Active vs. Passive Voice
In sentences written in active voice, the doer of an action is the subject.
In sentences written in passive voice, the receiver of an action is the subject.
In sentences in active voice, the agent (the doer of the action) is the subject of the verb. In active sentences, there may or may not be an object (the receiver of the action).
Check out these examples of sentences in active voice. Hint: the subject (the doer) and the recipient are highlighted in purple.
In sentences in passive voice, the receiver of an action gets moved to the subject position. This is often done to move the focus from the doer to whatever it is that was done.
Spanish has two passive forms: the passive with ser (to be) and the se pasiva.
The following formulas are used to create the passive voice:
- ser + past participle (+ por + agent)
- se + third person
In the passive sentences below, the doer of the action is no longer the subject. Instead, the recipient of the action (highlighted in purple) is the subject.