Verbs are also said to be either active (The executive committee approved the new policy) or passive (The new policy was approved by the executive committee) in voice. In the active voice, the subject and verb relationship is straightforward: the subject is a be-er or a do-er and the verb moves the sentence along. In the passive voice, the subject of the sentence is neither a do-er or a be-er, but is acted upon by some other agent or by something unnamed (The new policy was approved). Computerized grammar checkers can pick out a passive voice construction from miles away and ask you to revise it to a more active construction. There is nothing inherently wrong with the passive voice, but if you can say the same thing in the active mode, do so (see exceptions below). Your text will have more pizzazz as a result, since passive verb constructions tend to lie about in their pajamas and avoid actual work.
We find an overabundance of the passive voice in sentences created by self-protective business interests, magniloquent educators, and bombastic military writers (who must get weary of this accusation), who use the passive voice to avoid responsibility for actions taken. Thus "Cigarette ads were designed to appeal especially to children" places the burden on the ads — as opposed to "We designed the cigarette ads to appeal especially to children," in which "we" accepts responsibility. At a White House press briefing we might hear that "The President was advised that certain members of Congress were being audited" rather than "The Head of the Internal Revenue service advised the President that her agency was auditing certain members of Congress" because the passive construction avoids responsibility for advising and for auditing. One further caution about the passive voice: we should not mix active and passive constructions in the same sentence: "The executive committee approved the new policy, and the calendar for next year's meetings was revised" should be recast as "The executive committee approved the new policy and revised the calendar for next year's meeting."
Take the quiz (below) as an exercise in recognizing and changing passive verbs.The passive voice does exist for a reason, however, and its presence is not always to be despised. The passive is particularly useful (even recommended) in two situations.
· When it is more important to draw our attention to the person or thing acted upon: The unidentified victim was apparently struck during the early morning hours.
· When the actor in the situation is not important: The aurora borealis can be observed in the early morning hours.
The passive voice is especially helpful (and even regarded as mandatory) in scientific or technical writing or lab reports, where the actor is not really important but the process or principle being described is of ultimate importance. Instead of writing "I poured 20 cc of acid into the beaker," we would write "Twenty cc of acid is/was poured into the beaker." The passive voice is also useful when describing, say, a mechanical process in which the details of process are much more important than anyone's taking responsibility for the action: "The first coat of primer paint is applied immediately after the acid rinse."
We use the passive voice to good effect in a paragraph in which we wish to shift emphasis from what was the object in a first sentence to what becomes the subject in subsequent sentences.
The executive committee approved an entirely new policy for dealing with academic suspension and withdrawal. The policy had been written by a subcommittee on student behavior. If students withdraw from course work before suspension can take effect, the policy states, a mark of "IW" .
The paragraph is clearly about this new policy so it is appropriate that policy move from being the object in the first sentence to being the subject of the second sentence. The passive voice allows for this transition.
Ø Simple Present Tense
Subyek + (is, am, are) + Past Participle
Active : He bites the dog
Passive : The dog is bitten by him
Ø Present Continuous Tense
Subyek + (is, am, are) + Being + Past Participle
Active : She is driving a car
Passive : A car is being driven by her
Ø Present Perfect Tense
Subyek + Have/has + Been + Past Participle
Active : I have closed the door
Passive : The door have been closed by me
Ø Present Perfect Continuous Tense
Subyek + Have/has +Been + Being + Past Participle
Active : George has been writing the lesson
Passive : The lesson has been being written by George
Ø Simple Past Tense
Subyek + Was/were + Past Participle
Active : He painted the wall yesterday
Passive : The wall was painted by him yesterday
Ø Past continuous tense
Subyek + Was/were + Being + Past Participle
Active : He was drinking some water
Passive : Some water was being drunk by him
Ø Past Perfect Tense
Subyek + Had been + Past Participle
Active : She has taken her bag
Passive : Her bag had been taken by her
Ø Past Perfect Continuous Tense
Subyek + Had been + Being + Past Participle
Active : He had been riding a motorcycle
Passive : A motorcycle had been being ridden by him
Ø Simple Future Tense
Subyek + Will + Be + Past Participle
Active : They will buy some books
Passive : Some books will be bought by them
Ø Future Continuous Tense
Subyek + Will + Be + Being + Past Participle
Active : She will be playing the piano
Passive : The piano will be being played by her
Ø Future Perfect Tense
Subyek + Will + Have been + Past Participle
Active : They will have finished that work
Passive : That work will have been finished by them
Ø Future Perfect Continuous Tense
Subyek + Will + Have been + Being + Past Participle
Active : He will have been playing tennis
Passive : Tennis will have been being played by him
Ø Future Past Tense
Subyek + Would + Be + Past Participle
Active : He would open the door
Passive : The door would be opened by him
Ø Future Past Continuous Tense
Subyek + Would + Be + Being + Past Participle
Active : They would be playing tennis
Passive : Tennis would be being played by them
Ø Future Past Perfect Tense
Subyek + Would + Have been + Past Participle
Active : She would have finished that work
Passive : That work would have been finished by her
Ø Future Past Perfect Continuous Tense
Subyek + Would + Have been + Being + Past Participle
Active : He would have been painting the mouse
Passive : The house would have been being painted by him
Ø Passive Voice Infinitive
(to) be + Past Participle
1. To be accompanied with him is a bad idea. (Subject)
2. Everyone needs to be loved. (Object)
3. He is the man to be trused for all the things. (Modifier)
Ø Passive Voice Gerund
Being + past participle
1. Being accompanied with him is a bad idea. (Subject)
2. My brother enjoyed being taken to the beach. (Object)
3. My brother’s happy of being taken to the beach. (Object of preposition)
Rumus Prepositional Passive
S + verb + preposition + object of preposition
S (Object of Preposition) + auxiliary verb + past participle + preposition
Contoh Kalimat Active Voice
Contoh Kalimat Prepositional Passive
The man sometimes swims in the ocean.
The ocean is sometimes swum in by the the man.
More than 200 million people live in Indonesia.
Indonesia is lived in by more than 200 million people.
Everybody laughed at the scientist.
The scientist was laughed at by everybody.
He accidentally ran over my RC car.
My RC car was accidentally run over by him.
USING THE PASSIVE
a. Rice is grown in India.
b. Our house was built in 1890.
c. This olive oil was importedfrom Spain.
Usually the passive is used without a “ by phrase.” The passive is most frequently used when it is not known or not important to know exactly who performs an action.
In (a): Rice is grown in India by people, by farmers, by someone. In sentence (a), it is not known or important to know exactly who grows rice in India.
(a), (b), and (c) illustrate the most common use of the passive, i.e., without the “by phrase.”
d. Life on the Mississippiwas written by Mark Twain.
The “by phrase” is included only if it is important to know who performs an action. In (d), by Mark Twain is important information.
e. My aunt made this rug. (active)
f. This rug was made by my aunt. That rug was made by my mother.
If the speaker/writer knows who performs an action, usually the active is used, as in (e).
The passive may be used with the “by phrase” instead of the active when the speaker/writer wants to focus attention on the subject of a sentence. In (f) the focus of attention is on two rugs.
Buku SPMB Konsultan Pendidikan Salemba Group divisi bimbingan tes alumni, Salemba, Jakarta
Hariyanto Doni-Drs.Rudy Hariyono. English Grammar For General Application. 2003. Gitamedia Press. Surabaya