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Simplifying

If your students have trouble understanding passive voice constructions, you can write instructions and some short pieces of written information in the active voice. For practice in modifying sentences, pretend that your students have had trouble reading the sentences below and you have decided to rewrite them in the active voice. Write your answers on a sheet of paper. After each sentence, click with your mouse on the word ANSWER in order to read a suggested answer.

1. The first speedometer was built by Charles Babbage. ANSWER
Charles Babbage built the first speedometer.

2. Before the Industrial Revolution, textiles were manufactured by skilled spinners and weavers. ANSWER
Before the Industrial Revolution, skilled spinners and weavers manufactured textiles.

3. Gold was found in California in 1849. (You must determine an appropriate agent). ANSWER
They found gold in California in 1849. OR People found gold in California in 1849. OR Settlers found gold in California in 1849. etc.

4. The Pony Express mail service was established in 1860 by three wealthy tycoons. ANSWER
In 1860, three wealthy tycoons established the Pony Express.

5. With the Pony Express, the mail could be delivered to the West in ten days. ANSWER
With the Pony Express, they could deliver the mail to the West in ten days.

6. The first census in the United States was conducted in 1790.  ANSWER
They conducted the first census in the United States in 1790. OR The Bureau of the Census conducted the first census in the United States in 1790.

7. On Wednesday, 29 March 2000, before 55,000 spectators at the Tokyo Dome Stadium, the Chicago Cubs were defeated by the New York Mets, 5 to 3. ANSWER
On Wednesday, 29 March 2000, before 55,000 spectators at the Tokyo Dome Stadium, the New York Mets defeated the Chicago Cubs, 5 to 3.

8. A police officer was wounded by two bank robbers yesterday after a high-speed chase. ANSWER
Two bank robbers wounded a police officer.

9. A security officer was beaten severely by two thugs. ANSWER
Two thugs beat a security officer.

10. On 2 March 2001 in New York City, Christine Robinson was knocked out by Layla Ali in the fifth round of a boxing match.  ANSWER
On 2 March 2001 in New York City, Layla Ali knocked out Christine Robinson in the fifth round.

11. In 1939, Czechoslovakia was occupied by the armies of the Third Reich. ANSWER
In 1939, the armies of the Third Reich occupied Czechoslovakia.

12. In June of 1941, The Soviet Union was invaded, as well.Answer
In June of 1941, the armies of the Third Reich invaded the Soviet Union, as well.

13. In 1945, Germany was defeatedANSWER
In 1945, the Allies defeated Germany. OR In 1945, The United States, Great Britain, France, and the Soviet Union defeated Germany.

14. Which of the sentences above do you think might be the most difficult for your deaf students? Why?  ANSWER
In 1945, the Allies defeated Germany. OR In 1945, The United States, Great Britain, France, and the Soviet Union defeated Germany.

15. Which of the sentences above might least likely give your deaf students problems? Why? ANSWER
Numbers 1, 2, 4 would most likely be the easiest because they are nonreversible.