Grammar Aquarium


Active and Passive


An action within a clause can be expressed in one of two ways.

We refer to this as the active voice and passive voice.

The active voice has the subject of the clause as the active part.

For example, the mouse ate the cheese.
In this example, the mouse is doing something.

It is eating the cheese; the mouse is active.


The passive voice has the subject acted upon.

For example, the cheese was eaten by the mouse.
In this example, the cheese is the subject, but it is passive.

The mouse is still doing the eating and takes attention away from the subject.

Remember, the passive voice will take the attention away from the subject of the sentence.


Your Turn…

1. What is the active voice?
When the noun is about health and fitness
When the verb describes running
When the subject of a clause is the active part

2. What is the passive voice?
When the subject of a clause is the passive part
When the sentence is about football
When the sentence is about quiet things

3. Why would we use the passive voice?
To make food taste nicer
To highlight the description
To take attention away from the subject of a sentence

4. Which of the following sentences is using the active voice?
The man ate his dinner.
The food was eaten by the man.
The dinner was gobbled up by David.

5. Which of the following sentences is using the passive voice?
I arranged to travel by bus.
I wore my jeans.
The horse was ridden by Julie.

Score =
Correct answers:


Got them all right? Click the button for your certificate.

No cheating, or Finley will eat you!

Site Information

The Grammar Aquarium and all of its characters are the intellectual property of PODCASTREVISION LTD (owner of The Punctuation Show)
Director: Barrie McDermid
Company number - 06990962
VAT Reg - 978 170187
Public Liability Insurance cover for £1,000,000

The purpose of this site is to offer a fun insight into the grammatical terms required for the KS2 GPS tests taken in year 6, but the different pages should prove useful to anyone wishing to consolidate their grammatical knowledge.

Get More Grammar Aquarium…

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to get a free ePub Grammar Aquarium Comic every Thursday, or buy the collection of 52 comic in PDF format by clicking here

Teachers' Mailing list:

By signing up to The Punctuation Show newsletter, you get free resources in your inbox regularly to save your precious time. What's not to like?