Active vs.

Passive Verbs

Look !
‡ Active verbs create strong sentences. ‡ Passive verbs make weak sentences.

Misha sold a book.

The book was sold by Misha.

What is the Active Voice?
‡ In the active voice, the subject performs the action. For example: Maxim draws a picture. 

Maxim is the subject and he is doing something (drawing).

What is the Passive Voice?
‡ In passive voice the subject is acted on.
² For example: The picture was drawn by Maxim.

‡ In this case, the drawing is the subject and it is being acted upon by Maxim.

Passive to be + Past Participle
Past Participle: ‡ Regular ‡ Irregular + ed : watched, published Irregular verb form: DONE, TOLD, SEEN etc

Passive to be + Past Participle
‡ Present Simple ‡ Am/is/are done ‡ Past Simple ‡ Was/were done

‡ Present Perfect ‡ Have been/ has been done

Subject+ to be + Past Participle

When Do We Use Passive?
‡ Use passive voice when you do not wish to emphasize the subject of the sentence.  Smoking is prohibited. (passive)  The management prohibits smoking. (active)  The passive keeps the management from being the ´bad guys.µ

What if the agent is unimportant?
‡ Also use passive when ‡ Book was written the person or thing by Shakespeare. acting is unknown or ‡ (Shakespeare ² unimportant. AGENT, important) ² Poisonous gases were found in six NOT factories.

‡ Book was published ‡ This passive by publishers. sentence is about ‡ (Publishers ² finding gases, not AGENT, not WHO found them!!! important)

When do we use active voice? 
Use active voice all the time, unless you are required or have very specific reasons for doing otherwise.  Active voice leads to more concise writing.  It clarifies just who it is that is doing the action identified.  Example: ´The thief plans to steal from the open house.µ

Who feels excited about the open house?

Can You Make Passive Active?
‡ Another way of preserving active voice is by placing the noun doing the action before the verb. ‡ The flowers were planted by Jesse. Jesse __ __ __. ‡ A good harvest is expected by him. He __ __ __ __.

What is Jesse harvesting?

How do passives use BE verbs?
‡ Passives use BE verbs plus the past participle: ‡ Regular verbs form the past participle just like the past -ed form. ² The boy was impressed by Ms. Jones. ‡ Irregular past participles are made with ²en: ² The pizzas were eaten by bears.

How passive are the zoo bears?

Can you create passive voice?
1. The printer __ (power) by a battery. 2. Many __ (convince) that using a cell phone while driving is dangerous. 3. Supplements __ (consider) foods and not drugs. 4. About 500 people __ (expect) to graduate this year. 5. All rooms at the motel __ (equip) with refrigerators. 6. Accommodations are expensive but __ (reduce) by 20% or more after September. 7. I doubt that such a policy __ (need) at the moment. 8. Three types of DNA __ (involve) in protein synthesis.

Here is the passive voice:
1. 2. The printer was powered by a battery. Many are convinced that using a cell phone while driving is dangerous. Supplements are considered foods and not drugs. About 500 people are expected to graduate from Dalton State this year.

5.

6.

3. 4.

7. 8.

All rooms at the motel are equipped with refrigerators. Accommodations are expensive but are reduced by 20% or more after September. I doubt that such a policy is needed at the moment. Three types of DNA are involved in protein synthesis.

Can you use passive verbs?
9. Archimedes ___ the math constant pi. A. was discovered B. discovered C. has discovered D. is discovering 10. Bell _____ the telephone in 1876. A. is invented B. has invented C. invented D. was invented
11. "The Last Judgement" ___ by Michelangelo between 1536 and 1541. A. painted B. was painted C. was being painted D. has been painted 12. The first volume of the Lord of the Rings _____ in 1954. A. was published B. has been published C. is published D. published

Here are the passive verbs:
Archimedes ___ the math constant pi. A. was discovered B. discovered C. has discovered D. is discovering 10. Bell _____ the telephone in 1876. A. is invented B. has invented C. invented D. was invented
9. 11. "The Last Judgement" ___ by Michelangelo between 1536 and 1541. A. painted B. was painted C. was being painted D. has been painted 12. The first volume of the Lord of the Rings _____ in 1954. A. was published B. has been published C. is published D. published

Can you use passive verbs?
13. Many animals __ since Dolly the sheep. A. have been cloned B. had been cloning C. were cloned D. clones 14. That area __ by war for years. A. is being troubled B. has been troubled C. trouble D. is troubling 15. New technology __ due to market saturation. A. delays B. is delayed C. was delayed D. is delaying 16. The Park Service __ for years by crowding at the Grand Canyon. A. has been embarrassed B. embarrasses C. embarrassed D. is being embarrassed

Here are the passive verbs:
13. Many animals __ since Dolly the sheep. A. have been cloned B. had been cloning C. were cloned D. clones 14. That area __ by war for years. A. is being troubled B. has been troubled C. trouble D. is troubling 15. New technology __ due to market saturation. A. delays B. is delayed C. was delayed D. is delaying 16. The Park Service __ for years by crowding at the Grand Canyon. A. has been embarrassed B. embarrasses C. embarrassed D. is being embarrassed

Can you create passive voice?
17. Which planet (call) __ the red planet? 18. Our solar system (compose) __ of how many planets? 19. In 1957 a rocket (launched) __ into space by whom? 20. The first woman (send) __ into space by which nation?
A. B. Venus, Mars, Uranus, or Mercury One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, or Nine. The USA, China, Japan, France, Brazil, or Russia. The USA, China, Japan, France, Brazil, or Russia.

C. D.

Here is the passive voice:
17. Which planet is called the red planet? 18. Our solar system is composed of how many planets? 19. In 1957 a rocket was launched into space by whom? 20. The first woman sent into space by which nation?
A. B. Venus, Mars, Uranus, or Mercury One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, or Nine. The USA, China, Japan, France, Brazil, or Russia. The USA, China, Japan, France, Brazil, or Russia.

C. D.

What are five action tips?
‡ Make sure the subject is acting and not being acted upon. ‡ Use the verb form of nouns with suffixes. ‡ Place subjects in front of the action they perform.

Make sure your sentences are full of something by using the active voice!

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