Generally, we prefer the active voice to the passive voice in
English writing, However, there are situations in which passive
voice is preferable. The passive voice is used when the actor is
unknown or unimportant or when we want to draw attention to the
person, place, or thing being acted upon. Besides, we choose to
use the passive voice when it requires an impersonal tone voice,
such as scientific writing, which often describes procedures--and
not the individuals who carry them out.
1. Change the following sentences into the
1). Many people believe that the basketball team will win the game
2). They didn't know whether there was water in the lake in winter.
3). The workers are pulling down the old hotel at the corner of
4). They young girl thought that someone was following her so she
kept turning round to have a look from time to time.
5). The tourist asked the policeman and he told him that the hotel
was on the Fifth Street.
1. It is believed that the basketball team
will win the games this time.
2. It was not known whether there was water in the lake in winter.
3. The old hotel at the corner of the street is being pulled down
(by the workers).
4. The young girl thought that she was being followed (by someone)
so she kept turning round to have a look from time to time.
5. The tourist asked the policeman and was told that the hotel was
on the Fifth Street.
2. Correct the mistakes in the following
1). He wants to tell him that the tape-recorder is belonged to him.
2). Mr. Li was failed because he did not work hard.
3). Everyone of them was seemed tired and wanted a good rest.
4). I really ought to buy a new pen. This one is not written well.
5). The picture was looked so beautiful that he stayed in front
of it for quite a long time.
1. is belonged to --- belongs to
2. was failed ----failed
3. was seemed ----- seemed
4. is not written well ----- doesn't write well
5. was looked ----- looked
3. Change the poorly used passive voice
into active voice.
1. I listened carefully so that the speaker could be heard clearly
2. He tried to act cool when he slipped on the ground, but he was
still laughed at by the other students.
3. Standing at the top of the mountain, the whole city can be seen.
4. The biology students went to the forest, where many old trees
5. To save time, my paper was written on a computer.
1. I listened carefully so that I could hear
the speaker clearly
2. He tried to act cool when he slipped on the ground, but the other
students still laughed at him.
3. Standing at the top of the mountain, you can see the whole city.
4. The biology students went to the forest, where they examined
many old trees.
5. To save time, I wrote my paper on a computer.