N. Lund/ Oxford Tutorials

Active Voice: when the subject of the verb performs the action of the verb:
            Active Voice: The Greeks defeated the Trojans.
            Passive Voice: The Trojans were defeated by the Greeks.          

Adverb: a word (often ending “-ly”) which describes or gives additional information (time, frequency, manner, etc) about a verb, adjective, or another adverb, or sometimes about an entire clause or sentence    e.g. quickly, smoothly, completely, truly, sincerely


     1. The boy ran quickly ("quickly" describes the verb "ran")

     2. The boy ran very quickly ("very" describes adverb "quickly")

     3. The boy's eyes are really blue ("really" describes adjective "blue")

     4. Perhaps you are correct (“perhaps” describes sentence “you are correct”)
     5. Certainly he will, but I’m still upset (“certainly” describes the clause “he will”).

            ADVERB QUESTIONS: Adverbs answer these questions:
    1. When?  now, tomorrow, yesterday, never, always
    2. Where? here, there, everywhere, nowhere
    3. How (manner/method)? slowly, fast, well, carefully

    4. How much (to what degree)? minimally, totally, half-heartedly
    5. How often (frequency)? occasionally, rarely, never, constantly

            COMMON ADVERBS (modifying verbs, adverbs, adjectives):
                   very, ever, not, too (VENT)

            CONJUNCTIVE ADVERBS (connecting clauses):
                   furthermore, accordingly, therefore, otherwise,
                  however, also, moreover, still (FATO HAMS).                 

a word which describes a noun or pronoun by giving more information about it (size, color, kind, quality, etc.) e.g. black swan; small girl; tall tree; cool water; fat pig; wise man.

     1. Article (definite; indefinite): the book; a book; an assignment
     2. Comparative (degree): good job, better job, best job

     3. Demonstrative (pointing): this book, that rug, these trees

     4. Descriptive (typical): big house; short man; cheap trick; old tree
     3. Numerical (involving numbers): one chance; second man; three ships

     5. Possessive (ownership): my money, your brother, our country
     7. Predicate (linking): girl is pretty; book was interesting (See:
         “Linking Verbs”)

            ADJECTIVE QUESTIONS: Adjectives answer these questions:
    1. Which one?: this one; that one; the red one; the little one
    2. How many?:  a few books; many people; twelve apples
    3. What kind of?: a worthy man; a rotten apple; hot weather

Article: three little words (“a, an, the”) that determine or “signal” whether or not a noun refers to anyone or anything specific: "the," the definite article, signals a noun as someone or something specific; "a" and "an," the two forms of the indefinite article, signal that a noun does not refer to anyone or anything in particular.  Notice the difference between the following two statements: “A man should know better” (i.e. men in general); “The man should know better” (i.e. a specific individual).  The single letter “a” is used when the indefinite article precedes a consonant: a lake; a book; a zebra; “an” is used when the indefinite article precedes a vowel: an ocean; an apple; an elephant.  Although articles are sometimes classified as adjectives, they are not true adjectives because they cannot be used comparatively (e.g. big, bigger, biggest; beautiful, more beautiful, most beautiful, etc.).

Auxiliary (Verb): a verb that is used with a main verb.   An auxiliary verb is an extra verb like “was” or “will,” “must” or “should,” that assists the main verb by specifying the time or mood of the action.  It is therefore called a “helping verb.”  Here are some examples:
     1. Time: verbs which specify when something happened
         a. Verbs of doing: do, does, did:
                “We do enjoy sunshine;”  “He did ski last year.” 
         b. Verbs of being: am, be, being, is, are, was, were, will:
“I am enjoying myself; He was trying to finish.
               They will come, if they can.  
      c. Verbs of having: has, have, had
“She has visited before;” “It seems that you had forgotten.”
    2. Mood: verbs which specify how the speaker feels about the action
         a. Verbs of possibility: can, may, might, could, used to, would
He would come if he could find the time.”
                “No man can serve two masters.”
         b. Verbs of necessity: must, should, need (to), ought (to)
“You must help us right away.”
                “You ought to stop your complaining.” 
         c. Verbs of determination: verbs which express commitment
             and optimism: will, shall: “We shall overcome!”

