Knowing when to use the passive voice in English is very important. We’ll get to know how to use it and formulate it, and we’ll also understand the reason why we use it in the first place. There is a quiz at the end of the article which will help you test your understanding of the passive voice, so don’t forget to take it.
Firstly, let’s take a look at some instances where we use the passive voice in English:
When it is not necessary to mention the person who does the action (the doer of the action).
- The apartment has been cleaned because my mother is coming.
Here, we know that someone has cleaned the apartment, but it’s not that important to mention their name. We’re more interested in the action than the person who did it.
When we have forgotten the person who did the action or we just don’t know their name.
- Women’s situations have been improved recently because of the new government.
In this example, women’s situations have been improved, but we actually don’t know who has improved it or maybe we have forgotten their name. For this reason, we just mention the result, which is the improvement of women’s situation.
When we are interested in the action rather than the person who does it, so we don’t mention their name.
- Many prizes were awarded to Moroccan female influencers.
Like the first example, we don’t care about the specific Moroccan influencer who has won the prize because it’s more important to know that many prizes were awarded to Moroccan female influencers without saying who has given them the prize.
When the speaker disclaims responsibility for disagreeable announcements.
- “The glass has been broken!” instead of “I have broken the glass.”
An object can’t be broken by itself, can it? ? Obviously, someone must’ve broken it. In order to avoid pointing the finger at yourself and assuming the responsibility, you just say that the glass has been broken without saying that it was you who broke it.
The Passive Voice Quiz
Fill in the blanks with the correct form of the verb!
You can try our other quizes here.
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