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English Grammer
General English
Active and passive voices
Voice is a verb form that indicates if the sentence’s subject performs or
receives an action.
There are two types of voice—active voice and passive voice.

➲ If the sentence’s subject performs the action, the sentence is written in
the active voice. ‘‘The pilot landed the plane’’ is written in the active
voice since the subject (pilot) performed the action (landed the plane).

➲If the sentence’s subject receives the action, the sentence is written in the
passive voice. ‘‘The plane was landed by the pilot’’ is written in the
passive voice since the subject (plane) received the pilot’s action (landed
the plane).

Note: Good writers use the active voice whenever possible. However, if you
want to emphasize a specific point, you can use the passive voice. That is why
the sentence, ‘‘An exciting program was aired by our local television station,’’
is acceptable, even though it is written in the passive voice. The writer wants
to emphasize the program, not the television station.



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