Clause: a group of related words that contain both a subject and a verb; there are two basic types of clauses: 1. independent: an independent clause expresses a complete thought and can stand alone as a sentence; e.g. The Bible was written by men who were inspired by the Holy Spirit.”  2. dependent: a dependent clause also contains a subject and a verb, but it does not express a complete thought and it can not stand alone as a sentence; e.g. “The Bible was written by men who were inspired by the Holy Spirit.” 

Complex Sentence: a sentence composed of a single main clause together with one or more dependent (subordinate or relative) clauses.  A simple test to identify a dependent clause: Does it make sense by itself?  Independent clauses do make sense when they stand alone; dependent clauses do not.  A complex sentence always contains a subordinating conjunction which introduces the dependent clause (because, since, after, although, when, etc.) or a relative pronoun (that, who, which, etc).  SEE: “Conjunctions: Subordinating.”  Here are the common patterns for complex sentences:

(1) Subject + Predicate + Sub. Conjunction + subject + predicate.

      I could see that she still hadn’t finished her homework.
      The dog kept running although his owner called frantically.

(2) Sub. Conjunction + Subject + Predicate, subject + predicate.
     When I looked into the mirror, I saw an old man.
      Until he left home, he had no focus in life.

Compound Sentence: a sentence composed of two or more independent or main clauses joined by a coordinating conjunction (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so). NOTE: The first letter of each of the coordinating conjunctions together spells FANBOYS.  Except for very short sentences, coordinators are usually preceded by a comma.  Here are the common patterns for compound sentences:

(1) Subject + Predicate, Coordinating Conjunction + Subject + Predicate.
     The teacher lectured for over an hour, and his students slept soundly.
     The old man wanted to hide his money, for he feared someone would steal it.
     The student had a test the next day, so she studied all night long.

(2) Subject + Predicate; Subject + Predicate.
     The teacher lectured for over an hour; his students slept soundly.
     The old man wanted to hide his money; he feared someone would steal it.
     The student had a test the next day; she studied all night long.

(3) Subject + Predicate ; Conjunctive Adverb, Subject + Predicate.
     The teacher lectured for over an hour; consequently, his students slept soundly.
     The old man wanted to hide his money; however, he couldn’t find a safe place.
     The student had a test the next day; moreover, it was the final exam.
     SEE ALSO: “Conjunctive Adverbs”

Compound Complex Sentence: a sentence composed of two or more independent or main clauses and one or more dependent (subordinate or relative) clauses.  It is a combination of a compound and a complex sentence. Sentence Pattern:

 Sub. Conj. + Subject + Pred., Subject + Pred., Coord. Conj. + Subject + Pred.
    When I looked into the mirror, I saw an old man, and I was surprised.

    As I look out the window, I see no clouds, but the weather report predicted rain.
    Whenever the old man walked around the mansion, he wanted hide his money,
         for he feared his children would steal it from him. 

Conjunction: a word that connects other words or groups of words and that indicates how they are related (as equal or unequal, independent or dependent, cause or effect, etc.)

     1. Coordinating conjunctions: connect equal parts of a sentence,

         whether single words, phrases or clauses; these parts must

         consist of similar elements (subject + subject; verb + verb; etc.)

         and express an equality of relationship among the parts:

         "For, And, Nor, But, Or, Yet, So" (acronym: "FANBOYS")

        a. Reason or Result: for, so
            He thought he could, for he had done it before.
            She didn’t sleep well, so she forgot the meeting. 
        b. Addition or Contrast: and, but
            She worked and she prayed.  He tried but he failed.
            He promised he would come, yet we’re not so sure.
        c. Choice or Alternative: or, nor
            Will you write, or should I call?  I don’t want to, nor does she.         

         NOTE: some coordinating conjunctions are used in pairs.
         These are called correlative conjunctions: "both...and;"
         "not only...but also;"  "either...or; "neither...nor;" "whether...or"

     2. Subordinating conjunctions: connect words of unequal rank;

         they are adverbs which are used to show how less important

         ideas are related to the main ideas upon which they depend


         a. Time: after, before, since [from a certain time], when,
              whenever, while, until, as [when, while], once
; e.g.

             "After class is over, let's go to the library."

         b. Reason: because, since [in view of the fact that],
             so that, in order that, why [the reason that]:

             "He flunked the exam because he never studied."

         c. Concession: although, though, even though, while

             "I think we'll go to the game, even though we'll be late." 

         d. Place: where, wherever

             "Wherever there are people, there will be trouble."

         e. Condition: if, unless, until, in case, provided that,
              even if:
If I can find the time, I'll go with you."

          f. Manner: as, as though, how

             "I'm going to act like I'm rich, as though I was a millionaire." 


