|PEARSON ADULT LEARNING CENTRE
Advanced Composition: Correct uses of Passive Voice
May 4, 2000
Passive voice sentences emphasize the action rather than the subject.
Often, a student is told to use active voice, but sometimes the passive is
the best way. It is often used in textbooks, newspapers, and in native
spoken English. Tonight, we'll learn some places where it should be used.
Uses for the Passive Voice
|One place we often use the passive voice is to emphasize what
happened rather than who or what performed the action.
|There was a big rainstorm last night. Hundreds of houses were
flooded. (note that we already know what performed the action)|
|Another passive sentence is when the doer of the action is unknown.
Active sentences begin with "they," "someone," "somebody" etc..
|Someone knocked over the plant. The plant was knocked
|Sometimes the doer of the action is obvious.
|Our assignments have already been corrected.|
Assignment: Write about an exciting or unusual event in your life. Use
the passive voice three times in your writing. See an example of teacher
writing for this topic.
Go to Assignment Archive for older