Using the Passive Voice (Part One)

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1 Success Center Directed Learning Activity (DLA) Using the Voice (Part One) G019.1

2 Directed Learning Activity Using the Voice (Part One) Description: In this Directed Learning Activity (DLA), you will develop a basic understanding of what the passive voice is, how it differs from the active voice, and how to write the passive form of a number of verb tenses. Prior Knowledge: To get the most out of this DLA, you should know what subjects, verbs, and objects are; understand what a past participle is; and be familiar with verb tenses. Materials: An envelope of word cards. Step One: Understanding the Voice What is the passive voice? To understand this concept, let s look at the picture: Which sentence better describes what s happening in the picture, (a) or (b)? Circle the letter of your answer. (a) The man kicked the ball. (b) The ball kicked the man. If you chose (a), you are correct! This is because, in most English sentences, the subject performs the action expressed by the verb. If there is an object in the sentence, it receives the action. In the sentence, The man kicked the ball, the man (subject) performs the kick (action); the ball (object) receives the action. The man kicked the ball is an active sentence. In an active sentence, the subject performs the action. Also in an active sentence, the action moves to the right.

3 Subject Sentence Verb Object Action The man kicked the ball. In contrast to an active sentence, in a passive sentence, the subject receives the action of the verb. The action moves to the left instead of the right. Sentence Subject Verb Action The ball was kicked. In this passive sentence, the ball (subject) is receiving the kick (action) instead of performing the kick. The word passive describes something that doesn t take any action. A ball can t perform the action of kicking because it has no legs. It can only receive kicks. When you are using the passive voice, be sure that your subject is receiving the action. What is the difference between a sentence written in the active voice and a sentence written in the passive voice? Please explain in your own words. _

4 Step Two: Practicing the Concept Look at the following sets of pictures. Each set contains a subject and an action. Ask yourself whether the action is moving to the right ( ) or to the left ( ). In other words, does the subject perform the action ( ) or receive the action ( )? Draw an arrow that indicates the direction of the action between the subject and the action. If the subject performs the action, circle active tense. If the subject receives the action, circle passive tense. Direction: (a) Chef (subject) Cook (action) (b) In which direction does the action move in this example, to the right ( ) or the left ( )? In other words, does a chef cook something, or does something cook a chef? Usually, the chef will do the cooking. Because the chef performs the action, draw an arrow to the right between the subject and the action. Then, circle (a) for active. If something else cooked the chef, you would have drawn an arrow to the left and marked (b) for passive. Direction: (a) Books (subject) Read (action) (b) Do the books read something ( ), or does something read the books ( )? Direction: (a) (b) Flowers (subject) Buy (action)

5 Direction: (c) (d) Musicians (subject) Play (action) Part Three: Using Agents As you now know, the subject receives the action in a passive sentence. It is also possible to include the performer of the action in a passive sentence. When you do this, the performer is called the agent. Sentence My sister ate my sandwich. My sandwich was eaten by my sister. Agent Sentence Remember that agents aren t always necessary. In fact, many passive sentences don t have them. If you include an agent, add the preposition by before the agent and place both after the passive verb. Now, let s get a little practice with using agents. Read each active sentence. Write the agent in the blank at the end of each passive sentence. The first one has been done for you. : : : : : : My mother made the beds. by my mother The beds were made. George fixed the air conditioner. The air conditioner was fixed. The kids have eaten all of the onion rings. All of the onion rings have been eaten.

6 : : My dog tore up the newspaper. The newspaper was torn up. Part Four: Writing the Tense Now that you have an understanding of how the passive voice works, it s time to practice using it. It is important to remember that you write the passive voice differently depending on whether you re using simple past, present perfect, future progressive, and so on. To illustrate, let s look at the following sentences: (Simple past) (Simple present) (Simple future) The sandwich was eaten. The sandwich is eaten. The sandwich will be eaten. The verb has been underlined in each sentence. The verb changes depending on whether you are using past, present, or future. Notice that all of the passive verb tenses have two things in common: (a) The past participle of the verb (b) A form of to be To be Past participle The sandwich was eaten. Remember that the past participle is the form of the verb you usually use with the perfect tenses. Eat Ate Eaten Swim Swam Swum Throw Threw Thrown Buy Bought Bought Past participle While you look at the ways to use the passive voice with different verb tenses, remember that all your passive sentences must have both a form of to be and a past participle in them. What follows are descriptions of the passive forms of the most common verb tenses. Do the exercises that follow each description to help you remember the form.

