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The Active Voice of a verb is used when the subject of the verb refers to the person or thing performing the action described by the verb.
In contrast, the Passive Voice of a verb is used when the subject of the verb refers to the person or thing receiving the action described by the verb. Only a verb which can take an object can be put into the Passive Voice.
The Passive Voice is more commonly used in English than it is in other European languages such as German or French. As well as being used in everyday English, the Passive Voice is used extensively in official documents and scientific papers.
In the following examples, the verbs in the Passive Voice are underlined.
e.g. The ball was struck by the boy.
Gold has been found by the explorers.
In these examples, the verbs was struck and has been found are in the Passive Voice. The subjects ball and gold refer to things receiving the actions described by the verbs.
From: http://www.ingilizceci.net/GrammarMaryA ... mch12.html
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