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Passive v. Active Voice

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Nicole Mueller

on 3 October 2013

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Transcript of Passive v. Active Voice

Passive v. Active Voice
Passive vs Active Voice
A look into the exciting world of voice
What is Active Voice?
Active voice is when the subject of a sentence is completing the action of the verb. In other words, the subject "acts upon" the verb

What is Passive Voice?
Passive voice is when the subject of the sentence is the one having the action done to it, or being "acted upon."
A Little More Technical
Active Voice
has a doer-action-receiver of action pattern

When I ring the doorbell,
the dog

(doer of action)


(receiver of action )

Changing Passive to Active
The salad
was made

the chef.

Nicole Mueller
The driver,
the subject
, is the one to miss the cliff. The driver is completing
the action
of missing the cliff, making this active
For example ...
the cliff.
For Example...
The cliff
was narrowly
by the driver.
The driver is the one acting upon the subject, the cliff. The cliff is being missed, and not missing something itself.
Passive Voice flips the structure of Active Voice, making it receiver of action-action-doer of action
The building
will be
down in the morning by
the crew.
(receiver of action)

(doer of action)
Let's Practice!
The filter falls over in my tank everyday.
The fish never eats all of its food.
The fish was eaten by my cat.
In the above sentence, the direct object of the verb
. To make the sentence active, replace the original direct object with the passive sentence's subject
the salad

Take out the be auxiliary verb form of
in this case)
made the salad
The chef
made the salad
Move the direct object of
by (the chef)
into the subject slot of the new active sentence
Any questions?

Now You Try!



The fish was eaten by my cat.
The cars were held up by the traffic for hours.
No one likes that team.
My cat ate the fish.
Traffic held the car up for hours.
That team is liked by no one.
The lamp illuminated the room.
The room was illuminated by the lamp
Voice in Writing
Active voice is more often suggested when writing. It is used because
It makes your writing more clear
It is easy to understand, the cause of the action is clearly noted
Passive voice is not used as often because it can confuse the reader as to who or what is doing the action of the sentence. Use passive voice when
The person or thing completing the action is not known or does not need to be known
The events are meant to be emphasized instead
A piece needs more sentence variety
Works Cited
"ACTIVE / PASSVE VOICE." Online Writing. n.d. Web. 1 Oct. 2013.

"Writing Tips: Use active, not passive sentences." Plain Language.gov. n.d. Web. 1 Oct. 2013.

Moxley, Joseph. "Use the Active Voice." Writing Commons. n.d. Web. 2 Oct. 2013

http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/maroon5/shewillbeloved.htm l

http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=LEwBaFHTBQ s
Which type of voice is each one?

Changing Active to Passive
To change active voice to passive voice, take the steps to change passive to active and reverse them.
The chef


the salad
Move the sentence's direct object (
the salad
) into the new sentence's subject spot
The salad
Put the active sentence's subject into the new sentence after the preposition
The salad
the chef
Finally, put in axillary form of
) to change up the verb to fit the new sentence.
The salad
the chef.

The ballots had been counted.
Full transcript