Passive, Active- Which voice?

From: Grant (
Date: Sun Feb 13 2000 - 00:44:08 EST


I came across an English construction that has may somewhat confused. I
don't know if I am looking too deep or not. Please help me out.

For example, the sentence:

"She needs to be chosen as president."
"He needs to be told the truth."
"There were to be married."

What voice do we have here? On one hand, I am inclined to say active since
I feel that "to be chosen as president" functions as a noun; hence, a direct
object. She needs what? She needs "to be chosen as president." Active

On the other hand, it seems that action is to be applied to her. Hence, the
action is performed upon the subject; passive voice.

It seems the same thing for the 2nd sentence

"He needs to be told the truth."

It seems to be active since he needs [what] "to be told the truth."
It seems passive since the sense of the sentence really means
"They need to to tell the truth to him."

Perhaps now you can see my confusion.
Is it Active or Passive? Or does it depend on how you read the sentence?

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