The active and the passive voice

We usually use the active voice in writing and speaking. E.g. The girl kicked the ball.
to someone or something else (recipient)

Someone or something (the agent)

does something (verb)

1

Someone or something (the agent) does something (verb) to someone or something else (recipient) 2 .The active and the passive voice Here’s another example: The rain soaked the pitch.

g. we change this around. The ball was kicked has something done to it (verb) by the girl Someone or something (recipient) by someone or something (the agent) 3 . so that the recipient has something done to it by the agent. E.The active and the passive voice In the passive voice.

The active and the passive voice Let’s see that again. The pitch was soaked by the rain Someone or something (recipient) has something done to it (verb) by someone or something (the agent) 4 .

passive passive active active passive 5 . Delighted fans streamed onto the pitch. spot the use of the active voice and the passive voice. Marie wrote the letter to the headteacher. The sun was hidden by the clouds. The music was played by the DJ. Danny was praised by the headteacher.The active and the passive voice In these examples.

is left out.The active and the passive voice Sometimes in passive sentences.‘the was soaked rain’the rain by . the agent is left out. has something done to it (verb) Someone or something (recipient) Why do you by someone think that the or something agentagent) be might (the left out in this example? 6 . The pitch The agent .

dramatic without it. Discuss the differences. 7 . Far better to leave We do not know who out the agent if so did the murder you don’tagent is not the want to be involved! It’s more needed.The active and the passive voice Compare these sentences. and the other hasn’t. see your car was TheIman was murdered damaged last night by by someone! my friend The man was I see your car was murdered! damaged last night. Create your own passive sentences which would be best without an agent. One has the agent.

The passive is used because the person doing the action (the agent) is not needed. such as reports. while the mixture was heated using a Bunsen-burner. etc. 8 . evaluations.g. E.The active and the passive voice The passive is generally found in more formal kinds of texts. A small amount of water was added to the beaker. forms.

His body was gripped by a paroxysm of horror. just like in this passage: In the middle of the night Sebastian was woken by the most hideous scream. He jerked upright and his eyes sprang open.The active and the passive voice Sometimes the passive voice is appropriate in a story because it is used to describe a person being affected by events. (passage courtesy of ‘Grammar for Writing’ DfES) Using the passive voice appropriately Either: Continue this story Or: Create your own story where the protagonist responds to events 9 .His flesh turned to goose bumps and his very blood curdled. He was even more terrified by what he saw then.

Try to establish the effect of the passive in different texts. Use it in your own writing when appropriate. 10 .The active and the passive voice Look out for the use of the passive voice in sentences.

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