7 Simple Present He eats lunch. is/am/are + past participle Lunch is eaten by him. Fill in the blank with the passive form of the verb in parentheses. Be sure to stay in the simple present tense. The first one has been done for you. is driven 1. My friend (drive) to work by his wife. 2. Two pieces of toast (eat) by Eddie every morning. 3. My favorite song (sing) by Stevie Wonder. 4. George s car (protect) by Albatross Insurance. Simple Past He ate lunch. was/were + past participle Lunch was eaten by him. Read each active sentence. In the blank below each sentence, rewrite the sentence in passive voice. Be sure to stay in the simple past tense. The first one has been done for you. 1. Larry found the lost keys. The lost keys were found by Larry. 2. Franklin fixed Mr. Smith s computer. 3. George stole the notebook. 4. Margaret drove Fifi and Fluffy to the kennel.

8 Simple Future He will eat lunch. will + be + past participle Lunch will be eaten by him. Write a passive sentence in the blank below each group of words. You must use all of the words, but you may add more. Be sure to use the simple future tense. 1. Play / my family / a game of soccer / this Sunday / by A game of soccer will be played by my family this Sunday. 2. Bake / a delicious cake / me / tonight / by 3. Take / the students / a test / tomorrow / by 4. Hug / Grandma / children / at the party / by Present Progressive He is eating lunch. is/am/are + being + past participle Lunch is being eaten by him. Read each active sentence. In the blank below each sentence, rewrite the sentence in passive voice. Be sure to stay in the present progressive tense. 1. That thief is stealing my bike right now! 2. Mike is taking the bag of chips.

9 3. Darlene hid the presents in the attic. Present Perfect He has eaten lunch. has/have + been + past participle Lunch has been eaten by him. Write a passive sentence in the blank below each group of words. You must use all of the words, but you may add more. Be sure to use the present perfect tense. 1. Ride / my friend / the bus / by 2. Win / the prize / contestant / by 3. Give / my father / advice / by As you know, there are a number of other verb tenses as well. Here is a table you can use as a reference for the different passive verb tenses: Verb Tenses Simple Present He eats lunch. Lunch is eaten. is + past participle Simple Past He ate lunch. Lunch was eaten. was + past participle Simple Future He will eat lunch. Lunch will be eaten. will + be + past participle Present Progressive He is eating lunch. Lunch is being eaten. is + being + past participle Past Progressive He was eating lunch. Lunch was being eaten. was + being + past participle Present Perfect He has eaten lunch. Lunch has been eaten. has + been + past participle Past Perfect He had eaten lunch. Lunch had been eaten. had + been + past participle Future Perfect He will have eaten lunch. Lunch will have been eaten. will + have + been + past participle

10 Step Five: Putting It All Together Now that you ve had a chance to practice the basics, let s further your understanding of the passive tense. Open the envelope of word cards. On each of the cards, either a word or phrase is written. Spread the cards out on your table with the words facing up. Your job is simple: arrange the cards so that they make five passive sentences. You do not have to use all of the cards. When you are finished, write your sentences in the spaces below

11 G019.1 Voice (Part One) PRINT STUDENT NAME STUDENT # Tutor Feedback: In Step One, the student explained the difference between an active sentence and a passive sentence. In Step Two, the student completed the exercises on subjects/actions. In Step Three, the student completed the exercises on agents. In Step Four, the student completed the exercises on the various passive verb tenses. In Step Five, the student created five passive sentences using the word cards. PRINT INSTRUCTOR/TUTOR NAME DATE INSTRUCTOR/TUTOR SIGNATURE STUDENT DO NOT FORGET TO TURN THIS SHEET IN AT THE FRONT DESK! You may not get credit for completing this DLA if you fail to leave this sheet with the front desk receptionist.

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