The Active and Passive Voice in Sentences

I admit there is a sentences/grammar theme this week!…

In Monday’s blog post we looked at subjects and objects in sentences and on Wednesday we looked at sentences with two (double) objects. If you missed either of these you can still read them by following the links below:

So what is active and passive about sentences? 

You can work out the active and passive voices of a sentence by using the subject and object. 

The subject is active, they are actively doing the verb. For example: 

“Grace cleans the office every Friday afternoon.” 

Subject: I
Object: My/the office

Grace is actively cleaning. Put simply, the active does the action.

If I say:

“The office is cleaned by Grace every Friday.”

My/the office is still the subject, it is still having an action done to it. It is the passive participant of the action. 

You can spot the passive voice by the fact that it has be/by-verb + past-participle:

“The office is cleaned by Grace every Friday.”

With me? Test yourself with these:

Which part or voice in each of the following sentences is active, and which is positive?

I will put answers at the bottom of the post. 

1. I posted the letter on Tuesday. 

2. She walked her dog three times a day. 

3. The car is washed by my husband every Saturday morning.

Confused? Send me a message on Twitter @GraceEnglishLT


1. Active = I/speaker. Passive = the letter 

2. Active = she. Passive = the dog

3. Active = my/the speaker’s husband. Passive = the car.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s