When Is the Passive Voice Used?

The Passive Voice construction is particularly common in academic and formal writing, where the focus is often more on the action or the object of the action rather than the subject who performs it.

Passive Voice

The passive voice in English is formed using the verb “to be” and the past participle of the main verb.

This construction shifts the focus from the subject (who is performing the action) to the object (who is receiving the action).

Here’s how it’s structured:

  1. Identify the verb: Determine the main action in the sentence.
  2. Use the appropriate form of “to be”: This varies depending on the tense you need. For example, for present simple, use “is” or “are”; for past simple, use “was” or “were”; for future, use “will be”, and so on.
  3. Add the past participle of the main verb: This is a form of the verb that typically ends in -ed for regular verbs. For irregular verbs, the past participle form can vary (e.g., “written,” “been,” “done”).

Here’s an example to illustrate the formation:

  • Active Voice: “The researcher conducts the experiment.”(Subject: researcher, Verb: conducts, Object: experiment)
  • Passive Voice: “The experiment is conducted by the researcher.”(Subject: experiment, Form of “to be”: is, Past participle: conducted, Agent: researcher)

In the passive voice, the doer of the action (the researcher, in this case) can be omitted if it’s not important or unknown:

  • “The experiment is conducted.”

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