when he fell off his bicycle. ( here mentioning the agent becomes rather difficult or impossible)
  • After the show when they reached home, their ornaments had been stolen.( We don’t know who the thieves were)
  • He was born in 1957.( Normally we don’t say that , ” His mother gave him birth in 1957 “.

Thus using of passive voice in the above situations makes a free flow of expression and sometimes the expression of the very idea becomes impossible without the support of Passive Voice.


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