Arabic Bulgarian Chinese Croatian Czech Danish Dutch English Estonian Finnish French German Greek Hebrew Hindi Hungarian Icelandic Indonesian Italian Japanese Korean Latvian Lithuanian Malagasy Norwegian Persian Polish Portuguese Romanian Russian Serbian Slovak Slovenian Spanish Swedish Thai Turkish Vietnamese
Arabic Bulgarian Chinese Croatian Czech Danish Dutch English Estonian Finnish French German Greek Hebrew Hindi Hungarian Icelandic Indonesian Italian Japanese Korean Latvian Lithuanian Malagasy Norwegian Persian Polish Portuguese Romanian Russian Serbian Slovak Slovenian Spanish Swedish Thai Turkish Vietnamese

definitions - Passive_voice

passive voice (n.)

1.(linguistics)the voice used to indicate that the grammatical subject of the verb is the recipient (not the source) of the action denoted by the verb"`The ball was thrown by the boy' uses the passive voice" "`The ball was thrown' is an abbreviated passive"

   Advertizing ▼

definition (more)

definition of Wikipedia

synonyms - Passive_voice

passive voice (n.) (linguistics)

passive  (linguistics)

   Advertizing ▼

see also - Passive_voice

passive voice (n.)

active, active voice

analogical dictionary





active, active voice[Ant.]

passive voice (n.) [linguistics]

Wikipedia - see also


Passive voice


Passive voice is a grammatical voice common in many of the world's languages. Passive is used in a clause whose subject expresses the theme or patient of the main verb. That is, the subject undergoes an action or has its state changed.[1] A sentence whose theme is marked as grammatical subject is called a passive sentence. In contrast, a sentence in which the subject has the agent role is called an active sentence, and its verb is expressed in active 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]

Transforming an active verb into a passive verb is a valence-decreasing process ("detransitivizing process"), because it transforms transitive verbs into intransitive verbs.[3]

The use of passive voice allows speakers to organize stretches of discourse by placing figures other than the agent in subject position. This may be used to foreground the patient, recipient, or other thematic role.[2] Passive voice may also be useful when the semantic patient is the topic of on-going discussion.[4] The passive voice may also be used to avoid specifying the agent of an action.


  Passive marking

Different languages use various grammatical forms to indicate passive voice.

In some languages, such as Latin, passive voice is indicated by verb conjugation. A passive suffix on the verb indicates passive voice.

  • Vīnum (ā) servō portātur.
The wine is carried by the servant.
(Compare this sentence, which gives the same information in the active voice:
Servus vīnum portat, The servant carries the wine.)

North Germanic languages also use a verb-conjugated passive voice.[citation needed]


  • Vinet bärs av tjänaren.
The wine is carried by the servant.
(In active voice:
Tjänaren bär vinet. The servant carries the wine.)

Similarly, the Austronesian language Kimaragang Dusun uses an infix, -in-, to indicate passive voice.[5]

root past passive meaning
patay pinatay "was killed"
nakaw ninakaw "was stolen"
garas ginaras "was butchered"

Many languages use impersonal verbs to achieve the same object.

  The passive voice in English

English, like some other languages, uses a periphrastic passive. Rather than conjugating directly for voice, English uses the past participle form of the verb plus an auxiliary verb, either be or get, to indicate passive voice.

  • The money was donated to the school.
  • The vase got broken during the fight.

The active voice is the dominant voice in English at large. Many commentators, notably George Orwell in his essay "Politics and the English Language" and Strunk & White in The Elements of Style, have urged minimizing use of the passive voice. However, the passive voice has important uses. Jan Freeman of The Boston Globe states "[a]ll good writers use the passive voice" – including Orwell and Strunk & White themselves, in the sections of their essays criticizing the passive voice.[6] There is general agreement that the passive voice is useful for emphasis, or when the receiver of the action is more important than the actor.[7]

  Adversative passive

Some languages, including several Southeast Asian languages, use a form of passive voice to indicate that an action or event was unpleasant or undesirable.[5] This so-called adversative passive works like the ordinary passive voice in terms of syntactic structure—that is, a theme or instrument acts as subject. In addition, the construction indicates adversative affect, suggesting that someone was negatively affected.

The Japanese adversative passive (also called indirect passive) indicates adversative affect.

  • 花子が 隣の 学生に ピアノを 朝まで 弾かれた。
Hanako-ga tonari-no gakusei-ni piano-o asa-made hikareta.
Hanako-subject neighbor student-by piano-object morning-until played-passive
"Hanako was adversely affected by the neighboring student playing the piano until morning."[8]

The indirect or adversative passive has the same form as the direct passive in Japanese. Unlike the direct passive, the indirect passive may be used with intransitive verbs.

