Active vs. Passive Voice

A

Active Voice (clear and forceful writing):

 

In the active voice, the subject of a sentence does the action named by the verb.

For example: Ahmad catches the ball.  (Ahmad is the subject, and he does the action: he catches)

 

Passive Voice (vague and weak writing):

 

In the passive voice, the subject of a sentence receives the action named by the verb.

For example: The ball is caught by Ahmad. (The ball is the subject, and the ball receives the action: it is caught.)  Most passive sentences utilize a form of the verb “to be” verb (i.e., “is,” “are,” “was,” or “were”)

 

Test Your Skills!

 

Identify the sentence as active or passive voice:

 

1. The QRC transportation Nazimeen drove the vans around the airport.

2. Important lessons are learned by Atfal when they attend the National Ijtema.

3. The West Coast Khuddam are amazed by the new Ijtema site in New York .

4. Good Ahmadi students work very hard to earn excellent grades.

 

Rewrite these sentences in active voice:

 

5. Hazoor (aba) is loved and cherished by all Ahmadis.

6. All of the QRC attendees were engaged by the QRC organizers during the Resource Fair.

7. The MSQ members were lectured and tested by the MSQ coordinator.

8. The Ahmadi high school graduates were given diplomas and congratulations by the principal.

 

Rewrite these sentences in active voice, keeping the same subject:

 

9. The Houston Rockets were defeated by the Los Angeles Lakers in the final seconds of the game.

10. The diligent Qaid was awarded by Sadr Sahib for organizing the blood drive.

 

Answers:

 

1. Active. (“The QRC transportation Nazimeen” are the subject, and they perform the action named by the verb.)
2. Passive. (“Important lessons” are the subject, and they receive the action named by the verb.)
3. Passive. (“The West Coast Khuddam” are the subject, and they receive the action named by the verb.)
4. Active. (“Good Ahmadi students” are the subject, and they perform the action named by the verb.)

 

5. All Ahmadis love and cherish Hazoor (aba).  (Switch from passive to active voice by making the noun or pronoun in the “by” phrase the sentence subject.  “All Ahmadis” will become the new sentence subject).

 

6. The QRC organizers engaged the QRC attendees during the Resource Fair.  (Switch from passive to active voice by making the noun or pronoun in the “by” phrase the sentence subject.  “The QRC organizers” will become the new sentence subject).

 

7. The MSQ coordinator lectured and tested the MSQ members.  (Switch from passive to active voice by making the noun or pronoun in the “by” phrase the sentence subject.  “The MSQ coordinator” will become the new sentence subject).

 

8. The Ahmadi high school graduates received diplomas and congratulations from the principal.  (Switch from passive to active by making noun or pronoun in the “by” phrase the sentence subject.  “The Ahmadi high school graduates” will become the new sentence subject.  Also, replace the passive verb “were given” with “received”).

 

9. The Houston Rockets lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in the final seconds of the game.  (Replace “were defeated by” with “lost to”).

 

10. The diligent Qaid received an award from Sadr Sahib for organizing the blood drive.  (Replace “Was rewarded by” with “received a reward from”).

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