The category of voice


Иностранные языки, филология и лингвистика

There re two min voices in English: the ctive voice nd the pssive voice. The ctive voice indictes tht the ction is directed from the subject or issues from the subject thus the subject denotes the doer gent of the ction The pssive voice indictes tht the ction is directed towrds the subject. The ctive voice hs no specil mens of formtion.



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The category of voice

Voice is the grammatical category of the verb denoting the relationship between the action expressed by the verb and the person or non-person denoted by the subject of the sentence. There are two main voices in English: the active voice and the passive voice.
The active voice indicates that the action is directed from the subject or issues from the subject, thus the subject denotes the doer (agent) of the action
The passive voice indicates that the action is directed towards the subject. Here the subject expresses a person or non-person who or which is the receiver of the action. It does not act, but is acted upon and therefore affected by the action of the verb.

The active voice has no special means of formation. It is recognized by contrast with the passive voice, which is composed of the auxiliary verb to be and participle II. Thus the passive verb forms are analytical, the tense of the auxiliary verb to be varies according to the sense. The notional verb (participle II) remains unchanged and provides the whole analytical form with its passive meaning.
The category of voice applies to the whole system of English verb forms, both finite and non-finite.

The active voice is widely used with all kinds of verbs, both transitive and intransitive. The meaning of the active voice depends on the type of verb and the syntactical pattern of the sentence.
1. The active voice of transitive verbs presents an action as directed from the subject and passing over to the object, that is from the doer (agent) of the action to its receiver.

2. The active voice of intransitive verbs shows that the action, directed from the subject, does not pass over to any object, and thus the verb only characterizes the subject as the doer of the action.

3. The form of the active voice of some transitive verbs, often accompanied by an adverbial modifier, does not indicate that the subject denotes the doer of the action. This specific use of the transitive verb is easily recognized from the meaning of the subject, which is a noun denoting a non-person, and by the absence of a direct object after a monotransitive, non-prepositional verb. In such cases the verb is used in the medial voice.

he passive voice in English may be found with different types of verbs (mostly transitive) in various verb phrases; monotransitive (non-prepositional and prepositional) and ditransitive. The subject of the passive construction may correspond to a direct, an indirect object, or to a prepositional object in the active construction. Accordingly we discriminate a direct passive construction, an indirect passive construction, and a prepositional passive construction.

The passive voice is widely used in English. It is used alongside the active voice in written and spoken English. Passive constructions are often used instead of active constructions in sentences beginning with an indefinite pronoun, a noun or a pronoun of indefinite reference.

It is evident that in the process of speech passive constructions arise naturally, not as a result of conversion from the active into the passive.

A passive construction is preferable in case when the speaker is interested in what happens to the person or thing denoted by the subject. The verb or the whole verb phrase is thus made more prominent. The agent or the source of the action is not mentioned at all, either because it is unknown or because it is of no particular importance in the utterance, or else it is evident from the context or the situation. The predicate verb with its modifiers contains a new and most important item of information and is of great communicative value.


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