How we change what others think, feel, believe and do
Active and passive verbs
Sentences have a structure of subject - verb - object, where the subject (or actor) performs an action (the verb) on an object.
Use active verbs when you want to create interest and emphasize the action.
Use active verbs to give an order.
Passive verbs describe the action done by the subject of a sentence. Passive verbs use a linking verb alongside the main verb. With passive verbs, it is often possible that the subject is not named.
Use passive verbs when you want to:
Linking verbs are neither active nor passive and act like an 'equals' (or inequality) sign. By far the most common linking verb is 'to be'.
Use linking verbs to describe a 'state of being'.
Active: The man wrote the story.
Active: The secret-service man shot the dark
Active (imperative): Please help me succeed.
Active and passive verbs may be mixed within sentences and used as appropriate.
Active verbs are generally clearer and add more interest than passive verbs.
Active verbs are common in speech and commands.
Because the subject need not be named with the passive verbs, this can lead to a lack of clarity and ambiguity. It also means that if the subject is not known,
Passive verbs are common in formal writing, such as academic, technical and business papers.