NOTE: Coordinating conjunctions join equal elements:

   (1) nouns to nouns: Please bring the children cookies and milk.
   (2) verbs to verbs: Boys love to run and to jump and to play.
   (3) phrases to phrases: The key is on the table or in the cupboard.
   (4) clauses to clauses: What you say and what you do are different things.

NOTE: Coordinating conjunctions create looser connections
                than subordinating conjunctions:

   (1) Bill was late and flunked the test.
           loose: "and" = “it also happened that”

   (2) Bill was late, so he flunked the test.
           stronger: "so" = “with the result that”
   (3) Bill flunked the test because he was late.
           strongest: "because" = "for this reason" 

Conjunctive Adverb: an adverb used to connect clauses and sentences.  Whereas coordinating conjunctions are used to combine equally balanced, whole sentences, conjunctive adverbs simply expand a point in another sentence.  Some common conjunctive adverbs:  furthermore, accordingly, therefore, otherwise, however, also, moreover, still (FATO HAMS).   The conjunctive adverb is usually preceded by a semi-colon and followed by a comma:  The check was for more than the balance; consequently, it bounced.  These things really happened; otherwise, I wouldn't have claimed to have seen them.  The student was disciplined; accordingly, he went to bed early.  The tutor wanted his students to succeed; however, he discouraged excessive rivalry.

Direct Object: the immediate recipient of an action verb: “He threw a ball.”  “She carried flowers.   “They gave money.”  SEE: Transitive & Intransitive Verbs

Gerund: a verb ending in "-ing" which is used as a noun in one of the following ways:
    A. As a subject

         Good writing is difficult.

            "writing" is the subject

         Skiing takes practice. 

            "skiing" is the subject

         Reading is its own reward.

              "reading" is the subject

    B. As an object

         I like reading.

             "reading" is the direct object

         They don't like my singing!

            "singing" is the direct object

         He succeeded by studying. 

            "studying" is an object of prep. "by"

         She gave her attention to exercising.

            "exercising" is the indir. object of "gave"

    C. As a Predicate nominative

         The problem is applying oneself.

            "applying" is joined with the subject, "problem,"

               by use of the the verb (predicate): "is"

         The most difficult part was the waiting.

            "waiting" is joined with the subject, "part,"

               by use of the verb (predicate): "was" 

    D. In Apposition

        My first priority, studying, takes most of my time.

            "studying" amplifies "priority"

        His only concern, winning, blinded his conscience.

            "winning" amplifies "concern                 

Grammar: rules for putting words together in sentences

Indirect Object: the secondary recipient of an action verb, usually preceded by “to” or “for”: “He threw a ball to the boy.”  “She gave the flowers to her daughter.”  “They sent the money for the mission.”
 SEE: Transitive & Intransitive Verbs

Infinitive: a verb usually preceded by "to" which is used as a noun, adjective or adverb
    A. As a Noun

        1. As Subject: To wait is tiresome.

            ("to wait" is the subject)

        2. As Object: He really wanted to go.

                        ("to go" is the object of "wanted")

        3. As Predicate nominative: Her dream is to fly.

                        ("to fly" is part of the predicate with "is") 

    B. As an Adjective

        1. The boy lacks ambition to succeed.

                        ("to succeed" describes the noun "amibition")

        2. They have the stamina to persevere.

                        ("to persevere" describes the noun "stamina")

        3. This is a good time to begin.

                        ("to begin" describes "time")

    C. As an Adverb

        1. We study to learn. ("to learn" describes "study")

            2. To prepare for the exam, he studied all day.

                        ("to prepare" describes "studied")

            3. You need discipline to succeed. ("to succeed"

                        describes "need")

            NOTE: a quick way to tell the difference between an

            infinitive used as a noun and one used as an adverb

            is this: If it makes sense to insert "in order" in

            front of the infinitive, then it's adverbial.


Interjection: a word of exclamation that is not grammatically connected to the rest of the sentence; e.g. Oh! My goodness! Ouch! Terrific!

Interrogative: a word or sentence expressing a question.


