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Active Vs. Passive Voice

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by

Antonio Mendez

on 21 February 2014

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Transcript of Active Vs. Passive Voice

Active vs. Passive Voice
Active Voice
In Active Voice, the subject in the sentence performs the given verb.
Active Voice
Remember, in Active Voice, the
subject
of the sentence
executes
the action expressed by the
verb
.
Active Writing
Active voice is usually
preferred
in non-scientific or non-political writing. In active voice:
The sentence is shorter and more concise.
The sentence is clearer to the reader.
The sentence is very direct and energetic
The tone is lively and engaging for the reader
The verb is linear and straightforward.
Passive Writing
In Passive Voice, the
subject
in the sentence is
acted upon
by the given verb.
Example,
The
robot
must
have

sipped
eight
cans of oil
.
(subject)
(verb)
(direct object)
The
robot
(subject)

is doing the
sipping
(verb)
.
Examples:
The
athletes

ran
on the school's newly paved
track
.
At breakfast,
Javier

ate
the blood-orange
napkin
.
The
baby

slept
in her wooden
crib
.
*Notice:

Subject

Verb

Direct Object
Example,
Eight
cans of oil

must have been
sipped
by the
robot
.
(subject)
(verb)
(direct object)
The doer of the action
(robot)
is now the
direct object
, and the
receiver of the action
(cans of oil)
is now the
subject.
Passive Voice
Passive Voice
should be avoided
in writing unless you are using it for political or scientific writing.

Passive Voice:
Creates awkward sentences
Is confusing and extraneous to the reader
Always include a 'be' verb
Shouldn't be dominant in your writing
Changing from Passive to Active Voice.
1.
Make the passive sentence's
direct object
(of the preposition by) the new sentence's
subject
.
Examples:
The school's newly paved
track
was
ran
on by
athletes
.
At breakfast, the blood-orange
napkin
was
ate
by
Javier
.
The wooden
crib
was
slept
in by the
baby
.
*Notice:

Receiver of Action Action Doer of Action
Passive Voice
In Passive Voice, the subject always receives the action the verb expresses.

Passive Voice always includes a 'be' verb
e.g. is, are, am, was, were, or been
.
However, the presence of a 'be' verb does not necessarily mean a sentence is in Passive Voice.
Passive-
The cerulean
package
was
opened
by the
golden dragon
.
Subject
Verb
Direct Object
Active-

The golden dragon
...
Changing from Passive to Active Voice
2.

Insert the main verb
(in the correct form) and
delete the 'be' verb
if necessary.
Passive-
The cerulean
package
was
opened
by the
golden dragon
.
Active-
The golden dragon
opened
...
Subject
Verb
Direct Object
Passive-
The cerulean
package
was
opened
by the
golden dragon
.
Active-
The golden dragon opened the cerulean package.
Subject
Verb
Direct Object
Changing from Passive to Active Voice
3.

Insert
the passive sentence's
subject
in the
direct object
slot of the active sentence.
Reminders
1. Don't switch from active to passive voice in a sentence
Example:

Incorrect
: The
wind

blew
down a tree in the
dog park
, so the
mayor
was
informed
by the
dog owners
.
1st clause is
correct
, 2nd clause
is not
:
receiver of action

action

doer of action
Correct
: The
wind

blew
down a tree in the
dog park
, so the
dog owners

informed
the
mayor
.
1st clause and 2nd clause are
correct
:
receiver of action

action

doer of action
Reminders
2.
Avoid creating a dangling modifier in passive voice.
Example:


Incorrect:
Eight

cans of oil

were

sipped
using a
straw
.
Who sipped the cans of oil?

Correct: Using a straw, the
robot

sipped

eight cans of oil
.
Full transcript