I saw this sentence:

This could be asked on Web Applications.

I thought i can replace this sentence with following sentence:

You could ask this on Web Applications.

but they may have differences. What's the difference between "ask" and "be asked"?

  • 1
    Rephrase: You could ask this on Web Applications Dec 2, 2016 at 23:21
  • Yes, something like "This dialogue could ask users to select their date of birth" would be acceptable but it would not work in the first sentence. As written after the edit, your two sentences are synonymous.
    – Catija
    Dec 2, 2016 at 23:29
  • 1
    It's just the difference between the active and passive voices. Active: You ask the question. Passive: The question is asked (or could be asked) by you.
    – stangdon
    Dec 2, 2016 at 23:29

1 Answer 1


A simple answer:

I ask you a question. [active voice]
You are asked a question by me. [passive voice]

That is the difference.

This could be asked [by you] on Web Applications.
You could ask this on Web Applications.

Unless it is necessary to the meaning, try to use active voice rather than passive voice.

The boys ate the apples.
The apples were eaten by the boys.

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