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Active and Passive Voice
Name: _________________________
Hour: _________
When a verb’s subject performs the action expressed by the verb, the verb is in the active voice.
My family bought a new home. (Subject family performs the action)
When a verb’s subject receives the action expressed by the verb, the verb is in passive voice.
Homes are being sold by the builder. (Subject homes receives the action)
Use passive when emphasizing the receiver of the action or if the performer of the action is unknown.
Use active as often as possible.
To change a verb from passive to active:
1. Find verb and performer of the action
2. Move the performer before the verb
3. Change verb to active voice
4. Adjust verb to agree with subject
Ex: Home are being sold by the builder.
Verb: are being sold; Performer: builder
The builder are being sold
The builder are selling homes.
The builder is selling homes.
A. Identifying Active and Passive Voice
In each sentence, underline the complete verb once. Underline the performer twice (note: not all
sentences have a performer). On the line, write A for active (subject = performer) or P for passive
(subject is not performer).
Ex: ___P____ A house was raised by the settlers.
1. _______ This summer the Jordan family took a camping trip.
2. _______ Three weeks were spent by the Jordans in Yellowstone National Park.
3. _______ They didn’t borrow a friend’s trailer for their trip.
4. _______ Instead, they purchased a new tent.
5. _______ The Jordans considered the tent their temporary home.
6. _______ At the store, several different kinds of tents were examined by the family.
7. _______ A small A-frame tent is assembled easily by campers.
8. _______ However, with three children, the Jordans wanted a bigger tent.
9. _______ The wall tent with vertical walls and an A-frame room was chosen.
10. _______ At the campground, a suitable spot for the tent was found by Mr. Jordan.
11. _______ The family discovered the difficulties in pitching a tent.
12. _______ The tent stakes were hammered into the ground by the teenage sons.
13. _______ Masai, a people of East Africa, live in kraals, or villages.
14. _______ The village is surrounded by a thick round fence.
15. _______ The kraal contains about ten to twenty small huts.
16. _______ The huts are constructed by the Masai of branches, mud, and cow manure.
17. _______ A hole in the roof lets smoke out and light in.
18. _______ The homes of the Masai are built by the women.
19. _______ Young warriors, their mothers, and their sisters live in one kraal.
20. _______ The elders’ kraal is occupied by married men and their families.
B. Using Active and Passive Voice Verbs
Complete each of the sentences by adding a verb in the voice given in parentheses.
1. Ricardo and Angela ________________________ several pieces of furniture for their first home.
2. All these pots and pans ________________________ by my sisters at a garage sale. (passive)
3. After dark, homeless persons ________________________ rides to a shelter by search-van drivers.
4. The moving company ________________________ my furniture into their truck. (active)
5. All of these old clothes ________________________ in my grandmother’s attic by my parents.
6. In your home, who ________________________ the windows when they’re dirty? (passive)
7. The real estate agent ________________________ the house in the local newspaper. (active)
C. Changing Passive Voice to Active Voice
Select three sentences from Exercise A that are in the passive voice. Rewrite them using active voice.
1. _______________________________________________________________________________
2. _______________________________________________________________________________
3. _______________________________________________________________________________