I love my students enough to teach them the difference between passive voice and past tense.

Active and Passive Voice (Why to Prefer Active Verbs)Me (finishing lecture on active and passive verbs): Do I expect you to become experts overnight? Of course not.
Class: (starts to pack up)
Me: But there will be a quiz Wednesday.

  • 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.

If a goggles-for-brains Lego character can master the difference between active and passive verbs, you can too. Troy Sterling and the Active and Passive Verbs


  1. How to Recognize Active and Passive Sentences
  2. Basic Examples
  3. Difference between Passive Voice and Past Tense
  4. Imperatives: Active Commands
  5. Sloppy Passive Construction
  6. Linking Verbs: Neither Active nor Passive
  7. Passive Voice is not Wrong
  8. Tricky Examples
  9. Links to Active & Passive Verb Resources
  10. Works Cited