In translate I can not see an passive voice. Translation result means:

My eyes closed.

If "My eyes are closed" sentences is passive voice, who was done by?

  • 1
    "My eyes closed" means your eyes performed the action in the past, i.e. "they closed". It's like saying " My mouth opened in amazement"
    – Mari-Lou A
    Mar 14, 2021 at 20:17
  • Thanks. But I mean "My eyes are closed" means in translate "My eyes closed". Both are same mean. But isn't "are closed" passive voice? Isn't imply closing by someone?
    – user123960
    Mar 15, 2021 at 8:01
  • "My eyes are closed" means = I am the person who made my eyes closed = I closed my eyes. No one else did it for me. The word closed is acting like an adjective, it describes the state of my eyes. Instead, ACTIVE “My eyes closed” = My eyes performed the action. As if it was a third party, e.g ACTIVE "My hand held the money tightly” PASSIVE "The money was held in my hand" OR "by me”
    – Mari-Lou A
    Mar 15, 2021 at 11:22
  • Thanks. What is the passive voice of "I closed my eyes" and "My eyes closed" then?
    – user123960
    Mar 15, 2021 at 12:05
  • You wouldn't use the passive in the first person. You might in the third person: "Harry closed Alice's eyes" PASSIVE "Alice's eyes were closed by Harry
    – Mari-Lou A
    Mar 15, 2021 at 15:27

1 Answer 1


"My eyes closed" is active voice, it means your eyes were closed by themselves. But since we assume that you have control of your body it means the same as "I closed my eyes"

"My eyes are closed" is much easier to parse as being an adjective "closed" (which is formed from the past participle of the verb close)

Then we don't need to assume there is an implied "by..." It just describes the eyes

My eyes are blue

My eyes are closed

My eyes are tired.

Again in the last example, we don't need to assume that "someone tires my eyes" if we accept that there is an adjective "tired".

  • "we assume that you have control of your body" - I'd argue that this phrasing (my eyes closed, my fingers twitched, etc.) implies specifically that you don't have control over it. Mar 14, 2021 at 20:41
  • My eyes are blue. Okay it is simple to understand but "are closed". I mean is "are closed" not "be + past participle"? If not what is the type of "are closed"? Or how can i distunguish it's adjective or passive voice?
    – user123960
    Mar 15, 2021 at 8:33
  • In all normal contexts, 'My eyes are closed' would be understood to mean 'My eyelids are in the closed position." As James says, the participle is acting as an adjective. Mar 15, 2021 at 9:12
  • @KateBunting thanks but thats already what I'm asking. Isn't "be + past participle" an passive voice mean? If so why it's acting as an adjective?
    – user123960
    Mar 15, 2021 at 12:02
  • 1
    Yes, "...are closed by someone" would indicate the passive voice. Saying "my eyes are closed" could be the passive voice, but 99% of the time it is just an adjective.
    – James K
    Mar 15, 2021 at 19:14

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