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Understanding Passive and Active Verbs

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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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3 comments

Another helpful article.

[…] Share this post {lang: ""}Share this post Understanding Passive and Active Verbs All writers have heard passive verbs should be avoided as much as possible and active verbs are fundamental to good writing. Do you know the difference? Can you find active verbs and passiveShare this post  […]

Very helpful. I am showing this to my children.

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