She has been taken

I want to know - Is it passive voice or active voice?

If it is passive, then what is object, subject, verb in this sentence? If it's not a passive voice, then we use 2 two past participle in this sentence.

1 Answer 1


This construction is present perfect passive.

When you talk about 'subjects' and 'objects' you must be careful that you do not confuse syntactic roles, the functions word or phrases play in a particular sentence, with semantic roles, the functions words or phrases play with respect to the meanings of verbs.

The core syntactic roles are subject, verb, and object. Every full sentence has a subject and and a verb; there will only be an object if the meaning of the verb and the form of the sentence require it.

A transitive verb like take, for instance, typically involves two semantic roles:

  • the Agent, the person who performs the act of taking, and
  • the Patient, the entity which the Agent takes

In an active sentence, the Agent is cast in the syntactic role of subject, the verb is cast in an active construction, and the Patient is cast in the syntactic role of object:

subjectThe kidnappersAGENT   activeverbtook   objectthe little girlPATIENT

In a passive sentence, however, the Patient becomes the subject and the verb is recast in the passive construction. The Agent may be omitted; if present, it is cast in the form of a preposition phrase headed by by:

subjectThe little girlPATIENT   passive verbwas taken   preposition phraseby the kidnappersAGENT

In your sentence

  • The passive subject (the 'Patient' who undergoes the action) is she.

  • The finite verb is the perfect auxiliary HAVE; it is cast in the present-tense form has and requires its complement to be cast in the past-participle form:

    She has past participle ...

  • The next verb is the passive auxiliary BE; it is cast in the past-participle form been as the complement of the perfect auxiliary and requires its complement to be cast in the past-participle form:

    She has been past participle ...

  • The final verb is the lexical verb TAKE; it is cast in the past-participle form taken as the complement of the passive auxiliary:

    She has been taken.

The 'Agent' who performs the action is not expressed in your sentence.

  • i can't understand what you sad in this post and you didn't clear that how " she has been" is past participle and in passive voice we usually take object at the beginning of the sentence then how "she" is used here as a subject here Commented Jul 29, 2016 at 19:04
  • 3
    @rajivDixit This answer is very clear. In the passive, the subject is the person or thing which is acted upon. Ask yourself: "Who or what has been taken?" The answer is She. Therefore she is the subject. I know you are having a difficult time understanding the verb "to be" and the use of the past participle "been," because you have asked so many questions about it. The passive voice always uses a form of "to be." I hope you will spend more time reading your textbook. Read and understand this link Commented Jul 29, 2016 at 19:21
  • @rajivDixit At the top I have added an explanation of the difference between semantic and syntactic roles, which I think you are confusing. Commented Jul 29, 2016 at 19:34
  • @StoneyB - In stackex markdown, does   force a space only within a blockquote? Commented Jul 29, 2016 at 19:56
  • Sounds as if Mr Dixit, in searching the web for answers, has come across a discussion of the passive from a functional grammar perspective; thus the confusion of terms between subject/object. Commented Jul 29, 2016 at 20:07

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