What Do We Mean by Voices?
'Voices' (also known as diathesis) describe the relationship between the 'verb' and its 'participants.'
There are three voices in the English grammar as is mentioned below.
What Are Verbs and Participants?
Whenever the subject is the doer of an action the sentence is considered as an active voice.
Look at some examples of the active voice:
Whenever the direct object of an active voice is promoted to the subject of the sentence and the subject turns to the optional adjunct, the passive voice appears in the sentence.
In this case, the subject is not the doer of the action, it is actually the receiver or undergoer of the action. Check out the examples:
'The middle voice' is another voice in English that has both characteristics of active voice and passive voice that is why it is called the middle voice.
Have a look at these examples:
I talk to
Since the agent performs the action of the verb, the structure of the middle voice is syntactically the same as the active voice, while it functions semantically as the passive voice. The easiest way to define the middle voice is to understand that the subject is both performing and receiving the action, acting upon itself. For example:
The cat licked
Asher tried to convince
How to Define the Middle Voice?
The middle voice has a special characteristic that makes it easy to define:
Check out the examples:
Do not blame
Do not use any other pronouns but reflexive pronouns after transitive verbs in the middle voice because it would change the meaning of the sentence. Let us check out the examples below:
She would kill
She would kill
Look how different these two examples are, only with a small change.
The voice of a verb shows the relationship between the verbs and its participant. There are three voices in English as follows. Check out the definitions.
- active voice: the subject is the doer of the action
- passive voice: the agent is the doer of the action
- middle voice: the subject is the doer of the action, but they receive the action at the same time.
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