In the context of forming sentences, voice is the relationship between the subject and the subject’s verb. With active voice, the subject is the one performing the action of the verb. Here you can review some examples of active voice:

  • The team ran laps during practice.
  • I prepared several sandwiches for the picnic.
  • Rodney and his friends go to the movies once a week.

Notice how each subject performs the action in each sentence. 

Passive voice, on the other hand, is when the subject is the receiver of the action of the verb. It is formed by using the verb “to be” and a past participle. Oftentimes you will see “by” in the sentence to indicate the agent. Notice how the subject of the verb is the thing being done, not the person doing it:

  • The food was made by the chef. 
  • Many positions were created by leadership.
  • The speech was given yesterday.


Last revised on July 10, 2019.