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How Does the Passive Voice Work?


Active Voice: The man loves the woman = vir feminam amat.

Passive Voice: The woman is loved by the man = femina amatur ab viro.

The subject of a passive voice verb is the "receiver" of the action of the verb, and the "doer" of the action is designated by a special ablative phrase, called the "ablative of personal agent" which we have been calling the "ablative of secret agent" and sing the Mission Impossible theme to.

So, active voice means that the SUBJECT of the verb is the doer of the action (he loves) of the verb. A direct object receives its action.


Passive voice means that the SUBJECT of the verb is the RECEIVER of the action (she is loved). The DOER of the action is provided in the ablative phrase (by the man).
Voice is one of five attributes every verb has...person, number, tense, voice mood. Passive voice can be provided in any tense (he is loved, he was being loved, he will be loved, he was loved, he had been loved, he will have been loved) and any person and number. You know you have a passive voice verb by its ending. For now, you can see the book for the complete list of endings...

copyright 2001 Janice Siegel, All Rights Reserved
send comments to: Janice Siegel (jfsiege@ilstu.edu)

date this page was edited last: 06/29/2005
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