Active & Passive Verbs
When we talk about active and passive verbs, we usually talk about voice. In the active voice, the subject performs the action of the verb, while in passive voice, the subject receives the action. Look at the difference in the following two sentences:
The cat scratched Joanna.
Joanna was scratched by the cat.
Passive voice always includes forms of the verb to be (is, was, is being, etc.). Generally speaking, you should try to use the active voice wherever possible:
Karate lessons are being taken by Roberta. (passive)
Roberta takes karate lessons. (active)
Answers to the survey are being sought by Dr. Eggleston . (passive)Dr. Eggleston seeks
answers to the survey. (active)
Revise the following sentences by changing all passive verbs to active verbs:
1. Sheila was the winner of the race.
2. The computer was destroyed by a lightning bolt.
3. The entire book was read by only two students in the class.
4. The boy was scratched by the cat.
5. My essay was graded by Dr. Black.
6. Action on the proposal is being considered by Dr. Dennis.
7. The door was slammed by my roommate.
8. Announcements of Brown Bag Lunch topics will be published in the McKendree Review each week.
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