What is a passive sentence?
A Passive sentence is a grammatical voice prevalent in many of the world’s languages. In a clause with a passive voice, the grammatical subject expresses the theme or patient of the main verb – that is, the person or thing that undergoes the action or has its state changed.
Passive vs Active
I can already hear readers asking, what is a Passive Sentence?
Compare these sentences.
- The Application is used to collect data (passive)
- Use the application to collect data (active)
- The key was used to open the door (passive)
- Use the key to open the door (active)
- The wire is fed through the box by the electrician (Passive)
- The electrician feeds the wire through the box (active)
Using the active voice, sentences provide a clearer more effective message in technical writing and business writing. The active voice identifies the action and determines who performs that work. For clear examples of passive voice look at government documents, which gives the wording a dull, bureaucratic tone.
Over time, writing in the passive voice becomes a habit, one we should all work to change. Of one thing I can be certain, despite the debates, I will continue to use the active sentence.