The Active and The Passive Sentence-Basic Examples

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The Active and The Passive Sentence-Basic Examples

A lot of ESL students get confused with Active and Passive Sentences, so in this post, I am going to discuss the difference between the two, using simple sentences as our examples. We will use the more advanced and TOEIC-level sentences in my next post.

 In the Active Voice, our focus is what the Subject does. In the Passive Voice, our focus is what happens to the Subject.

 

Simple Examples:

John cleans the room every day.

John-Subject (The doer/performer of the action)

Cleans- Verb (What does the subject do?)

The room- This is the object of the verb, this is the receiver of the action.

Every day- This is an adverb, we will not focus on this for  now. Let’s focus on the structure of the sentences first.

Note: In a Passive Sentence, we don’t have to repeat “by someone” again and again . It’s understood, it’s implied that somebody did it. We are just interested in what happens to the subject, or the topic, of the sentence. We will discuss this more in my next post.

 Here are the examples of Active and Passive Sentences. They are presented in different tenses.

Present Simple:

Active: John cleans the room every day

Passive: The room is cleaned by John every day.

Negative:

Active: John doesn’t clean the room every day.

Passive: The room isn’t cleaned every day.

Present Continuous:

Active: John is cleaning the room. (now)

Passive: The room is being cleaned by John. (now)

Negative:

Active: John isn’t cleaning the room.

Passive: The room isn’t being cleaned.


Past Tense

Active: John cleaned the room. (yesterday, last night, etc.)

Passive: The room was cleaned by John.

 

Negative:

Active: John did not clean the room.

Passive: The room wasn’t cleaned.

 

Future:

Active: John will clean the room.

Passive: The room will be cleaned by John.


Negative:

Active: John will not clean the room.

Passive: The room will not be cleaned.

 

Active: John is going to clean the room.

Passive: The room is going to be cleaned.

 

Negative:

Active: John isn’t going to clean the room.

Passive: The room isn’t going to be cleaned.


The Modals:

Active: John should clean the room.

Passive: The room should be cleaned.

Negative:

Active: John must not clean the room.

Passive: The room must not be cleaned.

There are a lot of other modals, but we construct the Active and  the Passive in the same pattern.

In my next post, I am going to use more advanced sentences and of course, we will also discuss some TOEIC-level sentences.


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