Understanding Passive and Active Verbs


Examples of active and passive verbs in each verb tense

  • Simple Present
    • Active: Amazon ships books around the world.
    • Passive: Books are shipped around the world.
  • Present Progressive (or Continuous)
    • Active: The cover artist is designing the book cover.
    • Passive: The book cover is being designed.
  • Simple Past
    • Active: The writer finished the book yesterday.
    • Passive: The book was finished yesterday.
  • Past Progressive (or Continuous)
    • Active: The author was making a release date announcement.
    • Passive: A release date announcement was being made.
  • Future
    • Active: Amazon will ship paperback books to readers.
    • Passive: Paperback backs will be shipped to readers.
  • Present Perfect
    • Active: Readers have purchased the books from the author.
    • Passive: The books have been purchased from the author.
  • Past Perfect
    • Active: The author had shown readers teasers for the new book for two months.
    • Passive: The readers had been shown teasers for the new book for two months.
  • Future Perfect
    • Active: By next month, the author will have sold 5,000 copies of his new book.
    • Passive: By next month, 5,000 copies of his new book will have been sold.
  • Modals
    • Active: Readers can read this book for free on Kindle Unlimited.
    • Passive: This book can be read for free on Kindle Unlimited.

To learn more about passive voice, check out this article: Passive Voice: Myth vs. Fact

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Very helpful. I am showing this to my children.

Unfortunately, many people think this topic is not very important. Knowing the differences will help make my writing stronger.