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Study Guide : Active and passive sentences

Learner Guide


Active and Passive sentences


Definition :

An active sentence is one in which the subject of the sentence is committing

the action (verb) within the sentence. A passive sentence is where the subject

of the sentence has the action done to it.


To be able to recognize active and passive sentences, you must be able to

recognize the subject and the verb of a sentence.


Example and Explanation (side by side comparison) :

The teacher gave help to the student in his homework. (Circle subject and

underline up to verb). The teacher as the subject is giving the help, therefore

this is an active sentence.


The student was helped by the teacher in her homework. (Circle subject- the



The student as the subject in this sentence is being given the help, therefore

this is a passive sentence. Word Count 2148.


Questions :

Select a suitable active verb to complete the sentence.


Emma the ball.


Matthew water.


I my food.


Emma is throwing the ball.

Matthew is drinking water.

I am eating my food.


Change the active sentences to passive sentences.

Bethany did the work.

Roald Dahl wrote James and the Giant Peach.

I opened the window.


The work was done by Bethany.


James and the Giant Peach was written by Roald Dahl.


The window was opened by me.



Related Topics

Clauses                                       Two clause sentences


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