Información de Inglés
ACTIVE AND PASSIVE VOICE
In sentences written in active voice, the subject performs the action expressed in the verb; the subject acts.
In each example above, the subject of the sentence performs the action expressed in the verb.
In sentences written in passive voice, the subject receives the action expressed in the verb; the subject is acted upon. The agent performing the action may appear in a "by the . . ." phrase or may be omitted.
Sometimes the use of passive voice can create awkward sentences, as in the last example above. In scientific writing, however, passive voice is more readily accepted. Instead, the writing appears to convey information that is not limited or biased by individual perspectives or personal interests.
You can recognize passive-voice expressions because the verb phrase will always include a form of be, such as am, is, was, were, are, or been. The presence of a be-verb, however, does not necessarily mean that the sentence is in passive voice.
Sentences in active voice are generally--though not always-- clearer and more direct than those in passive voice.
passive (more wordy)
active (more concise)
Changing passive to active
To change a passive-voice sentence to active voice, find the agent in a "by the..." phrase, or consider carefully who or what is performing the action expressed in the verb. Make that agent the subject of the sentence, and change the verb accordingly. Sometimes you will need to infer the agent from the surrounding sentences which provide context.
most of the class (find the agent) 2
----> changed 3
Choosing Passive Voice
Writers in the sciences conventionally use passive voice more often than writers in other discourses. Passive voice makes sense when the agent performing the action is obvious, unimportant, or unknown or when a writer wishes to postpone mentioning the agent. The passive voice is effective in such circumstances because it highlights the action and what is acted upon rather than the agent performing the action.
The dispatcher is notifying police that three prisoners have escaped.
Police are being notified that three prisoners have escaped.
* In each of these examples, the passive voice makes sense because the agent is relatively unimportant compared to the action itself and what is acted upon.
Changing active to passive
If you want to change an active-voice sentence to passive voice, consider carefully who or what is performing the action expressed in the verb, and then make that agent the object of a "by the..." phrase. Make what is acted upon the subject of the sentence, and change the verb to a form of be + past participle. Including an explicit "by the..." phrase is optional.
The presiding officer ( find) 2
----> changed 3
In each of these examples, the passive voice is useful for highlighting the action and what is acted upon instead of the agent.
1. Avoid starting a sentence in active voice and then shifting to passive.
2. Avoid dangling modifiers caused by the use of passive voice. A dangling modifier is a word or phrase that modifies a word not clearly stated in the sentence.
3. Don't trust the grammar-checking programs in word-processing software. Many grammar checkers flag all passive constructions, but you may want to keep some that are flagged. Trust your judgement, or ask another human being for their opinion about which sentence sounds best.