January 8, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: Arts & Humanities, Writing, Grammar
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PASSIVE VOICE What it is? How do I use it?

Creating Passive Use a “be” verb: was, were, has been Use the past participle was + broken are + spoken has been + reported

There are two types of sentences Active Passive Active: I broke the window. Passive: The window was broken.

Subject? I broke the window. What’s the subject?


The window was broken. What’s the subject?


Subject? The house was scorched. What’s the subject of this sentence?

The house was scorched. To find the subject ask yourself, what scorched?

Did the house scorch?

The house was scorched. No, the house didn’t scorch. Did the fire scorch? It could. The dragon’s fire breath? YUP! The dragon’s breath scorch. But you didn’t know that did you?

Active Voice Active Voice: The subject is stated. Dr. Green delivered the baby at 2pm yesterday. Who delivered the baby? Green


Passive Voice Passive Voice: The subject is not clearly stated or comes at the end.

The baby was delivered at 2pm. Who delivered the baby? ???

Passive Voice You can use the subject in object form. The baby was delivered at 2pm by Dr. Green.

Reason Most of the time no one knows the name of the doctor who delivered the baby, nor do they care. The focus is on the baby. Therefore, who delivered the baby is not important.

Active Voice The newspaper reported several murders in the area.

Here the author wants you to know that the information was in the newspaper.

Passive Voice Many murders have been reported in the area.

Here the author feels where the information was found or who stated the information is not important. The focus is on the murders.

Active Voice The mouse ate the cheese. It was one of the sneakiest creatures I had ever seen. Here the focus is on the mouse. The second sentence talks about the mouse.

Passive Voice The cheese was eaten by the mouse. It was the kind I didn’t like, so I wasn’t too upset. Here the focus is on the cheese. The second sentence talks about the cheese.

Passive Voice Many people will say that passive voice shouldn’t be used often. This is probably true. It is wordier many times. However, passive voice is good if you want to stress the object of the sentence, rather than the subject.

Examples When you’re talking about a book and want to mention who wrote it. What would say? Book: “Understanding Grammar” Author: Betty Azar

Passive Voice The author isn’t that important to many people.

“Understanding Grammar” was written by Betty Azar.

Passive Voice When you are looking at paintings and want to mention who painted it, what would you say? Painting: The Sunflower Painter: Leonardo DiVinci

Passive Voice Let’s say you don’t know who broke the window but it is broken. I ask you what happened to the window. Create a sentence starting with “The window”. Express that it broke and use a “be” verb.

Passive Voice The window was broken. The window is broken. The window has been broken. The important thing is the window. Who broke it isn’t important in this sentence.


What Am I? Many people wear me everyday. I come in pants, shorts, skirts, jumpers and jackets. Normally I am blue but sometimes I’m sold in an assortment of colors. Levi Strauss made me in 1860. What Am I?


QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture.

Now, make it passive Levi Strauss created jeans. Jeans were created by _____________. Many people wear jeans. Jeans are worn by ________________. Jeans were created in 1860. In 1860, jeans were _______________.

What Am I? I’m fizzy and refreshing. Many people drink me at lunch and dinner. I’m dark in color and come in a variety of flavors. Dr. John Pemberton, a druggist, invented me in Atlanta, Georgia in 1886. What am I?


QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture.

Now, make it passive! Coke was created by _____________. Coke was created in ___________(town). Coke was invented in __________(year).

What Am I? I make men look snazzy. People wear me to weddings and special events. Griswold Lorillard was the first to wear me in 1886. He was a rich man from Tuxedo Park, New York. What am I?


QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture.

Now, make it passive! The first tuxedo _________ by _______. It was created __________ (date).

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