Students learn active voice at the earliest stages of English. Passive voice is usually taught at the pre-intermediate or intermediate levels. However, students should be introduced to passive voice at the earliest stages of English study. Why? To stress the importance of both the verb “To Be” and “Participle 2“ verbs.
Why is this important? Both passive and active are used in everyday speech! It is also important that students study all three verb forms at the earliest stages. In other words, students should study verbs in the “Infinitive, Past Simple and Participle 2“ at the earliest stages. Active voice is when the focus is on the subject with a verb. Passive voice is when the focus is on the object with a verb. This is a simple explanation.
Here is an example in active voice:
“Earnest Hemingway wrote this book”
Here is an example in passive:
“This book was written by Earnest Hemingway”
You will notice the focus changes when we use passive. In “Active voice” we want to refer to the writer. Maybe he is the author of many books and we want to talk about Earnest Hemingway! It could also be that we are only talking about the author and just one book!
In “Passive voice”, we refer to one of many books. There might be a pile of books on the table or in the library! In this case, we want to clearly identify who wrote each and every book! Passive is formed using the object as the subject + the verb “To be” + Participle 2. Here are two more examples!
Active: American farmers grow corn!
Passive: Corn is grown by American farmers!
Notice how I changed the focus (Subject) from American to Corn. There is a lot more to this subject! Study your verbs in all three forms and you will be speaking English in no time! Ask your teacher to explain this subject further and provide you with study materials.
Determiners are words that appear before a noun. This is to help understand what the noun refers to. The main idea is to understand determiners and the role they play in English. Remember that a word is just a word until we give it a job.
There are many determiners in English. “A, an, the” are all determiners. “This, that, these, those” are all determiners. Quantifiers “Few, all etc”. Possessives “My, your, it’s etc”. Cardinal numbers as well. Do not confuse determiners with adjectives. There are many more rules on this subject! Ask your teacher for a further explanation and worksheets to help you better understand determiners.
“Adjectives” have three primary functions: “They modify noun phrases or compliment the object or subject of a noun”. (To describe)
“Determiners” express “Proximity, relationship, quantity and definiteness”.
I just bought a new chair! (a is the determiner while “new” is an adjective)
He is an honest man! (an is the determiner while “honest” is an adjective)
Please sit down on the chair! (the is the determiner)
It is on this table! (this is the determiner)
Please put it on that table! (that is the determiner)
These shoes are mine! (these is the determiner)
Those glasses are hers! (those is the determiner)
Please take my umbrella, it’s raining! (my is the determiner)
Could I borrow your car? (your is the determiner)
I will ride his bike instead! (his is the determiner)
Her car isn’t working right now! (her is the determiner)
In English, all of the determiners used in the above examples come from different parts of grammar. Ask your teacher to explain determiners further!
A quantifier is a word or phrase used before a noun or pronoun to refer to a quantity or amount of something. Quantifiers are used to give more information. We use these words and phrases with countable and uncountable nouns.
With a quantifier, just about all nouns are countable in English! Simple quantifiers used with countable nouns include words like “Many, few, several etc. Quantifiers used with both countable and uncountable nouns are “All, enough, a lot of, some, any etc. Partitives are words or phrases used to refer to part of something. In other words a partial quantity.
Partitives are used to refer to both countable and uncountable nouns. “A glass of water, a can of soda, a slice of bacon, a room full of people. Often, we use a container or form of measurement in partitive construction. This grammar review is a brief and partial explanation of quantifiers. Below are a few examples. Ask your teacher to help you with this subject.
I just bought a pound of sugar at the supermarket!
Here is a bouquet of flowers for your birthday!
Would you like a cup of coffee now or later?
May I get you a bottle of water from the fridge?
“Countable” Quantifier Examples
Could you buy a few apples at the shop?
We have several cats on the farm!
How many apples do we have at home now?
“Uncountable” Quantifier Examples
Could I have just a little sugar for my coffee?
May I offer you a bit of my chocolate cake?
Our neighbor doesn’t have much money!
The main idea with quantifiers is to recognize ways to refer to nouns. Ask your teacher for a further explanation and examples to practice with.