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Revise the Active and Passive Voice

In this worksheet, students revise changing sentences from the active to the passive voice.

'Revise the Active and Passive Voice' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 3

Curriculum topic:   Grammar and Vocabulary

Curriculum subtopic:   Extend and Apply Grammatical Knowledge

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

Sentences can be written in either the active or the passive voice.

 

In an active sentence the subject is carrying out the action.

for example:

The children climbed the tree. 

In this sentence the children are doing the climbing, so it is an active sentence.

 

In a passive sentence the subject receives the action.

for example:

The tree was climbed by the children.

The subject (the tree) is not doing the climbing, but being climbed, so it is a passive sentence.

 

Sometimes the agent (the person or thing doing the action) is left out of a passive sentence.

for example:

Someone broke the window. (active)

The window was broken. (passive)

 

We could write 'The window was broken by someone' but it sounds clumsy and doesn't add anything to the sentence, so it is better to leave it out.

Is the sentence below active or passive?

 

The cow ate the grass.

Active

Passive

There are two sentences written below.  Complete the statements below about the sentences

 

1.  Kaisha weeded the garden.

2.  The garden was weeded by Kaisha.​

Active

Passive

Can you helo to change the following active sentence into a passive sentence.

 

Meena gave Robert a sweet.

Active

Passive

This time, change the following active sentence into a passive sentence without an agent (the subject)

 

Someone smashed the vase.

Active

Passive

Tom thinks he has written an example of an active sentence.

 

They are building a new sports centre in our town.

 

Emma thinks that he hasn't got this quite right, and changes it to...

 

A new sports centre is being built in our town.

 

Using your understanding of active sentences, who do you think is correct?

Tom

Emma

The two sentences below are written in two different voices, one is active and one is passive.  Which of the options below best describes the sentence types?

 

1. Dogs are not allowed on the beach.

 

2. They don't allow dogs on the beach.

Sentence 1 and 2 are Active

Sentence 1 is Passive and Sentence 2 is Active

Sentence 1 is Active and Sentence 2 is Passive

Sentence 1 and 2 are Passive

This active sentence could be changed into either of the passive sentences below, but which one is more effective?

 

Someone stole a painting from the exhibition.

A painting was stolen from the exhibition by someone.

A painting was stolen from the exhibition.

This active sentence could be changed into either of the passive sentences below, but which one is more effective?

 

Dr Andrews saved my little sister's life.

My little sister's life was saved.

My little sister's life was saved by Dr Andrews.

In the following passage, a passive sentence has been used where the agent of the action is not important. Find the sentence and copy it into the answer box.

 

Please send your competition entries to the address at the top of the page. The closing date is 30 September and we cannot accept entries after this date. Winners will be notified within a month.

Please send your competition entries to the address at the top of the page.

The closing date is 30 September and we cannot accept entries after this date.

Winners will be notified within a month.

In the following passage the author has used a passive sentence without an agent to build up suspense. Find the sentence and copy it into the answer box.

 

The footsteps faded away. Philip and Jack didn't dare move until they were sure that whoever it was had gone. The night went quiet and they began to relax. Suddenly the gate was pushed open with a creak. Both boys froze.

The footsteps faded away.

Philip and Jack didn't dare move until they were sure that whoever it was had gone.

The night went quiet and they began to relax.

Suddenly the gate was pushed open with a creak.

Both boys froze.

  • Question 1

Is the sentence below active or passive?

 

The cow ate the grass.

CORRECT ANSWER
Active
EDDIE SAYS
How did you do on this first one? The subject in this sentence is completing the action so the sentence must be active. Our subject is the 'cow' and it is eating!
  • Question 2

There are two sentences written below.  Complete the statements below about the sentences

 

1.  Kaisha weeded the garden.

2.  The garden was weeded by Kaisha.​

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Did you get this the right way around? We need to identify who is the subject in the sentence in both cases. Did you agree that Keisha is the subject? In sentence 1. Keisha is completing the action, so this must be an active sentence. In sentence 2. the subject becomes the garden and the action is done to it, making it a passive sentence.
  • Question 3

Can you helo to change the following active sentence into a passive sentence.

