Passive Voice Formation - Practice
For each sentence, first determine if the sentence is active or passive, and then change the active sentences to passive and passive sentences to active. Remember, if a passive sentence does not have a doer, you will have to include one when forming the active.
Example: My professor appreciated my question.
Answer: Original is active. Passive: My question was appreciated (by the professor).
- The reasons are stated by Humboldt State University.
- In 1983, a century after the invention of the telephone, mobile telephones were developed by two AT&T Labs researchers, Richard H. Frenkiel and Joel S. Engel.
- The physical problems that are caused by the beach cruiser are problems that happen with all types of bikes.
- The teachers required her to speak English all the time.
- Apple, Samsung, and Nokia are known by almost every individual as three well-known companies in the smartphone market.
- People consider having corn in their diet a blessing because of the values it has.
- The Wright brothers invented the first airplanes.
- More recently, people have used mobile phones to send a text message.
- The college student will be forced to practice the language.
- Studying abroad has been considered by many college students.
For each set of grammatically correct active and passive sentences, determine which sentence is stylistically more effective and explain why.
- Passive: Much research was being done on babies to understand their way of learning.
- Active: Scientists were doing much research on babies to understand their way of learning.
Answer: The passive is preferred as the sentence emphasizes the research, rather than any doer of the research. Using the active and inserting a doer narrows the scope of the action considerably and may exclude others who could conduct this research (for example, educators). Furthermore, the passive voice is often a convention used in scientific writing.
- Passive: In the 1890s, lower crossbars were designed to make women feel more comfortable and safer on bicycles.
Active: In the 1890s, bicycle builders designed lower crossbars to make women feel more comfortable and safer on bicycles.
- Passive: To respond to the questions that were asked by students, Hadfield recorded experiments in space and posted the recordings on YouTube.
Active (a): To respond to students’ questions, Hadfield recorded experiments in space and posted the recordings on YouTube.
Active (b): The students asked questions to which Hadfield responded by recording experiments in space and posting the recordings on YouTube.
- Passive: If the problem is not solved, the Winter Olympics will pay the consequences.
Active: If someone does not solve the problem, the Winter Olympics will pay the consequences.
- Passive: The author defines this action as a "legitimizing myth," which is talked about in the beginning paragraphs of the article.
Active (a): The author defines this action as a “legitimizing myth,” which the author talks about in the beginning paragraphs of the article.
Active (b): The author defines this action as a “legitimizing myth” in the beginning paragraphs of the article.