World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Active voice

Article Id: WHEBN0000154804
Reproduction Date:

Title: Active voice  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Proto-Celtic language, Participle, Arabic verbs, Voice (grammar), Ancient Greek grammar
Collection: Grammatical Voices
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Active voice

Active voice is a grammatical voice common in many of the world's languages. It is the unmarked voice for clauses featuring a transitive verb in nominative–accusative languages, including English and most other Indo-European languages.

Active voice is used in a clause whose subject expresses the agent of the main verb. That is, the subject does the action designated by the verb.[1] A sentence whose agent is marked as grammatical subject is called an active sentence. In contrast, a sentence in which the subject has the role of patient or theme is named a passive sentence, and its verb is expressed in passive voice. Many languages have both an active and a passive voice; this allows for greater flexibility in sentence construction, as either the semantic agent or patient may take the syntactic role of subject.[2]

Examples

In the following examples the active and passive voice are illustrated with pairs of sentences using the same transitive verb.

Language Active voice Passive voice
English The dog bit the postman. The postman was bitten by the dog.
Arabic عَضّ الكلبُ ساعي البريد. (The dog bit the postman.)
'eَd alklbu sa'ey albryd
عُضّ ساعي البريد بواسطة الكلب. (The postman was bitten by the dog.)
'eud sa'ey albryd bwasth alklb
French Brackett a écrit ce livre. (Brackett has written this book.) Ce livre a été écrit par Brackett. (This book has been written by Brackett.)
German Der Hund biss den Postboten. (The dog bit the postman.) Der Postbote wurde vom Hund gebissen. (The postman was bitten by the dog.)
Japanese 犬がかんだ。 (A dog bit [someone].)
Inu-ga kanda
犬にかまれた。 (By a dog [I] was bitten.)
Inu-ni kamareta
Polish Pies ugryzł listonosza. (The dog bit the postman.) Listonosz został ugryziony przez psa. (The postman was bitten by the dog.)
Spanish La policía detuvo el tráfico. (The police stopped the traffic.) El tráfico fue detenido por la policía. (The traffic was stopped by the police.)
Swedish Tjänaren bär vinet. (The servant carries the wine.) Vinet bärs av tjänaren. (The wine is carried by the servant.)

See also

References

  1. ^ O'Grady, William, John Archibald, Mark Aronoff, and Janie Rees-Miller (eds.) (2001). Contemporary Linguistics: An Introduction Fourth edition. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's. ISBN 0-312-24738-9
  2. ^ Saeed, John (1997). Semantics. Oxford: Blackwell. ISBN 0-631-20035-5
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.