I've been living in japan so long I don't remember how to speak English.
On some websites the authors uses the phrase "passive form" http://www.englishpage.com/verbpage/activepassive.html. While here I often read passive construction or passive voice but in highschool I never heard the phrase passive voice. The teacher only ever described a sentence as passive or active. I didn't hear that there was such a thing as passive voice until I began studying ancient Greek and had no idea that English verbs in the passive __ could be referee to as being in the passive voice but. Can I also use the word passive as a noun?

Ie. This verb is written in the passive.

  • Also, can I say "to be stopped is the 'passive' of "to stop" ? Commented Feb 18, 2011 at 17:36
  • I think I'm beginning to see that in English since we use several words to create a passive or negative meaning, it is more proper to say "passive / negative construction" when referring to English grammar. But... Commented Feb 18, 2011 at 18:06
  • When referring to grammar in another language where they don't use a construction of more than one word to create passive or negative meaning , it is more proper to refer to the word as being in the "negative form" for example in Japanese we say ikanai is the negative form of iku. I'm this sentence I would not say "ikanai" is the negative construction/voice of "iku" because it is only one word. Right? Commented Feb 18, 2011 at 18:10

1 Answer 1


In most cases, it doesn't matter terribly much whether you say "a passive verb" or "a verb in the passive" or "a verb in the passive voice" or "a verb with a passive construction". (Strictly, there isn't necessarily just one passive construction, e.g. you might say that "They were hurt" and "They got hurt" are two different passive constructions.)

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