One good example is to avoid blame, or at least to lessen the obviousness of it. For examples, someone might say, "Mistakes were made" instead of "I made a mistake."
Also, the passive voice could be used to take the focus off the subject and onto what is more important.
Example: "Every student was given a chance to improve his or her grade." That's passive. Active would be "The teacher gave every student a chance to improve his or her grade." The point is that every student got a chance. Using the active voice with "the teacher" puts the focus back on the teacher and how great it is that he or she gave the students a chance, when what we really want to focus on is that they got the chance, regardless of who gave it to them.
Did I explain that okay?
Good answer, Victoria. I wouldn't have thought of some of those.
Otherwise, when you learn a different language you usually learn more about grammar in English. So basically, the time I came across the passive the most when studying Spanish was when describing historical facts, etc. E.g. "fue construida en..." means "It was constructed in...". This example is a bit specific, I realize. Tour guides for sight-seeing buses and museums would use it a lot, if you can imagine.
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