Investigating the effect of using passives

The slides in the Activity page in the right hand menu contain examples of passives from real writing. Have students do the following:

  • Look at the extracts in their contexts. 
  • Identify the passives.
  • For each example, discuss why you think a passive has been used rather than an active
  • Is the passive an agentless passive or is the agent expressed in a phrase starting with by? If it is agentless, why might the agent have been left unexpressed?
  • What is the effect if the passive is changed to an active? Try it and see.
  • Is the choice of a passive to do with the topic being discussed?


Full Preview

This is a full preview of this page. You can view a page a day like this without registering.

But if you wish to use it in your classroom, please register your details on Englicious (for free) and then log in!


Englicious (C) Survey of English Usage, UCL, 2012-21 | Supported by the AHRC and EPSRC. | Privacy | Cookies