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Active and Passive


An action within a clause can be expressed in one of two ways.

We refer to this as the active voice and passive voice.

The active voice has the subject of the clause as the active part.

For example, the mouse ate the cheese.
In this example, the mouse is doing something.

It is eating the cheese; the mouse is active.


The passive voice has the subject acted upon.

For example, the cheese was eaten by the mouse.
In this example, the cheese is the subject, but it is passive.

The mouse is still doing the eating and takes attention away from the subject.

Remember, the passive voice will take the attention away from the subject of the sentence.


Your Turn…

1. What is the active voice?
When the noun is about health and fitness
When the verb describes running
When the subject of a clause is the active part

2. What is the passive voice?
When the subject of a clause is the passive part
When the sentence is about football
When the sentence is about quiet things

3. Why would we use the passive voice?
To make food taste nicer
To highlight the description
To take attention away from the subject of a sentence

4. Which of the following sentences is using the active voice?
The man ate his dinner.
The food was eaten by the man.
The dinner was gobbled up by David.

5. Which of the following sentences is using the passive voice?
I arranged to travel by bus.
I wore my jeans.
The horse was ridden by Julie.

Score =
Correct answers:


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