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Knowledge of Language: Grammar - Active and Passive Voice
For little hands, large crayons work best!

Knowledge of Language: Grammar - Active and Passive Voice

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When thinking about the word “voice” you first tend to think about speech or the sound one makes when they speak. However, in language arts when you use the word “voice” it refers to sentence structure. In essence, there are two forms of voice, the active voice and the passive voice.

1.
Which sentence below is a passive voice sentence?
My home state is Massachusetts.
Massachusetts is my home state.
My home is Massachusetts state.
My state home is Massachusetts.
The subject is “my home” while the object is “Massachusetts”. When the object of the sentence comes after a verb it tells us that the sentence is an active voice sentence. In Answers (a), (c) and (d), “Massachusetts” comes after the verb so each of these sentences are active voice sentences. We are looking for the passive voice. Answer (b) shows “Massachusetts” at the beginning of the sentence making it a passive voice sentence. Therefore, Answer (b) is correct
2.
Which sentence below is a passive voice sentence?
Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind is a book.
Margaret Mitchell’s book is Gone with the Wind.
Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind.
The book Gone with the Wind is by Margaret Mitchell.
The subject is “Margaret Mitchell” while the object is the “book Gone with the Wind”. When the object of the sentence comes after a verb it tells us that the sentence is an active voice sentence. In Answer (a) the object comes after the verb so it is not a passive voice sentence. In Answer (b), both the subject and the object come before the verb so this too is not an example of a passive voice sentence. Answer (c) is missing a verb altogether so it, too, is not the answer we are looking for. Answer (d) shows the object coming before the subject and is an example of a good passive voice sentence. Answer (d) is correct
3.
Which sentence below is an active voice sentence?
The new umbrella was ruined by the strong wind.
The umbrella was ruined by the new, strong wind.
The strong wind ruined the new umbrella.
The new, expensive umbrella was ruined by the strong wind.
The subject is the “strong wind” and the object is the “new umbrella”. When the object of the sentence comes after a verb it tells us that the sentence is an active voice sentence
4.
Which sentence below is an active voice sentence?
A more fuel efficient family SUV Mazda promised has been made.
Mazda’s more fuel efficient family SUV has been promised.
A more fuel efficient family SUV made by Mazda has been promised.
Mazda has promised to make a more fuel efficient family SUV.
The subject is “Mazda” and the object is “more fuel efficient family SUV.” When the object comes at the beginning of the sentence and the subject comes after the verb it is a passive voice sentence. Answer (c) is a passive voice sentence and not what we are looking for. Answers (a) and (b) show no verb separating the subject and the object so they do not follow the rules of active/passive sentences and are, therefore, not the answers we are looking for. Answer (d) shows the subject first and the object coming after the verb making it a perfect example of an active voice sentence. Answer (d) is correct
5.
Which sentence below is an active voice sentence?
Our school had the circus on Friday!
Our school, on Friday, had the circus!
The circus came.
The circus came to our school on Friday!
The subject is the “circus” while the object is “our school.” Answer (c) does not include the object so we can quickly dismiss this answer as it does not follow the rules of having the subject or object come after the verb. Answers (a) and (b) show the object coming at the beginning of the sentence making both of these sentences passive voice sentences. Answer (d), however, shows the object after the verb and is an example of an active voice sentence. Answer (d) is correct
6.
Which sentence below is a passive voice sentence?
Jimmy collects frogs.
Frogs are collected by Jimmy.
Jimmy’s frogs collection.
Jimmy’s frogs are collected.
The subject here is “Jimmy” and the object is “frogs.” In order for a sentence to be a passive voice sentence, the object must come first and the subject must come after a verb. Looking at each of the four sentences, only Answer (b) shows the object coming first and the subject after a verb. Therefore, Answer (b) is the correct answer
7.
Which sentence below is an active voice sentence?
Large crayons work best for little hands.
Little hands work best with large crayons.
Little hands with large crayons work best.
For little hands, large crayons work best.
The subject is “large crayons” and the object is “little hands.” When the object appears at the beginning of a sentence it is a passive voice sentence. Answers (b), (c) and (d) each show the object at the beginning of the sentence so they are not what we are looking for. Answer (a) shows the subject (large crayons) at the beginning and has the object coming after the verb so it is the active voice sentence we are looking for. Answer (a) is correct
8.
Which sentence below is a passive voice sentence?
My family went camping at Yellowstone Park.
Yellowstone Park is where my family went camping.
My family went camping at the north end of Yellowstone Park.
Yellowstone Park is located in the United States.
The subject is “my family” which can be found in Answers (1), (2) and (3). It is not found in Answer (d). In fact, in Answer (d), Yellowstone Park is the subject. This then tells us that Answer (d) is not a passive voice and not the answer we need. In both Answers (a) and (c) the subject (my family) appears at the beginning of the sentence so this tells us that these two sentences are active voice sentences. Answer (b), however, places the subject after the verb and the object (Yellowstone Park) at the beginning. This makes this a passive voice sentence. Answer (b) is correct
9.
Which sentence below is an active voice sentence?
Penny and Grace won the lottery!
The lottery was won by Penny and Grace!
The lottery Penny and Grace won!
The lottery was won!
The subjects are “Penny and Grace” while the object is the “lottery.” Answer (d) does not include the subjects “Penny and Grace” so we can quickly dismiss this answer. Answers (b) and (c) show the object coming at the beginning of the sentence making both of these sentences passive voice sentences. Answer (a) on the other hand shows the object after the verb and is an example of an active voice sentence. Answer (a) is correct
10.
Which sentence below is an active voice sentence?
The Beatles’ lead singer was Paul McCartney.
The Beatles’ Paul McCartney was lead singer.
Paul McCartney was the lead singer of the Beatles.
The lead singer, Paul McCartney, was one of the Beatles.
The subject is “Paul McCartney” while the object is “lead singer of the Beatles.” Answer (a) shows the object first and the subject after a verb making it a passive voice sentence and not what we are looking for. Answers (b) and (d) have placed part of the object with the subject and do not now follow the active/passive voice rules so neither sentence is what we are looking for. Answers (c) shows the subject first and the object coming after a verb and is an active voice sentence. Answer (c) is correct
Author:  Christine G. Broome

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