Revising Passive Constructions [Logo]
Directions: Rewrite the following sentences in the text-areas provided so that passive constructions have been changed to active verbs. WARNING! Some of these sentences do not use passive verbs or are better off left in the passive, so this exercise will also engage your attention in recognizing passive constructions and in using them when appropriate.

When you are finished with each sentence (or, if you wish, wait until you've done them all), click on Grammar's Version, which will reveal how we might have rewritten the sentence (when appropriate) to achieve a more vigorous and concise statement. (You might notice, too, that changing from a passive to an active construction does not always improve a sentence!) If you try to cheat by looking at Grammar's version first, loud sirens will go off and there will be a general decline in the country's moral health. There is, however, no single right answer to these rewrites, and if you come up with a clearly improved version, please write us e-mail (using the ASK GRAMMAR form on the main page of this Guide).

1. Before the semester was over, the new nursing program had been approved by the Curriculum Committee and the Board of Trustees.

2. With five seconds left in the game, an illegal time-out was called by one of the players.

3. Later in the day, the employees were informed of their loss of benefits by the boss herself.

4. The major points of the lesson were quickly learned by the class, but they were also quickly forgotten by them.

5. For several years, Chauncey was raised by his elderly grandmother.

6. An unexpected tornado smashed several homes and uprooted trees in a suburb of Knoxville.

7. I was surprised by the teacher's lack of sympathy.

8. "The Yellow Wallpaper" was written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman.

9. Participants in the survey were asked about their changes in political affiliation.

10. Tall buildings and mountain roads were avoided by Raoul because he had such a fear of heights.

Passive Verbs

Quiz List

Guide to Grammar and Writing