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UNIT 2 — THE PROCESS PARAGRAPH — Lesson 2B
Using Different Verb Forms

 
 

Read the following reference sections before beginning the lesson.

Grammar & Structure — Imperatives
Grammar & Structure — Passives
Grammar & Structure — Modals


There are different ways of writing the instructions in a process paragraph. Look at the examples below to see how each verb form is used. When you write, you should choose the verb form that works the best in the paragraph.


Imperative

You can use the imperative verb form to give instructions. The imperative helps you avoid using the word "you" too much. Also use imperatives to give warnings.

Example

   

Get a pot big enough to hold one egg. Fill the pot 4/5 full with water. Put in the egg. Put the pot on the stove. Turn the heat to high and wait until the water boils. Boil the egg in the water for three minutes. Take the egg out of the pot and put it in an egg cup. Eat the egg.


Passive

You can use the passive voice to show that an action is done. The passive avoids saying who or what does the action.

Example

   

First, a small pot is filled 4/5 full with water. The egg is placed in the water. The pot of water is put on the stove and the heat is turned to high. When the water is boiling, the egg is boiled for three minutes. Finally, the egg is taken out of the pot, put into an egg cup, and eaten.


Active

You can use the active voice to show when an object does, or is doing, an action.

Example

   

First, a small pot is filled 4/5 full with water. The egg is placed in the water. The pot of water is put on the stove and the heat is turned to high. When the water is boiling, the egg is boiled for three minutes. Finally, the egg is taken out of the pot, put into an egg cup, and eaten.


Modal

You can use modals to give suggestions, emphasize certain steps, and give instructions.

Example

   

If you like hard-boiled eggs better than soft-boiled eggs, you should boil the egg for five minutes. You can let the egg stand in hot water for two more minutes to be sure it is hard enough. You must cook the egg more than four minutes.