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Examples of Active and Passive Voice

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Active voice describes a sentence where the subject performs the action stated by the verb.  In passive voice sentences, the subject is acted upon by the verb. Check out the examples below. Need more explanation? Check out the YourDictionary Active vs. Passive Voice infographic for an easy-to-understand visual explanation.

Sentences in Active and Passive Voice

Here are examples of sentences written in both the active voice and the passive voice, with the active voice sentence appearing first:
Harry ate six shrimp at dinner. (active)
At dinner, six shrimp were eaten by Harry. (passive)
Beautiful giraffes roam the savannah. (active)
The savannah is roamed by beautiful giraffes. (passive)
Sue changed the flat tire. (active)
The flat tire was changed by Sue. (passive)
We are going to watch a movie tonight. (active)
A movie is going to be watched by us tonight. (passive)
I ran the obstacle course in record time. (active)
The obstacle course was run by me in record time. (passive)
The crew paved the entire stretch of highway. (active)
The entire stretch of highway was paved by the crew. (passive)
Mom read the novel in one day. (active)
The novel was read by Mom in one day. (passive)
The critic wrote a scathing review. (active)
A scathing review was written by the critic. (passive)
I will clean the house every Saturday. (active)
The house will be cleaned by me every Saturday. (passive)
The staff is required to watch a safety video every year. (active)
A safety video will be watched by the staff every year. (passive)
She faxed her application for a new job. (active)
The application for a new job was faxed by her. (passive)
Tom painted the entire house. (active)
The entire house was painted by Tom. (passive)
The teacher always answers the students’ questions. (active)
The students’ questions are always answered by the teacher. (passive)
The choir really enjoys that piece. (active)
That piece is really enjoyed by the choir. (passive)
Who taught you to ski? (active)
By whom were you taught to ski? (passive)
The forest fire destroyed the whole suburb. (active)
The whole suburb was destroyed by the forest fire. (passive)
The two kings are signing the treaty. (active)
The treaty is being signed by the two kings. (passive)
The cleaning crew vacuums and dusts the office every night. (active)
Every night the office is vacuumed and dusted by the cleaning crew. (passive)
Larry generously donated money to the homeless shelter. (active)
Money was generously donated to the homeless shelter by Larry. (passive)
No one responded to my sales ad. (active)
My sales ad was not responded to by anyone. (passive)
The wedding planner is making all the reservations. (active)
All the reservations will be made by the wedding planner. (passive)
Susan will bake two dozen cupcakes for the bake sale. (active)
For the bake sale, two dozen cookies will be baked by Susan. (passive)
The science class viewed the comet. (active)
The comet was viewed by the science class. (passive)
Who ate the last cookie? (active)
The last cookie was eaten by whom? (passive)
Alex posted the video on Facebook. (active)
The video was posted on Facebook by Alex. (passive)
The director will give you instructions. (active)
Instructions will be given to you by the director. (passive)
Thousands of tourists view the Grand Canyon every year. (active)
The Grand Canyon is viewed by thousands of tourists every year. (passive)
The homeowners remodeled the house to help it sell. (active)
The house was remodeled by the homeowners to help it sell. (passive)
The team will celebrate their victory tomorrow. (active)
The victory will be celebrated by the team tomorrow. (passive)
The saltwater eventually corroded the metal beams. (active)
The metal beams were eventually corroded by the saltwater. (passive)
The kangaroo carried her baby in her pouch. (active)
The baby was carried by the kangaroo in her pouch. (passive)
Some people raise sugar cane in Hawaii. (active)
Sugar cane is raised by some people in Hawaii. (passive)
These sentences illustrate how different the same sentence can sound when written in active or passive voice. Generally, it’s better to write in the active voice. It’s clearer and more direct. Passive voice sentences tend to be more wordy and vague but can still be useful in some situations, such as formal or scientific writing.

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