English grammar

Module 3, Verbs, Lesson 11:

Active vs. Passive Voice

Score:
English grammar
Definition:
If you are active, you are doing something. In a sentence written in active voice, the subject of the sentence is doing the verb.
The lady played the piano.
The driver drove the car.
Definition:
If you are passive, something is done to you. In a sentence written in passive voice, the subject of the sentence is having the action of the verb done to it by something else.
The piano was played by the lady.
The race car was driven by the driver.

When you write sentences with active voice, you can use more interesting verbs and your writing seems to move more quickly.

The children raced around the yard and climbed all over the jungle gym. They threw balls up in the air and dodged them as they came back down. (Your attention is on the moving children.)

When you write sentences with passive voice, you end up using more helping verbs, but it can be effective if you want to slow down the action of your writing and focus on a scene.

The jungle gym was being climbed on by the children. Balls were being thrown up in the air and dodged. (Your attention is on the objects, not the children.)

Practice What You've Learned

English grammar
Directions:
Identify each bold-faced verb as active or passive.
1.
The swings were broken by the teenagers, but now they are fixed.
active / passive
2.
The puppy tore at the stuffed animal until it got the squeaker out.
active / passive
3.
The waves pounded on the dunes during the storm.
active / passive
4.
Those orange trees have been growing here since the early 1900s.
active / passive
5.
That painting was painted by one of my students.
active / passive
6.
That race car was driven by Mario Andretti.
active / passive
7.
We swam in the pool all afternoon.
active / passive
8.
That book was written by my favorite author.
active / passive
9.
We roasted marshmallows over the fire in the fireplace.
active / passive
10.
We have camped in the forest with our friends.
active / passive
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