Red Wine is Made from Red Grapes

Red wine is made from red grapes

but

Red grapes are actually purple.

White Wine

White wine is made from white grapes

but

White grapes are actually green.

Passive Voice

Passive Voice is used to shift the focus in a sentences. Look at these examples:

Grapes and Wine

Grapes are made from wine.
People make wine from grapes.

The first one (passive) does not indicate the agent. The second sentence (active) tells us people made the wine. People usually pick grapes. It is unnecessary information. It is natural to omit the agent (people) and say simply:

Grapes are made from wine

which focuses on the grapes.

Robbery

Somebody robbed me.
I was robbed.

The first one (passive) focuses on the criminal (somebody) but the second one (passive) focuses on me (the victim).

Theft

Somebody stole my wallet.
My wallet was stolen.

The first one (passive) focuses on the criminal (somebody) but the second one (passive) focuses on the object (the thing which was stolen).

Murder

Somebody murdered him.
He was murdered.

The first one (active) focuses on the murderer (somebody) but the second one (passive) focuses on the victim. He was murdered but we don’t know who did it. It was just “somebody”.

Olives

The workers picked the olives.
The olives were picked.

The first one (active) focuses on the workers who did the work. The second one (passive) focuses on the olives (which were picked).

Grapes

The grapes were crushed.
The farmer crushed the grapes.

The first one (passive) focuses on the grapes. The second one (active) focuses on the farmer who crushed the grapes.

Passive Voice shifts the focus of the sentence.

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Grammar – Passive Voice

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