Active vs. Passive Voice
Passive Voice.ppt (Size: 273 KB / Downloads: 234)
A sentence is written in the active voice when:
The subject of the sentence performs the action.
The person/thing performing the action is named before the verb.
My grandfather took me to my first horse show.
NOT: I was taken to my first horse show by my grandfather.
My mother taught me to fish almost before I learned to walk.
I was taught to fish by my mother almost before I was taught to walk.
Active voice sentences
When you write in the active voice, sentences are typically shorter and clearer.
They sound more conversational.
If each word costs you a nickel, you want to write concisely and in the active voice!
Passive voice is acceptable …
When you choose to write in the passive voice, you are emphasizing the object of the sentence rather than the subject.
Scientific writing is a good example of passive voice writing.
The three-inch incision is made right above the pubic bone. Plastic clips are used to clamp off blood vessels and minimize bleeding. The skin is folded back and secured with clamps. Next, the stomach muscle is cut at a fifteen-degree angle, right top to bottom left.
The doctor makes a three-inch incision right above the pubic bone. He uses plastic clips to clamp off the blood vessels and minimize bleeding. He folds back the skin and secures it with clamps. Next, he cuts the stomach muscle at a fifteen-degree angle, right top to bottom left.
Passive voice acceptable
Sometimes, a passive voice sentence will be shorter than an active voice. If it helps clarify the sentence by writing in the passive voice, you may choose this option.
Passive: The interviewer was told to give interviewees an electric shock each time they smiled! ($ .70)
Active: The designers of the study told the interviewer to give interviewees an electric shock each time they smiled! ($ .90)