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Technical English - ESLI-595: Active & Passive Voice

Welcome! In this guide, you will find resources to support your studies in ESLI 595. Use the tabs and drop-down menus to navigate this guide.

DEFINITION

ACTIVE VOICE: A sentence written in active voice features a subject who performs an action. 

PASSIVE VOICE: A sentence written in passive voice features an action which is performed upon the subject. 

Active v. Passive Voice

Read more about active and passive voice:

Practice

Active & Passive Voice

Active Voice: When using active voice, the subject performs the action

Passive Voice: When using passive voice, the subject is the recipient of the action

The cat scratched the child.  The child was scratched by the cat
The police officer issued Paul a ticket for littering. A ticket for littering was issued to Paul by the police officer
Jane will read her poetry at the writing festival. Poetry will be read by Jane at the writing festival 

Constructing Sentences in Passive Voice: Present Tense

Present Tense Active Passive (Singular) Passive (Plural) 
Singular The veterinarian cares for the animal. The animal is cared for by the veterinarian. The animals are cared for by the veterinarian. 
Plural The veterinarians care for the animal. The animal is cared for by the veterinarians. The animals are cared for by the veterinarian.

Constructing Sentences in Passive Voice: Present Perfect Tense

Present Perfect Tense

Active Passive (Singular) Passive (Plural) 
Singular

The veterinarian has been caring for the animal for two weeks. 

The animal has been cared for by the veterinarian for two weeks. 

The animals have been cared for by the veterinarian for two weeks. 

Plural

The veterinarians have been caring for the animal for two weeks. 

The animal has been cared for by the veterinarians for two weeks. 

The animals have been cared for by the veterinarians for two weeks. 

Constructing Sentences in Passive Voice: Present Progressive Tense

Present Progressive Tense

Active Passive (Singular) Passive (Plural) 
Singular The veterinarian is caring for the animal.  The animal is being cared for by the veterinarian. 

The animals are being cared for by the veterinarian.

Plural The veterinarians are caring for the animal. 

The animal is being cared for by the veterinarians. 

The animals are being cared for by the veterinarian.

Constructing Sentences in Passive Voice: Past Tense

 Past Tense

Active Passive (Singular) Passive (Plural) 
Singular The veternarian cared for the animal.  The animal was cared for by the veternarian. 

The animals were cared for by the veternarian. 

Plural The veternarians cared for the animal.  

The animal was cared for by the veternarians. 

The animals were cared for by the veternarians. 

Constructing Sentences in Passive Voice: Past Progressive Tense

Past Progressive Tense

Active Passive (Singular) Passive (Plural) 
Singular The veterinarian was caring for the animal.  The animal was being cared for by the veterinarian. 

The animals were being cared for by the veterinarian.

Plural The veterinarians were caring for the animal. 

The animal was being cared for by the veterinarians.  

The animals were being cared for by the veterinarians by tomorrow.   

Constructing Sentences in Passive Voice: Past Perfect Tense

 Past Perfect Tense

Active Passive (Singular) Passive (Plural) 
Singular The veternarian had cared for the animal.  The animal had been cared for by the veternarian. 

The animals had been cared for by the veternarian. 

Plural The veternarians had cared for the animal.  

The animal had been cared for by the veternarians. 

The animals had been cared for by the veternarians. 

Constructing Sentences in Passive Voice: Future Tense

Future Tense

Active Passive (Singular) Passive (Plural) 
Singular The veternarian will care for the animal.  The animal will be cared for by the veternarian. 

The animals will be cared for by the veternarian. 

Plural The veternarians will care for the animal.  

The animal will be cared for by the veternarians. 

The animals will be cared for by the veternarians. 

Constructing Sentences in Passive Voice: Future Tense

Future Progressive Tense

Active Passive (Singular) Passive (Plural) 
Singular The veternarian will have cared for the animal by tomorrow. The animal will have been cared for by the veternarian by tomorrow.  

The animals will have been cared for by the veternarian by tomorrow.

Plural The veternarians will have cared for the animal by tomorrow.

The animal will have been cared for by the veternarians by tomorrow.  

The animals will have been cared for by the veternarians by tomorrow.  
 
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