  Stative passive

Some languages draw a distinction between static (or stative) passive voice, and dynamic (or eventive) passive voice. Examples include English, German, Swedish, and Italian. "Static" means that an action was done to the subject at a certain point in time resulting in a state in the time focussed upon, whereas "dynamic" means that an action takes place.


Static passive auxiliary verb: sein ("sein-Passiv, Zustandspassiv")

Dynamic passive auxiliary verb: werden ("werden-Passiv")

Der Rasen ist gemäht ("The lawn is mown", static)
Der Rasen wird gemäht ("The lawn is being mown", literally "The lawn becomes mown", dynamic)

A number of verbs such as bedecken "cover", erfüllen "fill", trennen "separate", when used as stative verbs, only form static passives:

Schnee bedeckt die Erde ("Snow covers the earth", active)
Die Erde ist von Schnee bedeckt ("The earth is covered in snow", static)
but not: *Die Erde wird von Schnee bedeckt (dynamic)[9]


Static passive auxiliary verb: be (the "be-passive")

Dynamic passive auxiliary verb: get (the "get-passive")

Note that for some speakers of English this is not accepted and is considered colloquial or sub-standard.

The grass is cut (static)

The grass gets cut (dynamic)


Static passive auxiliary verb: vara (är, var, varit)

Dynamic passive auxiliary verb: bli (blir, blev, blivit) Dynamic passive in Swedish is also frequently expressed with the s-ending.

Dörren är öppnad. "The door has been opened."
Dörren blir öppnad. "The door is being opened."

The vara passive is often synonymous with, and sometimes preferable to, simply using the corresponding adjective:

Dörren är öppen. "The door is open."

The bli passive is often synonymous with, and sometimes preferable to, the s-passive:

Dörren öppnas. "The door is opening."


Italian uses two verbs (essere and venire) to translate the static and the dynamic passive:

Dynamic passive auxiliary verb: essere and venire (to be and to come)

La porta è aperta. or La porta viene aperta. "The door is opened [by someone]" or "The door comes open [by someone]".
La porta è chiusa. or La porta viene chiusa. "The door is closed [by someone]" or "The door comes closed [by someone]".

Static passive auxiliary verb: essere (to be)

La porta è aperta. "The door is open," i.e. it has been opened.
La porta è chiusa. "The door is closed," i.e. it has been closed.


In Venetian (Vèneto) the difference between dynamic (true) passive and stative (adjectival) passive is more clear cut, using èser (to be) only for the static passives and vegner (to become, to come) only for the dynamic passive:

Ła porta ła vien verta. "The door is opened", dynamic
Ła porta ła xè / l'è verta. "The door is open", static

Static forms represents much more a property or general condition, whereas the dynamic form is a real passive action entailing "by someone":

èser proteto. "To be protected = to be in a safe condition", static
vegner proteto. "To be protected = to be defended (by so)", dynamic
èser considarà. "To be considered = to have a (good) reputation", static
vegner considarà. "To be taken into consideration (by people, by so)", dynamic
èser raprexentà (a l'ONU). "To be represented (at the UN) = to have a representation", static
vegner raprexentà a l'ONU (da un dełegà). "To be represented at the UN (by a delegate)", dynamic

  See also


  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. ^ a b Saeed, John (1997). Semantics. Oxford: Blackwell. ISBN 0-631-20035-5
  3. ^ Paul Kroeger, Analyzing grammar: an introduction, Cambridge University Press, 2005, ISBN 052181622X, p. 272
  4. ^ Croft, William (1991). Syntactic Categories and Grammatical Relations: The Cognitive Organization of Information. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-12090-2
  5. ^ a b Kroeger, Paul. 2005. Analyzing Grammar: An Introduction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-81622-X
  6. ^ Freeman, Jan (2009-03-22). "Active resistance: What we get wrong about the passive voice". The Boston Globe (Boston). ISSN 0743-1791. http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2009/03/22/active_resistance/. Retrieved 2010-03-01. "All good writers use the passive voice." 
  7. ^ Webster's Dictionary of English Usage, pp.720–21 (1989).
  8. ^ Tsujimura, Natsuko. 1996. An Introduction to Japanese Linguistics. Oxford: Blackwell. ISBN 0-631-19855-5
  9. ^ Grebe, Paul, ed. (1973). Die Grammatik der deutschen Gegenwartssprache [Grammar of the contemporary German language] (3rd ed.). Mannheim: Dudenverlag. pp. 91–95. ISBN 3-411-00914-4. 


