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Brad's Advanced Composition  May 4 Assignment

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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

bulletOne place we often use the passive voice is to emphasize what happened rather than who or what performed the action.
bulletThere was a big rainstorm last night. Hundreds of houses were flooded. (note that we already know what performed the action)
bulletAnother passive sentence is when the doer of the action is unknown. Active sentences begin with "they," "someone," "somebody" etc..
bulletSomeone knocked over the plant. The plant was knocked over.
bulletSometimes the doer of the action is obvious.
bulletOur 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 assignments.

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