passive voice : Common Errors in English

About passive voice

There are legitimate uses for the passive voice: “this absurd regulationwas of course written by a committee.” But it’s true that you can makeyour prose more lively and readable by using the active voice much moreoften. “The victim was attacked by three men in ski masks” isn’t nearlyas striking as “three men in ski masks attacked the victim.” The passivevoice is often used to avoid taking responsibility for an action: “myterm paper was accidentally deleted” avoids stating the truth: “Iaccidentally deleted my term paper.” Over-use of passive constructionsis irritating, though not necessarily erroneous. But it does lead toreal clumsiness when passive constructions get piled on top of eachother: “no exception in the no-pets rule was sought to be created sothat angora rabbits could be raised in the apartment” can be madeclearer by shifting to the active voice: “the landlord refused to makean exception to the no-pets rule to allow Eliza to raise angora rabbitsin the apartment.”

passive voice Meaning(s)

  • (n) the voice used to indicate that the grammatical subject of the verb is the recipient (not the source) of the action denoted by the verb

passive voice in News

  1. Highly efficient ‘passive homes’ gain ground in U.S.

    PHILADELPHIA — After decades of near silence, a passive voice is making itself heard in American architecture.
    on June 13, 2013 Source: San Mateo Daily Journal

  2. Highly efficient 'passive homes' gain ground in US

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) — After decades of near silence, a passive voice is making itself heard in American architecture.
    on June 12, 2013 Source: Associated Press via Yahoo! News

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