Speaking Your Best Online
Welcome to Speaking Your Best Online!
Understanding the Basics of Sounds
Understanding Voiced and Unvoiced Sounds
Understanding Your Accented Sounds
Arabic Pronunciation Guidelines
Russian Pronunciation Guidelines
Mandarin Pronunciation Guidelines
Spanish Pronunciation Guidelines
Hindi Pronunciation Guidelines
Vietnamese Pronunciation Guidelines
Thai Pronunciation Guidelines
Filipino Pronunciation Guidelines
French Pronunciation Guidelines
Japanese Pronunciation Guidelines
Portuguese Pronunciation Guidelines
Italian Pronunciation Guidelines
Farsi Pronunciation Guidelines
the "b" sound
the "p" sound
the "k" sound
the "d" sound
the "t" sound
the "g" sound
the "s" sound
the "z" sound
the "f" sound
the "v" sound
the "sh" sound
the "zh" sound
the voiced "th" sound
the unvoiced "th" sound
the "h" sound
the "ch" sound
the "dg" sound
the "m" sound
the "n" sound
the "ng" sound
the "w" sound
the "yuh" sound
the "l" sound
the "r" sound
Unstressed Vowel "er"
Stressed Vowel "er"
Vowel "u" as in "foot"
Initial consonant blends
"thr" initial blend
"skr" initial blend
"br" initial blend
"dr" initial blend
"tr" initial blend
"kl" initial blend
"pl" initial blend
"sl" initial blend
"sm" initial blend
"sn" initial blend
"st" initial blend
"sp" initial blend
"sk" initial blend
Final consonant blends
"nd" final blend
"nt" final consonant blend
"ld"/"lt" final blends
"dz" final blend
"ts" final blend
"kt" final blend
"rd" final blend
"pl" and "bl" final blends
Important Words to Master
The Most Common Words in American English
Pronouncing the Word "to"
How to Make the Word "And" Sound More Natural
Pronouncing Numbers, Days, Dates, and Months
Pronouncing Mult-Syllabic Words
How to Pronounce the American English Alphabet
Twenty of the Most Commonly Mispronounced Words and How to Pronounce Them
Words that end with "ly"
Speaking Skills: Speak Clearly and Effectively!
Making Your Voice Heard
Open Your Mouth and Move Your Lips
Speak More Slowly to be Understood
Pronounce All Sounds in Words Clearly
Prolonging Vowels to Improve Voicing
How to Reduce Filler Words
The Art of Speaking Concisely in Three Easy Steps
Part 1: Intonation Patterns for Sentence Types
Part 2: Syllable Stress
Part 3: Stressing Important Words When Speaking
Part 4: How and When to Pause
Grammar Skills To Master
Using At, In, and On to Indicate Location and Moving
Forming Regular and Irregular Plurals
Common Irregular Plurals
Forming and Using Tenses Correctly in English
Forming Direct and Indirect Questions
Using Adverbs Correctly
Mastering Important Words in Grammar
Test your grammar skills!
The Milkmaid and Her Pail
The Boy Who Cried Wolf
King Arthur and the Witch
How to Connect Words Together
Introduction to word connections
How to "Mark" Stop Sounds
Word Connections With Final "t" and "d"
Connecting Same and Different Continuant Sounds
Connecting Consonants With Vowels
Connecting Two Vowels Together
Building Your Vocabulary
Common American Idioms/Expressions
Words Every Professional Should Know
Positive Resume and Interview Words
Resume and Interview Adjectives for the Professional
Resume and Interview Verbs
The Importance of Greetings
The Art of Small Talk
Lightening a Conversation
The Importance of Tone of Voice
The Importance of Body Language
Improve Your Presentation Skills
Guidelines for Giving a Good Presentation
Overcoming the Fear of Public Speaking
Do's and Don'ts for Making PowerPoint Presentations
Want to have a great presentation? Tell a story!
Transitioning to the Next Slide: Examples
For the Business Professional: Communicating Effectively in the Business World
Basic Guide to Conducting an Effective Business Meeting
Dealing with Argumentative People
Responding to Colleagues' Comments/Questions/Remarks
Knowing When and How to Listen and Speak
Working With the Person Who Thinks They Know Everything
Putting It All Together: Practice Stories
Practice story 1
Practice story 2
Practice story 3
Passive Voice versus Active Voice
In English, there are two forms of action that we can use to express ourselves. These are referred to as:
Let's take a look at the differences between active and passive voice.
When we use the active voice, the subject is the one that performs or carries out the action.
The structure is subject + verb + object
subject verb object
For example: The man drove his car.
It is direct
Active voice generally has more impact because the emphasis is on what the subject is doing.
It is easier to understand than passive voice, so it is used most in everyday conversations.
Examples of active voice:
The man drives his car to work every day
I mailed the letter this afternoon.
My manager attends meetings every day.
When should the active voice be used?
The active voice is usually used in everyday conversations for the following reasons:
It is easier to understand
It is more direct
It is not complex, meaning that you can form a simple sentence
The object becomes the subject of the sentence.
The structure is object + verb + subject
object verb subject
For example: The car was driven by the man.
It contains the verb “to be” and the past participle of the main verb
The passive voice tends to be confusing and vague.
Passive voice can be difficult to understand because of the complexity and the length of the sentence
The subject, if included in the sentence, is usually preceded with the word “by”.
If the subject is not included, it is not considered important in the sentence. If the sentence is changed to the active voice, a subject must be inserted.
You may see this form used in writing, although it should only be used occasionally.
If used too much in writing, it can make the writing uninteresting and confusing
Examples of passive voice:
The car was driven to work by the man.
The letter was mailed (by me) this morning.
The meetings are attended by my manager every day.
When should passive voice be used?
There are specific times when using passive voice is preferred.
When the object is more important than the subject.
Passive: The president was elected in January.
Active: The people elected the president in January.
When we don’t know what the subject is
Passive: The murder was committed last night.
Active: Someone committed a murder last night.
When you want to sound objective, as when discussing facts
Passive: A cure for cancer was found.
Active: He found a cure for cancer.
Change the following sentences from active to passive voice
My mother carried the heavy box into the house.
John works late every night.
The police caught the thieves.
I washed the dishes after dinner.
The mailman delivered the mail.
The singer wrote a beautiful song.
The little girl read a book.
The thief stole lots of jewelry.
Jack ran a marathon.
He threw the newspaper on the ground.
Change the following sentences from passive voice to active voice.
The murderer was caught by the police.
Yesterday the president was given a medal of honor.
The meeting has been postponed until tomorrow.
I was invited to Amber’s party.
The house was burned by some boys.
My car was made in Japan.
This hospital was built in 1950.
He was robbed at gunpoint.
Passengers are asked to remain in their seats.
The keys were left in the car by mistake.
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