All translations of Passive_voice

sensagent's content

  • definitions
  • synonyms
  • antonyms
  • encyclopedia

Dictionary and translator for handheld

⇨ New : sensagent is now available on your handheld

   Advertising ▼

sensagent's office

Shortkey or widget. Free.

Windows Shortkey: sensagent. Free.

Vista Widget : sensagent. Free.

Webmaster Solution


A windows (pop-into) of information (full-content of Sensagent) triggered by double-clicking any word on your webpage. Give contextual explanation and translation from your sites !

Try here  or   get the code


With a SensagentBox, visitors to your site can access reliable information on over 5 million pages provided by Sensagent.com. Choose the design that fits your site.

Business solution

Improve your site content

Add new content to your site from Sensagent by XML.

Crawl products or adds

Get XML access to reach the best products.

Index images and define metadata

Get XML access to fix the meaning of your metadata.

Please, email us to describe your idea.


The English word games are:
○   Anagrams
○   Wildcard, crossword
○   Lettris
○   Boggle.


Lettris is a curious tetris-clone game where all the bricks have the same square shape but different content. Each square carries a letter. To make squares disappear and save space for other squares you have to assemble English words (left, right, up, down) from the falling squares.


Boggle gives you 3 minutes to find as many words (3 letters or more) as you can in a grid of 16 letters. You can also try the grid of 16 letters. Letters must be adjacent and longer words score better. See if you can get into the grid Hall of Fame !

English dictionary
Main references

Most English definitions are provided by WordNet .
English thesaurus is mainly derived from The Integral Dictionary (TID).
English Encyclopedia is licensed by Wikipedia (GNU).


The wordgames anagrams, crossword, Lettris and Boggle are provided by Memodata.
The web service Alexandria is granted from Memodata for the Ebay search.
The SensagentBox are offered by sensAgent.


Change the target language to find translations.
Tips: browse the semantic fields (see From ideas to words) in two languages to learn more.

last searches on the dictionary :

3767 online visitors

computed in 0.328s

I would like to report:
section :
a spelling or a grammatical mistake
an offensive content(racist, pornographic, injurious, etc.)
a copyright violation
an error
a missing statement
please precise:



Company informations

My account



   Advertising ▼

EV Electro-Voice SX80 Passive Speaker PAIR w/ stand mounts (199.99 USD)

Commercial use of this term

EV Electro-Voice ELX 112 2-way Full-range Speaker Monitor (199.99 USD)

Commercial use of this term

Electro-Voice ZLX-12 12" 2-Way Passive Loudspeaker 888365295398 (224.99 USD)

Commercial use of this term

ELECTRO-VOICE EV EVM-15B NOS LF Woofer Bass Guitar/PA Speaker 400W 8ohm (245.0 USD)

Commercial use of this term

Electro-Voice EV ZLX-12 12" Passive Loudspeaker w/1000W 125dB FREE SHIP ZLX12 (269.99 USD)

Commercial use of this term

Electro-Voice ZLX-15 15" Two-Way Passive Loudspeaker (B) ji (299.0 USD)

Commercial use of this term

Electro-Voice Tour X TX1152 15" Passive Monitor Mint (499.99 USD)

Commercial use of this term

EV Electro Voice ELX115 15" Passive DJ PA Monitor Speakers PAIR ELX-115 NEW (798.0 USD)

Commercial use of this term

NEW! Electro-Voice EV ZLX-12 12" Passive Loudspeaker w/1000W 125dB ZLX12 (299.99 USD)

Commercial use of this term

ELECTRO VOICE EVsx250 Professional Passive Speaker sx250 (400.0 USD)

Commercial use of this term

Celestion TF0818MR 8" Professional Midrange Speaker Closed Back Great For Voice (49.95 USD)

Commercial use of this term

Electro-Voice EV ZX4 400W 15" Passive Two Way Loudspeaker Monitor (350.0 USD)

Commercial use of this term

Passive Voice (Lifepac Electives Spanish II) (7.93 USD)

Commercial use of this term

Electro-Voice ELX115 2 way 15" Passive Loud-speaker (399.0 USD)

Commercial use of this term

Altec421B 15" Musical Instrument / Bass Guitar Amp Speaker Voice Coil Only - NOS (29.95 USD)

Commercial use of this term

EV Electro-Voice EVID 3.2 Compact Pro Full Range Speakers Indoor/Outdoor BLACK (249.99 USD)

Commercial use of this term

JBL CONTROL-SB-2 10In Dual Voice Coil Subwoofer Passive Subwoofer - New (314.99 USD)

Commercial use of this term

Electro-Voice ELX118 Live X Passive 18 Subwoofer (499.0 USD)

Commercial use of this term


Commercial use of this term