Understand the difference between passive and active sentences.

The difference between active and passive sentences isn’t hard to figure out once you’ve learned the concepts.Take the time to think about what the sentence is about and look for telltale signs of a passive verbs.With this knowledge, you can make strong statements that will encourage your reader or listener to focus on the topic you want to discuss.

Step 1: If you like this example, you should try it first.

The thief smashed the window.The thief is the one doing the action in the red section.The action is in the purple section.Something is happening to the blue section of the window.Look back at this example sentence for more explanation.

Step 2: Understand the subject of an active sentence.

Whatever does something is the subject of an active sentence.It can be anything from a place to an idea.There are some examples with the subject in red.A woman is brushing her teeth.The town was saved by your bravery.

Step 3: You can find the verbs in active sentences.

The verbs describe what the subject does.What the subject did in the past can be described.The tree grew very tall in one of the examples.My enemy is planning an attack.

Step 4: You can learn about the object of the sentence.

In many active sentences, but not all of them, an action is done to something else.The object is colored blue and the dog ate the meat.The explorers found a new river.

Step 5: To tell the subject and object apart, you have to figure it out.

If you don’t know if something is the subject or object, ask yourself “What is (verb)-ing?”To find the topic.Ask what is being said.To find the object.”Anything in the world irritates her.” is an example of a tricky sentence.Find the meaning of the word.”irritates” is the only word that describes an action.Find the topic.Is it annoying?The entire phrase “everything in the world” is the subject.Find the object.What is causing irritation?”her” is the object because she is being irritated.

Step 6: Look at the example.

The athlete throws the ball.”The ball” is a passive sentence.The ball was thrown.The athlete is the thing that did the action.

Step 7: Understand the subject of a passive sentence.

The subject of a passive sentence is having something done to it.This can be a person, place, thing, or idea.This essay was written last year.A professional cook cooked the delicious dinner.International law protects elephants from hunters.

Step 8: Understand the word in a passive way.

Something happens to the subject in a passive sentence.The action is what happens.It begins with a “to be” word, followed by a past tense word.The city was destroyed by a meteorite.The ice cream had been eaten.The music was playing well.

Step 9: The agent is found in a passive sentence.

The agent is not included in many passive sentences.What did the agent do is described if he is present.The word “by” comes at the end of the sentence.The child was raised by her mother.An assassin started World War I.

Step 10: The subject and agent should be seperated.

A passive sentence is about a subject that is happening to.Find the word and ask what it means.To find the topic.To find the agent, rephrase the sentence to ask “Who is (verb)ing?””None of them had been so badly treated by their own teacher before.”Find the passive word.The writer has added some words in the middle of the sentence.The full sentence is ” had been treated”.If it makes it easier to follow the sentence, you can treat it as “had been so badly treated.”Find the topic.None of them had been treated badly.”None of them” is the subject of the sentence.Find the person.”None of them” had been treated badly by their teacher.The agent of the passive sentence is their own teacher.

Step 11: Look for a passive word.

A form of “to be” is one of the passive verbs.”Was blessed” or “was bitten” are examples.This is one of the easiest ways to tell a passive sentence apart, but the next step is useful for figuring out difficult sentences, and becoming familiar with how passive and active sentences work.

Step 12: Look at the word order.

If you want to describe the topic as an active sentence, read the sentence and think about what it means.The sentence is active if the order of words is the same as the original sentence.The sentence is passive if you had to change it.The flower bloomed every night.A flower that bloomed is what this sentence is about.It’s an active sentence because you didn’t have to change the sentence.The oxen crossed the river.”oxen that crossed a river” is the sentence.The original sentence is passive because you had to change the order of the nouns.Two hundred years ago, the book was written.Someone wrote a book.To guess who did the writing, you had to add a new word.The original sentence is not active.

Step 13: When the “doer” of the action is unimportant or unknown, use passive sentences.

“This cave painting was created thousands of years ago.”It’s a good passive sentence.It focuses the attention on what you want to talk about.Someone created this cave painting thousands of years ago, but the topic of the sentence is harder to find in the active version.I can’t text right now.The phone is being repaired.I can’t text right now.The staff is working on my phone.Robert was born at County Hospital last night.Your family wants to hear the news right away.Robert was delivered at County Hospital last night.Uncle Joe probably doesn’t care about the doctors.

Step 14: Passive sentences can be used to avoid blaming anyone.

To avoid calling attention to someone, you can use a passive verbs.Say that the lamp was broken.If you want to tell everyone that you need a new lamp without making John feel bad, instead of “John broke the lamp”” Someone broke the lamp” may start an argument over who did it.This use is often used in news announcements.A celebrity, politician, or company spokesman can say “Mistakes were made.”They can’t admit that they made mistakes.

Step 15: Try to use active sentences when possible.

An active verbs makes a sentence more powerful and easier to follow.Try to rewrite a passive sentence into an active one.It can sometimes force you to improve your writing and think harder about what you’re saying.Slaves were treated badly in the early US.Slaves were treated badly in the early US.You can use the subject “slave owners,” “the judicial system,” or one of many other words.The most dangerous threat to senior citizens is cancer.A claim is made without referring to a source.”Cancer is the most dangerous threat to senior citizens.”You might not have enough evidence to make a claim if you don’t know what the new active sentence is about.