Troy Sterling and the Active and Passive Verbs

JerzWritingGrammar and Syntax > Active and Passive Verbs


Active verbs form more efficient and more powerful sentences than passive verbs. This document will teach you why and how to prefer active verbs.

  • The subject of an active voice sentence performs the action of the verb:  “I throw the ball.”
  • The subject of a passive voice sentence is still the main character of the sentence, but something else performs the action: “The ball is thrown by me.”

For a detailed explanation, see my handout, “Active and Passive Verbs.”

For a more colorful introduction to the concept, with self-quizzes, and Legos, see the slideshow “Troy Sterling and the Active and Passive Verbs.”

(The slideshow will appear in the space below.)

About this Slideshow

Image of a very tired little girl.

I originally created this with Impress, the Open Office slideshow presenter, and exported it as a Shockwave file. I’m amazed at how tiny the resulting file is. It looks like a few effects didn’t make the transition, but they were just eye candy.

I designed this as a simple linear slide show, for me to present in the front of the room. In this online version, all you can do is click to advance to the next page. It should at least have multiple-choice questions, in order to ensure that a bored reader isn’t just clicking through on autopilot. (At any rate, it’s more entertaining than my more traditional online guide to Active and Passive Verbs.)

This is just a bit of practice, as I continue to experiment with various media production tools.

I’ve also downloaded Jahshaka, an open-source video editing tool, but it crashed on my little wimpy laptop. I’ll try it again when I get some time at the office.

Update. 22 July 2011: I’ve de-emphasized the original Flash version (which is still online), and replaced it with the WordPress slideshow version (which runs on iPads and other non-Flash machines).