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Speech, tenses & voices

Note 56 – Active and passive voices

For the background to my writing challenge, please read my first blog by clicking the following link – If you would prefer to dive straight into note 56, then please read on…

What do active and passive voices mean?

Bernard C Lamb in his book The Queen’s English, explains that in the active voice the subject is performing the action, whereas in the passive voice the subject has the action done to it.

Active voice examples

  • The boy hits his brother
  • Tom finds his dog
  • Simon likes his new friend
  • The driver ran someone over

Passive voice examples

  • The boy was hit by his brother
  • Tom was found by his dog
  • Simon was liked by his new friend
  • The driver was run over by someone

Explanation and comparison

In the above active voice examples, the subjects (that are underlined) are performing the actions i.e. it is the boy who hits his brother, whereas in the passive voice examples, the subjects (that are underlined) are having the actions done to them i.e. it is the boy who is hit by his brother.

Hope you’ve enjoyed today’s blog and got something out of it.  Remember, you can always send me requests if you have any particular writing issues that you would like me to blog about.

Until tomorrow…


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My other blog:

My website: (includes the first chapter of my book)

Twitter: @madeirasandra and @tipsandluxuries

Reference list:

Bernard C. Lamb The Queen’s English (2010), UK


About Sandra Madeira

I am a full-time working mum with a passion for writing and inspiring others. Subjects I tend to blog about are life skills, parenting, decluttering, worklife balance, etc. At the moment I am on a decluttering mission creating space in my house, garden and mind. I have challenged myself to do at least ten minutes a day and write about it. Have a good day! Sandra Freelance Writer


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