Linking (Verb): a verb that “links” a subject to a noun or adjective.  Linking verbs do not express an action, but rather a state or condition.  They link the subject to another equivalent word (noun or adjective).  Linking verbs can be symbolized with an equal sign: “The picture is ( = ) beautiful;” “The man was ( = ) violent.”  They can also be expressed by substituting some form of the verb “seem”: ”The picture is (seems) beautiful;” “The man was (seemed) violent.  The forest will be (seem) dark.”  There are three types of linking verbs: a. Main verb of being: am, be, being, is, are, was, were:  “I am tired.” “I want to be famous.” “She is pretty.”  “They were warriors.”  “We are champions.”  b. Other states of being: appear, seem, become, grow, turn, prove, remain: “The lion appears tame.”  “She became bitter.” “Everyone stay close.”  “Something seems wrong.”  “He proved to be a traitor in the end.”  c. The five senses: look, sound, smell, feel, taste:  “I feel sick.” “This tastes sweet.” “That sounds good.”  “It looks beautiful.”  “He smells bad.”  The nouns and adjectives which follow linking verbs are called subject complements,
because they “complement” or “complete” the subject with more information.  There are two types of subject complements created by linking verbs: i. Predicate nouns: “They were warriors.”  “We are champions.”  ii. Predicate adjectives: That sounds good.”  “It looks beautiful.” 

Modifier: a word or group of words that adds to or refines the meaning of another word. Modifiers are either adjectives or adverbs.

Mood: the attitude of the writer or speaker to what is being written or spoken, reflected in the form of the verb.  There are three primary verb moods in English: 1. Indicative: the most common, matter-of-fact attitude, used to make statements and to ask questions.  The study of grammar is rewarding. Have you finished your homework?  Caesar was murdered in 44 BC. 2.  Imperative: the mood used to give orders and to make commands. Get your homework done on time!  Go!  Open your books, now! The subject of imperative sentences is always the pronoun “you” (singular or plural, depending on context).  Since it is not mentioned explicitly, it is called the "understood subject."  The one exception is when the speaker includes himself or herself, as in the following: Let's (or Let us) do our best and get this thing done!  Let’s do it!  3. Subjunctive: the mood used to express conditions which are contrary to fact and to express wishes.  The primary use of the subjunctive in English is limited to the use of the verb “were,” as in the following: a. wish: I wish it were true, but it’s not.  I wish she were my friend.b. contrary to fact:  If I were you, I’d be more careful.  She talked as though she were a queen.  He wishes that she were here.

Noun: a word for a person, place, thing or idea

    1. proper noun (capitalized): a specific person, place or thing;

        e.g. Dick, Jane, New York, Grand Canyon, Microsoft

    2. common noun (not capitalized): general, not specific; it names
        a person, place or thing, but doesn’t specify exactly which one

        e.g. boy, woman, town, canyon, business, patience, justice
    3. collective noun (group): e.g. committee, team, crowd,
        class, jury, herd, flock, troop, congregation, audience
    4. predicate noun (linking): e.g. “That man is a soldier;”  “The
         old man was a sailor” (See: “Linking Verbs”)   
    5. vocative noun (direct address): e.g. “O my son, what have

        you done?”  “Can you hear me, sweetheart?”

Object Complement: SEE: Transitive & Intransitive Verbs

Participle: a verb used as an adjective

    A. Present Participle (end in "-ing")

        I found her crying ("crying" describes "her")

        The crying baby is sick ("crying" describes "baby"

        The act was enchanting ("enchanting" describes "act")

        Jumping for joy, he accepted ("jumping" describes "he") 

    B. Past Participle (end in "-ed, -d, -t, -en")

        I found the chair broken ("broken" describes "chair")

        The heated pipe is red ("heated" describes "pipe"

        The money spent, he went home ("spent" describes "money")

        Badly burnt, her skin ached ("burnt" describes "skin")   

Passive Voice: when the subject of the sentence receives (rather than performs) the action
            Passive Voice: The Trojans were defeated by the Greeks.          
            Active Voice: The Greeks defeated the Trojans.

