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What does voice refer to in a sentence? What does tense refer to?

  • writing -

    Until a real English teacher shows up, you might want to study the explanations of verb tense and voice presented at
    http://books.google.com/books?id=L9ni2hGHlMEC&pg=PA39&lpg=PA39&dq=tense+voice+active+grammar&source=bl&ots=wGRS2GI7VS&sig=KCLg7OH-d_ro9oHfPDLPquLK25w&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=9&ct=result

    There are more tenses besides the ones listed there, such as future, past perfect, conditional and subjunctive, but in English they are usually formed by adding words like will, would, had, and might to the verb to form a compound verb.

  • writing -

    In English, "voice" refers to active and passive. In a sentence with an active voice verb, the subject is doing the action; in a sentence with a passive voice verb, the subject is the receiver of the action. Here are some examples:

    John hit the baseball.
    (The verb "hit" is active because the subject "John" did the hitting.)

    The baseball was hit by John.
    (The verb "was hit" is passive because the subject "baseball" is the receiver of that action.)

    There are two things that give it away when a verb is passive: 1) There will always be a form of the verb "to be" as a helping verb, and 2) the person or thing doing the action will follow that verb and be preceded by the word "by."

    Tense refers to the time when the verb takes place -- generally, present or past or future, and there are gradations of those three as shown here:
    http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/verbs.htm
    Scroll down to find the sections on active/passive and tenses.

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