The Passive Voice Made Simple

Learning to speak English with excellent fluency can be a frustrating journey especially when you have some basic concepts mixed up…

Like our friend here…

“Hi David! I am struggling to understand passive voice! Basically, how to convert active voice into passive voice and vice-versa. Can you shed some light on this?” 

I can assure that I’m going to help you feel more confident about this. 

You need to understand why we use these voices in the first place. I know the names are scary – “Passive Voice” and “Active Voice“.

Their purpose is to shift the focus of the message we are conveying. Let me demonstrate this for you: 

Your parents have given you an amazing opportunity. <<< Active
The focus of this message is ‘Your Parents’ who are doing this action of giving you an amazing opportunity.

You have been given an amazing opportunity. <<< Passive
Now the focus is shifted to ‘You’. It doesn’t say anything about who is doing the action of giving.

But we can add this information by saying…
You have been given an amazing opportunity by your parents. <<< Passive

What about this next sentence?
Thousands of employees were laid off. <<< Passive

In this sentence, we don’t know who is doing the action of ‘laying off’.
So, is it active or passive? . . . Passive.
In the passive voice, the focus is on who or what is being affected by the action.
It doesn’t matter who or what is doing the action. 

I have had many students who struggled with this. It took some time but now this concept along with many other complex concepts are crystal clear to them.

Plus, they enjoy speaking more confidently on a daily basis. 

Join us inside the members area who are developing their Business English in our live weekly coaching sessions focused on business and career skills.

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The weather is nice out here. I think I’ll put my headphones on and go for a walk. 

To any self-motivated action-taker…. I salute you!

Until next time,

Cheering for you,

David Rajaraman

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