Phrase: a group of related words which function as a single part of speech but which do not contain a subject and a verb;
            1. noun phrase: The crazy old dog lived another year.
            2. verb phrase: She was watching every move he made.
            3. adverbial Phrase – (two types):
                a. a group of adverbs: He ran very quickly.
                b. any phrase (usually prepositional) which modifies a verb,
                  adjective or another adverb:  He ran up the hill, in the dark. 
            4. adjectival Phrase – (two types)
                i. a group of adjectives: He saw a room full of new toys.
               ii. any phrase (like a participial or prepositional phrase)
                   that acts as an adjective:  He saw a room filling with toys.
            5. participial phrase: Burdened with guilt, he ran from the house.
                Can you see the girl sitting under the tree? 
            6.  prepositional phrase: Can you see the cat in the tree?

            7. absolute phrase: modifies an entire sentence; contains a
                 subject, but no predicate; consists of nouns or pronouns
                 followed by a participle and modifiers: Joan looked nervous,
                her fears creeping up on her. 

                        noun/subject:  her fears

                        participle:    creeping

                        modifier:      up on her

                        absolute phrase: her fears creeping up on her      

Predicate: what is said about the subject.  It is the comment which the sentence makes about the topic.  It consists of verbs like: “are sleeping,” “played,” “will rise”: The students are sleeping; The tutor played the guitar; The sun will rise.

Predicate Adjective: See: “Linking Verb”

Predicate Noun: See: “Linking Verb”

Preposition: a word which shows how a noun or pronoun is related (spatially or temporally) to other words in a sentence (e.g. in, on, under, to, through, with): The book is on the table.  The table is under roof.   The roof is over the house.

Pronoun: a word that takes the place of a noun

    1. Personal: the social pronoun which identifies people and things with words
         like “I,” “you,” “he,” “she,” “it,” “we,” “me,” “us,” “him,” “her,” “they,” “them”
         a. subject pronouns: words which are substituted for the names of the people
             or things that perform the action of the verb: I, you, he, she, it, we, they
             He read the book.  She slept.  They died.  We studied.  I woke up.
         b. object pronouns: words which are substituted for the names of the people
             or things that are affected by the verb action: me, you, him, her, us, them
             The tutor surprised me.  The police caught him.  Give it to her.  Help them.
       Personal Pronouns           Subjects/Objects
       a. Singular   1st person-               I / me

                           2nd person-          you / you

                           3rd person- he, she it / him, her, it
        b. Plural      1st person-            we / us

                           2nd person-          you / you

                           3rd person-          they / them
 2. Demonstrative: the pointing pronoun which directs the reader’s
        attention to people and things which are nearby or far away:
          this; these (nearby); that; those (far away)
         This [Joe here] is my brother.  These [coins here] are mine.
        That [old gangster] was a real villain.  Those [Rockies in the
        distance] are beautiful mountains.

    3. Reflexive: the self pronoun which adds “self” or “selves”
         to the personal pronouns: myself, yourself, himself, herself,
         itself, ourselves, yourselves, themselves.

         I did it myself.  He loves himself.  Let’s help ourselves.

    4. Indefinite: the unspecific pronoun which refers to someone

        or something without being exact: one, anyone, anybody, either,
        each, neither, someone, somebody, nothing, nobody, everything.
 One should always try hard.  Nobody knows my troubles.          

    5. Interrogative: the question-asking pronoun which takes

        other pronouns and turns them into questions:
         who? whose? whom? which? what?
         Who is there?  Whose are these?  To whom did you go?

    6. Relative: the glue pronoun which connects a noun or pronoun
         to a clause with additional information about that noun or pronoun:
         who, whom, whose, which, what, that: The men who fought were
         brave.  This is the road by which I came.  It’s a song that we love.

        NOTE: use "who," "whom," and "whose" to refer to people;
        use "that" and "which" to refer to things.

Sentence: a group of words which expresses a complete thought and contains at least one subject and one verb.  A sentence is therefore a means of communicating.  Sentences serve four basic types of communication: (1) Declarative: making a statement; (2) Interrogative: asking a question; (3) Imperative: giving an order; and (4) Exclamatory: expressing strong emotion.  A sentence must be able to stand alone and still be clearly understood.  It is thus referred to as an “independent clause.”  All sentences include two basic elements: a subject and predicate (verb).  Sentences can be constructed in four basic clause—combinations: SEE: “Simple Sentence;” “Compound Sentence;” “Complex Sentence;” and “Compound Complex Sentence.” 

