We usually write this e.g

  1. "this paragraph is taken from book" or "this paragraph has been taken from book".


  1. "this poem is written by" or "this poem has been written by"

Could you tell me which one is correct of both and why?

And why the first one of each sentence is correct, although the action of taken and written is done in the past?


Voice: Examine Voice of a verb ("passive" vs. "active") of English sentences [LBH 298].

  • the passive verb always has a form of "be" + past particle of main verb (298) [ie., has been; has eaten, etc.] So we know "has been" because it contains "be" is passive vs. active.

Active vs. Passive

Active When you emphasize the main ideas in your sentence, you hold the reader's attention (371). The heart of every sentence is its subject. That's why it comes first. Its predicate (verb) clearly points the reader's concentration on what the subject's action is (such as what "is" does - emphasis is on the subject in both sentences = so it's active voice.)

Passive Verbs in the passive voice (has been) state actions received by, not performed by their subject. Passive voice de-emphasizes the true actor in a sentence, the subject. Passive voice shifts emphasis to elsewhere in the sentence.

Generally, use active voice (LBH 299). Use passive when the subject is not known or not important (LBH 299/Purdue University OWL)

//In the examples, we know the subject [both "this paragraph" and "this poem" cannot be classified as unknown.

Therefore, choose 1st examples in both sentences. This is why.

Hope this helps.

Little Brown Handbook, 11th Ed. Pg. 298-299; 371. Pearson Education, Inc. 2010. Book.

Purdue University Online Writing Lab, Purdue University https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/purdue_owl.html accessed 24Feb2019. Web.

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