What is a passive verb? What are some examples?

1 Answer
Feb 4, 2016

The subjects of active verbs perform the action, while the subjects of passive verbs have actions performed on them.


A passive noun is one where the entity performing the action is either not specified or appears in a subordinate clause.

For example, 'the ball was thrown' does not specify who did the throwing. 'The ball was thrown by Jim' and 'The ball was thrown, possibly by Jane' are both passive verb forms.

In business jargon (and sometimes in politics!) passive verbs are often used to avoid having to put responsibility on specific people. For example "the problems in the department must be fixed."