• Pre-Assessment: Verb Tenses, Active vs. Passive Voice

    I. Verb Tenses.

    1. Write all the forms of the subject and verb "I do" as you can. For example: I do, I did . . . 

     

     

     

    2. Label all the verb tenses you can. For example: "I do" is present tense, "I did" is past tense . . .  

     

     

    II. Active vs. Passive Voice

    1. Define the active voice:

    2. Give an example:

    3. Define the passive voice:

    4. Give an example:

    5. Explain the situational advantages of each: 

     

     

     

     

    Instruction: Verb Tenses; Active vs. Passive Voice

     

    12 Tenses: (Past, Present, Future) x  (Simple, Perfect, Continuous, Perfect-Continuous)

    Verb tenses enable humans to express time--when events happen and how long they last, relative to when they are being described and relative to other events. 

    Terms:

    • The simple past, present, and future tenses are obvious (I did, I do, I will do). 
    • The “perfect” tenses include a form of the word “have.” (Past Perfect: I had done. Present Perfect: I have done. Future Perfect: I will have done.) 
    • The “progressive" or "continuous" forms, which mean the action continues for a while, include the word(s) “was/am/will be” plus the –ing form of the verb. (“I was doing, I am doing, I will be doing.”)
    • A nice chart of these is here. Note that the perfect and continuous forms can be combined ("I had been doing, I have been doing, I will have been doing."

    Usage guidelines:

    • Keep tenses simple when possible. Direct, clear writing is powerful. 
    • You probably have a natural feel for when to use the other forms, but reading about each may provide you with more specific insight. 

     

    Active vs. Passive Voice

    Active and passive voice are two ways to structure a sentence when talking about something happening to an object. They have nothing to do with whether action is happening in a sentence. 

    Terms:

    First, some terms: a subject is the person, place or thing responsible for doing an action. A verb is the action word. A direct object is the person, place or thing to which the action is done.

    There are two ways to talk about this:

    Active voice: The subject verbs the direct object. Example: Joe hit the ball. 

    Passive voice: the direct object is verbed (by the subject). The ball was hit (by Joe).

    Note that active voice has a clear subject that does the action in a sentence. The subject (Joe) comes before the verb (hit), which comes before the direct object (the ball).

    Passive voice, on the other hand, may eliminate the subject, or not. Either way, the direct object (the ball) comes before the verb (was hit), which comes before the subject (Joe).

    Usage Guidelines:

    Active voice is considered stronger. Always use active voice, except in one circumstance: when you want to hide who did the action, either because it doesn't matter ("School was cancelled") or because you want them to escape responsibility ("Your favorite vase was broken.")

     

     Assessment: Verb Tenses, Active vs. Passive Voice

    I. Verb Tenses.

    1. Write all the forms of the subject and verb "I love" as you can. For example: I love, I loved . . . 

     

     

     

    2. Label all the verb tenses you can. For example: "I do" is present tense, "I did" is past tense . . .  

     

     

    II. Active vs. Passive Voice

     

    1. Label whether each of the following are in active or passive voice. 

    • An extraterrestrial stole my fidget spinner.
    • The dogs were eaten at the festival.  
    • The electricity and phone lines were quietly cut by the killer. 
    • Jiminy Cricket made music with his thighs. 
    • The prom queen threw candy to her royal subjects. 
    • Puppets are banned in the school bathrooms now. 

    2. Rewrite each one in the other voice, keeping the meaning as much as possible. (If the sentence is missing a subject, add one.)

    3. Explain the one situation in which it is useful to use the passive voice: 

     

     

     

     

     

     

Last Modified on August 11, 2017