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The Passive Voice

Year 7 Sentence Starters

Icons key: For more detailed instructions, see the Getting Started presentation

Flash activity. These activities are not editable. Teacher’s notes included in the Notes Page

Extension activities Web addresses Accompanying worksheet

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Contents

Recognizing the passive voice


Word order
When to use the passive voice
Writing in the passive voice
Summary activities

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The Passive Voice – Recognizing the
passive voice

Recognizing the passive


voice

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A writer’s voice

Do you know the difference between


the active and the passive voice Lei?

No, I’m not sure. But I bet


you don’t know either Max!

Well you’re clearly not a


passive person Lei! Why don’t
we actively learn them together
instead of arguing…

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The passive voice

Here are some sentences in the passive voice:

The sulphuric acid was poured into a beaker.

The thief was seen by several witnesses.

The cherry was placed on top of the cake.

The Reverend Green was killed in the library, with


a gun by Miss Plum.

Discuss why they are different to active


(normal) sentences.
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Recognizing the passive voice
Click to see the active voice versions – what is different?
The sulphuric acid was poured into a beaker.
I poured the sulphuric acid into a beaker.

The thief was seen by several witnesses.


Several witnesses saw the thief.

The Reverend Green was killed in the library with a gun


by Miss Plum.
Miss Plum killed the Reverend Green in the library with a
gun.

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The Passive Voice – Word order

Word order

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The object

The trick to the active and passive voices


is where the object lies in the sentence…

In the active voice we write:


1. Subject 2. Verb 3. Object.
For example: Romeo proposed to Juliet.
In the passive voice the object is moved to the beginning:
1. Object 2. Verb 3. Subject.
For example: Juliet was proposed to by Romeo.
Or, the subject can be left out entirely in the passive voice:
For example: Juliet was proposed to.
What effect is created when the object is moved?
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Identifying the different voices

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The Passive Voice – When to use the
passive voice

When to use the passive


voice

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The purpose of the passive voice

So we use the passive voice when…

what happened is more important than who did it:


The sulphuric acid was poured into a beaker.
The action is vital, not who did it, so the subject is missing.

the writer wants to create some suspense:


The Reverend Green was killed in the library with a gun
by Miss Plum.
Readers want to know the name of the murderer, but
using the passive voice makes them wait longer…
Can you think of any other examples of when
it is useful to write in the passive voice?
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Knowing when to use each voice

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The Passive Voice – Writing in the passive
voice

Writing in the passive


voice

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Writing in the passive voice

Rewrite these sentences in the passive voice:


I broke the window.
The window was broken.

A man discovered stolen jewels whilst out walking his dog.


The stolen jewels were discovered by a man out walking
his dog.

Ivor Brush painted the winning picture.


The winning picture was painted by Ivor Brush.

The police recovered the stolen car.


The stolen car was recovered by the police.

Were your answers similar to these?


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Completing sentences activity

Use these prompts to write some


sentences in the passive voice:

……..man…………………hunted……………police.

Dave’s car…………stolen…………joy riders.

The World Cup………won………………Italy.

The entire pizza………….eaten…………that night.

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Answers

Are these answers similar to yours?

A man was being hunted by the police.

Dave’s car was stolen by some joyriders.

The World Cup was won by Italy.

The entire pizza was eaten that night.

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The Passive Voice – Summary activities

Summary activities

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Test your knowledge

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Changing the voice activity

To write up a science experiment, it is best to use the


passive voice, but Lei has written hers in the active voice.

Can you rewrite her report using the passive voice?

Purifying rock salts


I ground the rock salt.
I mixed it with water.
Then I stirred it.
I took a filter, folded it and put it in the funnel.
Next I filtered the solution.
Then I heated it.
Finally, I left it to evaporate.

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Summary

So to sum it up, the passive voice…

places the object at the start of the sentence

often misses out the subject

can be used when what has happened is more


important than the subject

used for creating suspense or mystery

is often used when writing up factual reports e.g.


science, news, police, legal, etc.

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