Using the Passive Voice in Real Life

Does it ever seem like grammar doesn’t matter or help you in your daily life? Maybe you have been taught the passive voice a few times in your English classes. Today I want to quickly review the Passive Voice and then show you some real life examples to help you both use it and better understand it! 

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What is the Passive voice? The Passive voice uses a form of be + past participle. The Subject receives the action. 

Maybe you have been taught the passive voice a few times. 

The house was built in 1970. 

The dog is fed every day. 

The car is being fixed now. 

Why do we use the Passive Voice? We use the voice because… 

  1. a) We don’t know who did the action. 
  2. b) We don’t care who did the action. 
  3. c) We don’t want to say who did the action. 
  4. d) We want to focus on the person or thing receiving the action. 

How can we use the Passive Voice in real life? 

1) Conflict at Work or with Friends 

“The door was left open.” 

“An email was sent that said…” 

“Something was said about…” 

“The meeting wasn’t started on time.” 

2) Crime 

“My car was stolen!” 

“My window was broken!” 

3) Mail 

“The package was sent…” 

“I’ve been sent a letter…” 

4) Visa 

“My application was accepted.” 

“We were told that…” 

“I wasn’t given information about…” 

5) Talking About Our Children 

“My daughter was taken to the bus.” 

“My son was given a form about…” 

6) Our Pets 

“My cat was attacked!” 

“My dog was treated for an allergy.” 

7) Salary

“I would like to be paid more.” 

“An employee is paid…” 

8) Talking to Your Landlord 

“The lock on my door was broken.” 

“Trash was left in the hallway.” 

Remember- In all these examples: you don’t know, don’t care, or don’t want to say who did the action. This can help you sound more polite and avoid conflict. How can you use these examples this week? 


Bibliography 

ESL Library. “Resolving Work Conflict.” – ESL Library, 2021. 

https://esllibrary.com/courses/135/lessons/3852. 

Underwood, Alice E.M. “Passive Voice.” Grammarly, January 14, 2021. 

https://www.grammarly.com/blog/passive-voice/.

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