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Passive Sentences: Understand the Impersonal Voice

In this worksheet students practise identifying sentences written in the impersonal voice.

'Passive Sentences: Understand the Impersonal Voice' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Curriculum topic:  Writing: Vocabulary, Grammar and Punctuation

Curriculum subtopic:  Passive Verb Awareness

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

The impersonal voice is a style of English used in formal situations such as official letters and notices. It is used for passive sentences where there is no subject.

The window was broken. (personal - the window is the subject)

It is said that ghosts don't exist. (impersonal - there is no subject)

 

Sentences using the impersonal voice often begin with the phrases below.

It is said that...

It is thought that...

It is believed that...

Read the following sentence and decide whether it uses the personal or impersonal voice.

 

I think grey squirrels are more common than red squirrels.

personal voice

impersonal voice

Read the following sentence and decide whether it uses the personal or impersonal voice.

 

The bus was driven at great speed.

personal voice

impersonal voice

Read the following sentence and decide whether it uses the personal or impersonal voice.

  

The teacher told us that William Shakespeare was born in 1564.

personal voice

impersonal voice

Read the following sentence and decide whether it uses the personal or impersonal voice.

 

It is believed that dinosaurs were wiped out by a meteor striking the earth.

personal voice

impersonal voice

Read the following sentence and decide whether it uses the personal or impersonal voice.

 

It is believed that women are better at multi-tasking than men.

personal voice

impersonal voice

Read the following sentence and decide whether it uses the personal or impersonal voice.

  

The car was painted bright red.

personal voice

impersonal voice

Change the following active sentence into a passive sentence using the impersonal voice.

Begin with the words 'It is believed...'

 

They say that milk strengthens people's bones.

Change the following active sentence into a passive sentence using the impersonal voice.

Begin with the words 'It is claimed that...'

 

People claim that Wimbledon is the home of tennis.

Change the following active sentence into a passive sentence using the impersonal voice.

Begin with the words 'It is said...'

 

They say that Usain Bolt is the fastest runner in the world.

Change the following active sentence into a passive sentence using the impersonal voice.

Begin with the words 'It is believed...'

 

People believe that the number 13 is unlucky.

  • Question 1

Read the following sentence and decide whether it uses the personal or impersonal voice.

 

I think grey squirrels are more common than red squirrels.

CORRECT ANSWER
personal voice
EDDIE SAYS
Right lets think about this. If the sentence has a subject it is written in a personal voice. In this example the subject is the 'grey squirrels'. It is talking about specific breeds of squirrel, not squirrels in general. This makes the sentence written in a personal voice.
  • Question 2

Read the following sentence and decide whether it uses the personal or impersonal voice.

 

The bus was driven at great speed.

CORRECT ANSWER
personal voice
EDDIE SAYS
Great effort! Although the sentence is passive, there is a subject (the bus), so it is using the personal voice.
  • Question 3

Read the following sentence and decide whether it uses the personal or impersonal voice.

  

The teacher told us that William Shakespeare was born in 1564.

CORRECT ANSWER
personal voice
EDDIE SAYS
Keep going! The sentence is about 'William Shakespeare', he is the subject of the sentence. If there is a subject in the sentence it is personal voice.
  • Question 4

Read the following sentence and decide whether it uses the personal or impersonal voice.

 

It is believed that dinosaurs were wiped out by a meteor striking the earth.

CORRECT ANSWER
impersonal voice
EDDIE SAYS
Well done for effort! This is impersonal voice as there is no specific subject. You are not talking about specific breeds of 'dinosaurs'.
  • Question 5

Read the following sentence and decide whether it uses the personal or impersonal voice.

 

It is believed that women are better at multi-tasking than men.

CORRECT ANSWER
impersonal voice
EDDIE SAYS
Good effort well done! This sentence is using impersonal voice as there is no subject. A specific person is not being discussed.
  • Question 6

Read the following sentence and decide whether it uses the personal or impersonal voice.

  

The car was painted bright red.

CORRECT ANSWER
personal voice
EDDIE SAYS
You getting the hang of this? In this example you are talking about a specific car. The 'car' is our subject making the sentence written in a personal voice.
  • Question 7

Change the following active sentence into a passive sentence using the impersonal voice.

Begin with the words 'It is believed...'

 

They say that milk strengthens people's bones.

CORRECT ANSWER
It is believed that milk strengthens people's bones.
EDDIE SAYS
To make this a passive sentence you need to remove the agent (the person or thing performing the action). In this example 'they' is the agent so can be removed. The sentence is impersonal as there is no subject. Keep up the great effort!
  • Question 8

Change the following active sentence into a passive sentence using the impersonal voice.

Begin with the words 'It is claimed that...'

 

People claim that Wimbledon is the home of tennis.

CORRECT ANSWER
It is claimed that Wimbledon is the home of tennis.
EDDIE SAYS
Again you need to do the same here. Remove the agent 'People' and replace it with 'It is claimed that'. We do not need to include this information as it is not important to the reader.
  • Question 9

Change the following active sentence into a passive sentence using the impersonal voice.

Begin with the words 'It is said...'

 

They say that Usain Bolt is the fastest runner in the world.

CORRECT ANSWER
It is said that Usain Bolt is the fastest runner in the world.
EDDIE SAYS
Did you get it correct? Remove the agent 'they' and replace it with 'It is said that'. Nearly there well done!
  • Question 10

Change the following active sentence into a passive sentence using the impersonal voice.

Begin with the words 'It is believed...'

 

People believe that the number 13 is unlucky.

CORRECT ANSWER
It is believed that the number 13 is unlucky.
EDDIE SAYS
High five! To make this a passive sentence using impersonal voice remove the agent 'People' and replace it with 'It is believed'.
---- OR ----

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