You"ve most likely heard of the terms passive verbs and passive voice, yet execute you understand what they mean? Do you know how they relate to energetic verbs and the active voice?

You"ll be relieved to recognize that you can understand also the difference by asking simply one basic question: Is the subject performing the activity of the verb or receiving the action of the verb?

In order to understand this concept, you have to understand also topics and also activity verbs.

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Note that this discussion does not include linking verbs. Why? The topic of energetic and also passive only relates to action verbs, and also linking verbs don"t show action.

Action verbs have the right to be composed in two different "voices." These voices tell us whether the topic is perdeveloping the activity (energetic voice) or receiving the action (passive voice).


When the topic of a sentence is percreating the action of the verb, the sentence is written in the active voice.

In the following examples, the topics are underlined and the verbs are in bold. Notice that the subjects are percreating the actions


My grandma made this scarf.

The class took the test.

The storm demolished many structures.


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All of those sentences have actually active verbs. We have the right to also say that they are in the energetic voice.

In all of those sentences, the subject is the doer of the action. That is the just thing a sentence demands in order for it to be written in the active voice, so all of those sentences are active. 


When the topic of the sentence is receiving the activity of the verb, the sentence is written in the passive voice. 

Look over the sentences below and also notice that the topics are not doing anything. They are not performing the action of the verb. They are the ones receiving the action. 


This scarf was made by my grandma.

The test was taken by the course.

Many buildings were demolished by the storm.


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All of those sentences have passive verbs. We have the right to also say that they are composed in the passive voice.

In every one of those sentences, the topic is the receiver of the action. That is the only point a sentence needs in order for it to be created in the passive voice, so all of those sentences are passive.

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Many times, the doer of the activity is written in a prepositional phrase (by my grandma, by the class, by the storm). However, passive verbs do not need to incorporate the doer of the action. Notice that the sentences below do not tell us who or what performed the action.