RHL School

English Basics
Volume 3, Number 28, April 19, 1999

Active and Passive Voice


Sentences can be written or spoken in the active or passive voice. In the active voice, the subject of the sentence acts upon something or someone. In the passive voice, the subject is acted upon.

For example:

Active Voice: The twister left a path of destruction.

Passive Voice: A path of destruction was left by the twister.

Writers should usually use the active voice rather than the passive. It’s considered to be a more powerful and straightforward form of expression. The active voice also uses less words to convey the same message.

The following sentences are written in the passive voice. Rewrite them in the active voice.


1. James was chosen by Kathy to be her assistant.


2. This awful mess was made by your friends!


3. Everyone in need is helped by Michael.


4. You will be made well by this medicine!


5. Many inventions were created by Edison.


6. The article was written by my friend.


7. Many fine sites are hosted by Software Workshop.


8. Claudia was enraged by Richard’s sarcastic comments.




Copyright 1999 RHL

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