Presentation on theme: "Strengthening Your Writing"— Presentation transcript:
1 Strengthening Your Writing ACTIVE ANDPASSIVE VOICENEC FACET Center
2 Subjects and Verbs Mary ordered a pepperoni and mushroom pizza. In most sentences, the subject is the “doer” of the action described by the verb.
3 More Subjects and Verbs However, in some sentences the subject is not the “doer” of the action.Instead, the subject may be someone or something to which the action is done.
4 ExampleA pepperoni and mushroom pizza was ordered by Mary.
5 VoiceVoice is the relationship of the subject in a sentence to the action in the sentence. Is the subject the “doer” or the “receiver”?Two types of voice exist: active voice and passive voice.
6 Think about the names.To remember the difference between active and passive voice, begin by thinking about the terms.
7 Think about the names.An active person is generally a busy person --a “doer.”
8 Think about the names.A passive person is less in control of life, letting things happen to him or her. They don’t confront things directly.Don’t be passive-aggressive like this person. Say things directly.
9 Active VoiceIn the active voice, the subject carries out the action of the verb.Cavemen invented the wheel.Notice that “Cavemen,” the subject, is a “doer” in this sentence.
10 Passive Voice In the passive voice, the subject is acted upon. The wheel was invented by cavemen.Notice that wheel, the subject, is not doing anything in this sentence.Ahhhh, this is the life!
11 Verb Forms Cavemen invented the wheel. (active) The wheel was invented by cavemen. (passive)Notice that the verb invented stands alone in an active voice sentence , but it is preceded by was (or another form of the verb to be) in a passive voice sentence.
12 Passive Verb RulesThe passive form of a verb always consists of a form of the verb “be” (is, are, was, were, will be, etc.) plus the past participle of the main verb.
13 As a writer, you need to be a “be” keeper WasIsAreWere
14 The doctors examine the patients. Click on the “be” smoker to avoid the sting of passive voice sentences!The doctors examine the patients.The patients are examined by the doctors.Don’t worry “Be”….while this surgery is transformative, when we’re done with you, you’ll be much more active than you ever imagined.
15 The judge pronounced a sentence. Click on the “be” smoker to avoid the sting of passive voice sentences!The judge pronounced a sentence.A sentence was pronounced by the judge.Good job! You put the “be” to bed.
16 Madame Zelda will predict the future. Click on the “be” smoker to avoid the sting of passive voice sentences!Madame Zelda will predict the future.The future will be predicted by Madame Zelda.It doesn’t take a fortune teller to predict the future of this “be”…….
17 Tenses and Passive Voice is examined (present tense)was pronounced (past tense)will be predicted (future tense)Notice that passive voice can exist in more than one tense.This knowledge will help you spot your own passive voice sentences.
18 You did an excellent job smoking those “be’s.” But as you know, bees do more than sting, they also make honey.There are a few times when you may want to use passive voice…….
19 Reasons for Using Passive Voice Sometimes the writer may not know exactly who performed an action.The thatched cottage was built in the fifteenth century.
20 Reasons for Using Passive Voice Sometimes writers may want to emphasize the person or object acted upon rather than the “doer” of the action.This is especially true in scientific writing.
21 ExampleDr. Campbell and Dr. Gonzalez placed the cells in three different environments.This sentence is in the active voice. But the writer may want to emphasize the research itself, not the doer of the research.The cells were placed in three different environments.Now the sentence is in the passive voice. This makes the writing seem more objective and fact based.
22 While passive voice is sometimes appropriate, the active voice will convey your ideas more clearly and directly. Active voice sentences require less words than passives ones.Your writing instructor will expect you to consistently use active voice. So make it a habit to avoid running into trouble.
23 How to change passive sentences to active: Step 1: Find who or what is performing the actionIn passive voice sentences, the subject is acted upon. You can usually (but not always) find the agent performing the action after the word “by.”The banana is being eaten by the monkey.The monkey is performing the action.
24 How to change passive sentences to active…. Step 2: Make the agent performing the action the subject of the sentence and change the verb.The banana is being eaten by the monkey.The monkey is eating the banana.
25 How to change passive sentences to active…. If there is no “by” in the sentence, then the agent performing the action has been left out of the sentence and is only implied.For example: The banana has been eaten. (By the monkey)If the agent performing the action is missing, you must supply the subject to make the sentence active.The monkey has eaten the banana.Now you know how to quit monkeying around with passive voice sentences. Let’s practice your skills.
26 Change each sentence from passive to active: People are rarely attacked by bears.Bears rarely attack people.We bears are so misunderstood. All we really want are hugs and honey.
27 Change each sentence from passive to active: Oh dear, I am getting the feeling I may never see the sun set over the Grand Canyon.The snowman was melted.The sun melted the snowman.This sentence does not have a subject performing the action. You must supply the subject.
28 Change each sentence from passive to active: We were enthralled by the hot dog eating contest.The hot dog eating contest enthralled us.
29 The results of the race will be published in the newspaper. Decide if each sentence is active or passive. If it is passive, change it to active.The results of the race will be published in the newspaper.PassiveThe newspaper will publish the results of the race.Jessica will take her finals next week.Active
30 David and Kevin were stopped by the police officer. Decide if each sentence is active or passive. If it is passive, change it to active.David and Kevin were stopped by the police officer.PassiveThe police officer stopped Kevin and David.Computers are used in the classroom.Students use computers in the classroom.
31 So remember….don’t be passive, don’t be a wallflower….. Get your verbs active and let them dance!!!