Saturday, October 5, 2013

Use the Active Voice

Use the Active Voice

Use the Active Voice Photo by Charlene Tess



When writing simple sentences, learn to use verbs in the active voice as much as possible.

Although there are occasions when the passive voice is necessary, using it usually slows the sentence down. (Verbs in the passive voice use a form of "to be" as a helping verb (is, am, are, was, were, be, been, or being) in front of the past participle.

Examples: Kim was hit by Kerry. 
(This sentence is in the passive voice.) 
Kerry hit Kim. (This sentence is in the active voice.) 

To eliminate the passive voice: 
1) Remove the helping verb (is, am, are, was, were, be, been, or being.) 
2) Remove the preposition "by," if the sentence has one.
3) Flip/flop the ends of the sentence. (What you are really doing is switching the subject and the direct object.)

Here is an example of how to change a sentence in the passive voice to a sentence in the active voice.

The man was given an award by the service club.

1) Remove the form of "to be" used as a helping verb.
The man was given an award by the service club.
2) Remove the preposition "by" (If it appears in the sentence.)
The man was given an award by the service club.

3) Flip/flop the ends of the sentence

Passive Voice - The man was given an award by the service club.” 

Active Voice - “The service club gave the man an award.”

Note: Be sure that you do not change the tense of the verb when you change it from passive voice to active voice.
Both "was given" and "gave" are in the past tense.

Here's a product your students will enjoy. All About Verbs will help your students understand how to recognize and use verbs effectively. This product has 25 pages of instruction and 13 exercises.

All About Verbs Photo by Charlene Tess

Enjoy!

Signature and photo by Charlene Tess