Simple Sentence: a sentence which contains a subject and a verb, expresses a complete thought, and makes a single statement.  It is also called an independent clause because it stands on its own.  A Simple Sentence may have a compound subject, and/or a compound verb, but they are combined in a single thought or statement.  Here is the sentence pattern:

Subject (single or compound) + Verb (single or compound).
   The student waited for the tutor (single subject; single verb).
   The student and the tutor took the train (compound subject; single verb).
   The student waited and read a book (single subject; compound verb).
   The student and the tutor arrived at the station before noon and left
      on the bus before we arrived (compound subject; compound verb).


Subject: what the sentence is about.  It is the topic.  The subject consists of a word (noun or pronoun) like “students,” “tutor,” “sun”: The students are sleeping; The tutor played the guitar; The sun will rise.

Tense (Verb): the time to which a verb refers.  In English there are six verb tenses
    1. Present: describing action which is happening now, at the present time:
        We study [simple].  We do study [emphatic].  We are studying [progressive].
NOTE: most verb tenses can be expressed in more than one way:
                Simple = describes habitual action; something always true

                Emphatic = adding affirmative or negative stress

                Progressive = describes continuing, ongoing action
     2. Past: describing action which happened in the past but did not continue:

        We studied.  We did study.  We were studying. 
    3. Future: describing action which hasn’t happened yet, but will in the future:
        We will study.  We will be studying.
    4. Present Perfect: describing action which happened in the past and may
        continue into the present (use “has” or “have”):
        He has studied.  We have studied.  We have been studying.
    5. Past Perfect: describing action which happened long enough in the past
        that is was completed before some other past event (use “had”):

        We had studied.  We had been studying. 

    6. Future Perfect: describing action which will be completed in the future

        before some other future event (use “will have” or “shall have”):  We will
        (shall) have studied.  We will (shall) have been studying. 

Transitive & Intransitive (Verbs): Transitive verbs require a direct object to receive the action and complete the meaning of the verb.  The pitcher threw the ball.  He gave her flowers. (SEE: “Direct Object”)  The direct object is often followed by an indirect object which indicates “to” or “for” the action is intended.  (SEE: “Indirect Object”)  Intransitive verbs do not require an object to complete the meaning of the verb.  The plot failed.  The rain stopped.  The whistle blew.  He exploded.  Some transitive verbs seem to require two objects, a direct object and an “object complement” which follows the direct object.  These kinds of transitive verbs are called “factitive” verbs (from the Latin ‘factus,’ ‘made’ or ‘produced’).  Factitive verbs include “make, choose, judge, elect, name and select.  I found the book boring (“book” = direct object; “boring” = object complement). 

Verb: a word which either expresses an action (run, study, live, sleep, etc.) or a state of being (is, are, was, were, will be, etc.): I passed all my exams (action).  I am a student (state of being).  Predicate” is another word for “verb.”  It includes all the adverbs and other words that complete the meaning of the verb: The man jumped [verb] quickly from the airplane [complete predicate].  Verbs can take different forms in order to express different attitudes of the speaker, differences of time, or changes in how the verbs are used in a sentence  (SEE: “Mood;” “Tense;” “Transitive & Intransitive;” “Voice”).  There are three main types of verbs: “Main;” “Auxiliary;” and “Linking.”  The main verb is an action verb which stands on its own and contains the basic, central meaning.  Auxiliary are not action verbs and cannot stand alone.  They are “helping verbs” which are added to main verbs in order to specify the time of an action or to express the speaker’s mood about the action.  (See: “Auxiliary Verb”).  Linking verbs are not action verbs, either, but they can stand alone.  They are verbs of sense (“look, sound, smell, feel, taste”) and being (“is, are, was, were, appear, seem”) which simply expand subjects by linking them to equivalent words (nouns or adjectives).  (See: “Linking Verb”).

Verbals: verbs which are used as other parts of speech.  There are three main groups of verbals: participles, gerunds, and infinitives.  Participles are verbs which are used as adjectives.  Gerunds are verbs used as nouns.  Infinitives can be used as adjectives, nouns or adverbs.  SEE: “Participles,” “Gerunds,” and “Infinitives.”

Voice (Verb): the relationship of the subject to the verb.  There are only two possibilities: active or passive.  The subject may either perform the action (“active voice”) or receive the action (“passive voice”).
1. active voice: the subject performs the action of the verb: The Greeks defeated the Trojans.

2. passive voice: the subject receives the action of the verb: The Trojans were defeated by the Greeks.