I'm having a discussion with someone and we are having a few disagreements over whether this sentence is passive voice or not:

I was scared by the noise.

We've discussed linking verbs, whether scared is an adjective, whether it is the past participle of the verb scare in the active voice, etc.

So, is that sentence in the passive voice?

  • What do you make of the wording "The noise scared me"? How does it differ from "I was scared by the noise"?
    – Sven Yargs
    Commented Aug 21, 2016 at 7:49
  • @SvenYargs I do understand the point you are making. However, my confusion arose because I thought that "scared" was an adjective and "was" was a linking verb, therefore the sentence was neither active nor passive...
    – LurkingMan
    Commented Aug 21, 2016 at 12:49

1 Answer 1


In the active voice this would be:

The noise scared me,

If it is important to place "me" first in the sentence, the sentence can be rewritten in the passive:

I was scared by the noise.

  • 1
    Thank you for the answer. Also, I will take the question to the website that you have linked.
    – LurkingMan
    Commented Aug 21, 2016 at 12:44

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