What is a passive sentence?
A Passive sentence is a grammatical voice prevalent in many of the world’s languages. In a clause with 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)
In my opinion, using the active voice, sentences provide a clearer more effective message in technical writing and business writing. The active voice clearly identifies the action and determines who performs that work. For clear examples of passive voice take a 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.