Reasons to Avoid Passive Voice Sometimes the use of passive voice can create awkward sentences. Also, overuse of passive voice throughout an essay can cause your prose to seem flat and uninteresting. In scientific writing, however, passive voice is more readily accepted since using it allows one to write without using personal pronouns or the names of particular researchers as the subjects of sentences. When a verb is in the active voice, the subject of the sentence is also the doer of the action. Active verbs move the action and reveal the actors. A passive construction occurs when you make the object of an action into the subject of a sentence. That is, whoever or whatever is performing the action is not the grammatical subject of the sentence. Active: I crashed the car. Passive: The car was crashed. Passive verbs emphasize the receiver, the victim. To know if a sentence is active or passive: Verb Locate the __________________ or who is performing the action? Locate What, __________ If the person performing the action is In front of ________________ the verb. Active The Sentence is __________________ 1. Kelly ate the jelly donut. ate Verb: ______________ Kelly Who did the eating? ____________________ before Kelly is ___________________ ate. active Sentence is __________________________ 2. The test was taken by the Sophomore class. was taken Verb: ___________________ The Sophomore class Who took the test? ______________________ after Sophomore class is _________________ taken. passive Sentence is __________________________ AV Uncle Lou met our plane. ____ I was taught to play the piano PV by my aunt. ________________ The ambulance has been called. ____________________ PV Directions: Distinguishing Between the Active and Passive Voice: After each sentence, write active of passive to describe the verb. 1) Sprinter Evelyn Ashford took home two gold medals from AV the 1984 Olympics. _______________________________ 2) The cucumbers and the tomatoes will be planted by next PV week. _______________________________ 3) The artwork of painter Pop Chalee reflects the traditions of AV the Pueblo people. _______________________________ 4) The roof of Aunt Vicki’s house has been badly damaged PV by the high winds. _______________________________ 5) The children’s sculptures have been displayed in a case at PV the public library. _______________________________ 6) Many bird books from the early 1900s are graced by the illustrations of Louis Fuentes. AV _______________________________ 7) In the attic Dad found an old letter from his great uncle. AV _______________________________ 8) Kaya and Sabrina have been working on their science PV project for three weeks. _______________________________ 9)Large donations were sent by several anonymous PV individuals. _______________________________ 10) Snapping turtles defend themselves with their strong, AV sharp jaws. _______________________________ 11)Sometimes our efforts are not fully appreciated. AV _______________________________ 12)The man must have eaten 10 hot dogs in one sitting! PV _______________________________ 13)The ballots were counted as the candidates watched anxiously. PV _______________________________ 14) The high jump record was finally beaten last Saturday. _______________________________ PV Rewrite the following passage changing the voice from passive to active where appropriate. The room was entered by Dr. Wheeler, at which point words of advice regarding active verbs were spoken by him. It was decided by the rebellious class that the final paper of the semester would be written entirely in passive voice. Remarks were made by a distraught Wheeler; protests were made by the students. When Dr. Wheeler entered the room, he gave advice about using active verbs. The rebellious class decided to use active voice for the entirety of the final semester paper. A distraught Mr. Wheeler made remarks; Students made protests. PV PV AV AV PV Write a passive sentence about a character from the last book we read. Write an active sentence about a character from the last movie you saw. PV AV PV AV PV PV AV AV PV AV AV PV AV PV AV AV PV AV AV PV AV PV AV 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/passivevoice/ http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/owlprint/539/ staff.tuhsd.k12.az.us/sriddle/.../WRRs/2009.../WRR10% 20Packet.pdf staff.tuhsd.k12.az.us/bjones/WRR10-packet.doc web.cn.edu/kwheeler/documents/Passive_Bloodshe d.pdf PROMOTIONAL PRODUCTS Do you need classroom T-shirts, jerseys or other Promotion products? Please visit www.erical.com for the best competitive prices.