Read the two sentences that follow:
The first sentence is called an active sentence or a sentence in the active voice and the second sentence is called a passive sentence or a sentence in the passive voice. In the first sentence the master is in the subject position, also known as agent, and the dog is in the end position, also known as recipient. The roles are reversed in the second sentence where the dog is now in the subject position and the master is in the end position. Met is the action verb.
The main feature of an active sentence is that the subject of the sentence performs some action on someone or something. The main feature of a passive sentence is the subject is acted upon and emphasis is laid on the action rather than on the performer. Sentences in active voice are more direct whereas sentences in passive voice point more to the action rather than the person who performs the action. Usually, in the passive voice the performer is either not known or is insignificant.
Often, a sentence in the active voice can be changed to a sentence in the passive voice and vice versa. Obviously, some changes need to be made. While changing from active to passive voice, the subject is shifted to the end position and ‘by’ is inserted before it. The recipient of the action is shifted to subject position. The main verb is changed by adding an appropriate form of the verb ‘be’. You can see this being done in the second sentence in the examples above. Learn to convert sentences in active voice to sentences in passive voice by taking the following quiz.