Basic Sentence Patterns and Passive Voice


The following four basic sentence patterns (BSPs) and the passive voice structure are the primary structures from which more complex sentence structures are made. It is essential that you learn (even memorize) these structures and that you be able to make up a sentence to fit each pattern on the spur of the moment.

Four Basic Sentence Patterns

  1. BSP 1: noun + verb
  2. BSP 2: noun + verb + noun
  3. BSP 3: noun + L-verb + noun
  4. BSP 4: noun + L-verb + adj.

Passive Voice Transformation

You make a passive voice by "crossing over" a BSP 2. In other words, you make the second noun in the BSP2 into the subject of your new sentence; you expand the verb by adding a helping verb and changing the verb form to a passive; you put the first noun of the BSP2 into a prepositional phrase and tack it on to the end of the sentence. In short, a BSP2 turns into BSP 1 + optional prepositional phrase.

Return to Lesson Three.

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