 

Meena gave Robert a sweet.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Can you see how the same sentence has been shuffled around and it reads without the same oomph!? You may also have noticed that passive sentences tend to be a bit longer in length than the active sentences. Let's try another!
  • Question 4

This time, change the following active sentence into a passive sentence without an agent (the subject)

 

Someone smashed the vase.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Did the word agent confuse you? Hopefully not, and agent (think secret, is just the person completing the action). In this case, we just need to know that the vase has been smashed, but we do not need to know by who (even if this wasn't that clear before with the agent 'someone'!
  • Question 5

Tom thinks he has written an example of an active sentence.

 

They are building a new sports centre in our town.

 

Emma thinks that he hasn't got this quite right, and changes it to...

 

A new sports centre is being built in our town.

 

Using your understanding of active sentences, who do you think is correct?

CORRECT ANSWER
Tom
EDDIE SAYS
Who did you think? Did you think that Tom was correct too? Always with an active sentence, we need to look at who is the subject as they will be doing the action. In this case, the action is being completed by 'they'. We often use the word 'they' when we are referring to people in authority. It sounds clumsy in a passive sentence and is better left out.
  • Question 6

The two sentences below are written in two different voices, one is active and one is passive.  Which of the options below best describes the sentence types?

 

1. Dogs are not allowed on the beach.

 

2. They don't allow dogs on the beach.

CORRECT ANSWER
Sentence 1 is Passive and Sentence 2 is Active
EDDIE SAYS
This was another question that should be testing your understanding. Remember what to do first? We look to see who is the subject of the sentence and whether or not they are taking action in the sentence? In sentence 1, Dogs and they are doing the action of not being allowed on the beach. In sentence 2. Dogs' have the action done to them by 'them'
  • Question 7

This active sentence could be changed into either of the passive sentences below, but which one is more effective?

 

Someone stole a painting from the exhibition.

CORRECT ANSWER
A painting was stolen from the exhibition.
EDDIE SAYS
Which of the two options did you think was most effective? We don't know who stole the painting, so adding 'by someone' adds nothing to the sentence. It is better to leave it out.
  • Question 8

This active sentence could be changed into either of the passive sentences below, but which one is more effective?

 

Dr Andrews saved my little sister's life.

CORRECT ANSWER
My little sister's life was saved by Dr Andrews.
EDDIE SAYS
This time it was a bit different from the previous question as the 'agent' is key here! This time the agent needs to be included otherwise the passive sentence will lack important information.
  • Question 9

In the following passage, a passive sentence has been used where the agent of the action is not important. Find the sentence and copy it into the answer box.

 

Please send your competition entries to the address at the top of the page. The closing date is 30 September and we cannot accept entries after this date. Winners will be notified within a month.

CORRECT ANSWER
Winners will be notified within a month.
EDDIE SAYS
Did you find the agent in this sentence? It was the word 'winners' and in this sentence, they are not particularly important as they are not doing a specific action. Last question coming up!
  • Question 10

In the following passage the author has used a passive sentence without an agent to build up suspense. Find the sentence and copy it into the answer box.

 

The footsteps faded away. Philip and Jack didn't dare move until they were sure that whoever it was had gone. The night went quiet and they began to relax. Suddenly the gate was pushed open with a creak. Both boys froze.

CORRECT ANSWER
Suddenly the gate was pushed open with a creak.
EDDIE SAYS
How did you do? The first task was to find a sentence that did not include an agent, which will have narrowed the sentences down for you! Then you needed to think about suspense. Which part of the paragraph makes you catch your breath and read on to find out what happens next? Well done if you got this right, that's another activity ticked off the list! Great work!
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