Passive Voice Formation - Practice

Passive Voice Formation

Intermediate 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).

  1. The reasons are stated by Humboldt State University.
  2. 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.
  3. The physical problems that are caused by the beach cruiser are problems that happen with all types of bikes.
  4. The teachers required her to speak English all the time.
  5. Apple, Samsung, and Nokia are known by almost every individual as three well-known companies in the smartphone market.
  6. People consider having corn in their diet a blessing because of the values it has.
  7. The Wright brothers invented the first airplanes.
  8. More recently, people have used mobile phones to send a text message.
  9. The college student will be forced to practice the language.
  10.  Studying abroad has been considered by many college students.

Advanced Practice

For each set of grammatically correct active and passive sentences, determine which sentence is stylistically more effective and explain why.

Example:

  • 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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.