Active and passive voice english grammer

Download 55.04 Kb.
Hajmi55.04 Kb.
1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   ...   12
Aim of the work: In the above example, the action of the verb (from ‘to destroy’) is being actively performed (these pests are doing the destroying in this sentence). This is therefore an active voice sentence.

CHAPTER I. A handy hint: let the verb point the way.

    1. Active and Passive Voice

To know what the action in the sentence is, just focus on how the verb (the doing word) explains the content in the sentence. For example, consider the following sentence.

Look for the verbfirst

Find the subject and object by considering whether the action in the verb is being actively or passively performed.

For it to be passive, the action of the verb would have to be performed on the subject (the pests would not directly be doing the destroying). For example: “My crops were destroyed by pests.”

For each of the five sentences below, identify the verb before also identifying the subject and object. Then use this information to decide whether the sentence is written in the active or passive voice. You can work alone or with a partner in this activity.

Verbs are also said to be either activeor passive in voice. In the active voice, the subject and verb relationship is straightforward: the subject is the actor of the sentence and the verb moves the sentence along. In the passive voice, the subject of the sentence is acted upon by some other agent or by something unnamed.

In other words, in active voice,the subject is the be-er and the do-er of the sentence. In passive voice, the subject is not a be-er or a doer, but is the target of the action.

Active: I heard it through the grapevine.

Passive: It was heard by me through the grapevine.

Active: Robinson argues that schools need to account for student creativity.

Passive: In Robinson’s talk it was argued that schools need to account for student creativity.

Active: A CNN poll found that support for gay marriage is steadily growing.

Passive: It was found that support for gay marriage is steadily growing.

Active: I’ve never told this story to anyone before.

Passive: This story has never been told before.

The short answer is: no. The use of passive voice is not a grammatical mistake or even necessarily a problem. Sometimes, like in the last example above, writers use passive voice deliberately because using an indirect expression is rhetorically effective.Also, scientific writing often uses passive voice because it allows writers to avoid using personal pronouns or the names of particular researchers. It’s simply important to be making the conscious choice between active and passive voice, so that if you use passive voice in your writing, you have a clear purpose for doing so.

Here are the main reasons you may want to avoid passive voice:

  1. It can create awkward and/or unclear sentences (see the second example above).

  2. It can make your writing seem flat and uninteresting since it removes any strong, specific subject at the start of a sentence.

  3. It can undermine your authority as a writer if you don’t have a specific subject; it may seem like you have to be vague and general because you don’t know what you’re talking about (see the third example above).

Some more advice

  • Using active voice for the majority of your sentences keeps the sentences from becoming too complicated or wordy. Sentences written in active voice often require fewer words.

  • You can recognize passive voice because the verb phrase will include a form of be (was, am, are, been, is). Don't assume that just because there is a form of 'be' that the sentence is passive, however. Sometimes a prepositional phrase like "by the" in the sentences above indicates that the action is performed on the subject, and that the sentence is passive.

  • It’s good to avoid sentences that starts in active voice and then shifts to passive. For example: Many customers in the restaurant found the coffee too bitter to drink, but it was still ordered frequently.

Additional Resources

  • The most helpful resource I used was the Purdue Owl Online Writing Lab. That site not only explains many grammar topics, but also provides tons of really useful examples of all different kinds.

  • The second most helpful resource I used was the Grammar Girl’s Tips. I liked that she used very common examples of both active and passive voice, and some examples from pop culture too. I also appreciated that she discussed the use of passive voice as a rhetorical choice that can work well in certain writing situations.

  • I also looked at the pages on active vs. passive voice in Acts of Inquiry, the old edition of the UW composition textbook, because it specifically references Tim O’brien’s use of active and passive voices in his creative writing.


What is the Passive Voice ?

A sentence generally begins with the performer of the action ( subject ), then the verb, then the object or person that the action is performed on. This is called an “active” sentence.

Example :

John cleaned the room

S + verb + object

If we begin the sentence with “ the room “ that the action is performed on, we formulate a “ passive” sentence.

The room was cleaned by John

Object + verb +by subject

Note :

  • Not all verbs in English take an object. Therefore, some sentences are complete without an object :

  1. John slept well.

  2. John lives far away.

  • This type of sentence cannot be changed into the passive voice.

  1. When Should we Use the Passive Voice ?

  2. We do not know who the subject is, or it is not important who the subject is.

Somebody cleaned the room.  The room was cleaned.

  1. When it is obvious to the listener or reader who the subject is because it is the person who usually does it :

The cleaner cleaned the room.  The room was cleaned.

How to Formulate the Passive Voice ?

  1. Put the object of the verb at the beginning of your sentence;

  2. Conjugate the verb “to be” in the same tense as the active sentence;

  3. Put the main verb in the past participle form.

Let’s see some examples :

  1. The postman delivers the mail.  The mail is delivered.

  2. The decorator is painting my room.  My room is being decorated.

    1. Someone stole the money.  The money was stolen.

Note :

  • If you want to mention the subject in a passive sentence, use “by”:

    • My room is being painted by the decorator.

  • If the active sentence begins with “ no-one “ or “nobody”, the passive sentence will be negative.

    • No-one turned on the light.  The light was not turned on.

  • If there is a preposition between the verb and the object, the preposition will remain after the verb:

    • They talked about the issue.  The issue was talked about.

  1. The Passive Voice of Different Tense




Simple present

Download 55.04 Kb.

Do'stlaringiz bilan baham:
1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   ...   12

Ma'lumotlar bazasi mualliflik huquqi bilan himoyalangan © 2020
ma'muriyatiga murojaat qiling

    Bosh sahifa
davlat universiteti
ta’lim vazirligi
maxsus ta’lim
O’zbekiston respublikasi
zbekiston respublikasi
axborot texnologiyalari
o’rta maxsus
guruh talabasi
nomidagi toshkent
davlat pedagogika
texnologiyalari universiteti
xorazmiy nomidagi
toshkent axborot
pedagogika instituti
haqida tushuncha
rivojlantirish vazirligi
toshkent davlat
Toshkent davlat
vazirligi toshkent
tashkil etish
matematika fakulteti
ta’limi vazirligi
samarqand davlat
kommunikatsiyalarini rivojlantirish
bilan ishlash
pedagogika universiteti
vazirligi muhammad
fanining predmeti
Darsning maqsadi
o’rta ta’lim
navoiy nomidagi
haqida umumiy
Ishdan maqsad
moliya instituti
fizika matematika
nomidagi samarqand
sinflar uchun
fanlar fakulteti
Nizomiy nomidagi
maxsus ta'lim
Ўзбекистон республикаси
ta'lim vazirligi
universiteti fizika
umumiy o’rta
Referat mavzu
respublikasi axborot
таълим вазирлиги
махсус таълим
Alisher navoiy
Toshkent axborot
Buxoro davlat