Two things to remember when using the passive voice are:
The subject in the passive voice doesn’t perform the action in the verb.
The passive voice is not a verb tense. The past tense is a verb tense, but the passive voice can be written in any verb tense. I see students confused by the difference between passive voice and the past tense all the time. They are not the same thing. Remember that.
I’ve been teaching the passive voice to one of my students for a few weeks. I thought that others could benefit from some of the questions she has about the passive voice.
1. Why do we use the passive?
The passive voice is used when the subject is not the doer of the action. In active verb forms, the doer of the action is the subject. In the passive, the doer is not the subject.
2. What does doer mean?
A doer is the person or thing who does. It comes from the verb to do. It’s like changing the verb to dance to dancer, the person who dances. Now, reread the answer to #1.
3. What is the difference between the past and the passive?
The past is a verb tense referring to an action that takes place in the past. The passive is not a verb tense at all. The passive can take the form of any verb tense.
There are many questions about the passive, I’m sure. I will post some more in the near future. If you have any questions about the passive or anything English or language related, leave a comment and I will respond.
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