Active and passive verbs

Verbs are the most important words in a sentence

Every sentence must have at least one verb

Verbs can change in several ways

They can be in the past, present or future tense

I run, I will run, I ran, I am running, I was running, I will be running

 

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VerbsVerbsVerbs are the most important words in a sentenceEvery sentence must have at least one verbVerbs can change in several waysThey can be in the past, present or future tenseI run, I will run, I ran, I am running, I was running, I will be runningThey can also change depending on who is doing the actionI runYou runHe runsI amYou areHe isWe areActive and passive verbsThis is another way in which verbs can change.They can be in the active or the passive voice.Many verbs can be used in both forms.Sentences containing active verbs are clear and easy to understand.In these sentences the verb is active.The dog bit the man.The family watched Coronation Street.David telephoned Emily. In these sentences the subject of the sentence performs an action.The dog bit the man.In this sentence the dog is the subject. The sentence is about him.The verb is bit.The man is the person who has the action done to him. This is called the object of the sentence.The man was bitten by the dog.This sentence is in the passive voice.The person who has the action done to him becomes the subject.He does not do the action (Man bites dog would be rather unusual).The action is done to him.Clues to help you spot a passive verb.Look for the words by or by the in the sentence.Here are some more passive sentences.Coronation Street was watched by the family.Emily was phoned by David.The computer was repaired by the engineer.To change sentences from passive to activeThe computer was repaired by the engineer.Look for the verbFind the person or thing doing the action (the word by gives you a clue)Make that person or thing the subject of the sentence.Describe what he or she does.Finish the sentence by saying who or what they do it to.The engineer repaired the computer.Passive to Active.The disco was organised by the parents.The parents organised the disco.The goldfish was eaten by the cat.The cat ate the goldfish.Active sentences are usually shorter and easier to understand.To change sentences from active to passiveGoldilocks ate the porridge.Find the verb.Find the person or thing having the action done to itMake that person or thing the subject of your sentence.Change the verb so that the subject is having the action done to it.Use by or by the to finish the sentence.The porridge was eaten by Goldilocks.

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