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Passive Voice - Glossary of Terms

Passive Voice

A verb is said to be in the "passive voice" when its subject does not perform the action of the verb.  In fact, the action is performed on the subject.


The bridge was blown up by engineers.
          subject       verb (in "passive voice")

The cows will be moved after tea.
          subject       verb phrase (in "passive voice")

In a passive sentence, the person or thing carrying out the action (often called the "agent") is introduced with "by".


The cows will be moved after tea by the farm-hands.
Associated pages:
Active sentence
Passive sentence
Active voice
Passive voice
Glossary of grammatical terms

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