Is a transitive verb with a direct object in the passive, active, or subjunctive voice?

1 Answer
Feb 11, 2017

See explanation.


First I would like to note that there is not such thing as subjunctive voice. You can say that the verb is in the subjunctive mood (no matter what the voice is).

A verb is transitive if it takes a direct object and therfore it can be used in either passive or active voice.


Transitive verb

Verb to write is transitive because it can take a direct object. Let's analyze the sentence:

John wrote a letter to Ann.

The subject is John

The direct object: a letter

This sentence can be transformed to Passive Voice. There the object (a letter) becomes the subject and the subject is added using "by" clause.

The passive Voice sentence would be: A letter to Ann was written by John.

In the Passive Voice sentence the former object (letter) became the subject, while the former subject (John) became an object added using "by" clause.

Intransitive verb

Verb to cry is intransitive because it does not take a direct object.

A sentence like

The baby cried all night

cannot be transformed to Passive Voice because there is no object in the original sentence (so there is no word which would become a Passive Voice sentence subject)