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Use the active voice

Grammar & Style

❶Rewrite the sentence so that the subject buried in the "by" clause is closer to the beginning of the sentence. Jess is being applauded [by the sports fans].

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When should active voice be used?
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Converting sentences to active voice

Sentences containing active voice can be easier to process and understand than passive voice sentences. This is because they provide more information the agent of the action , and possibly because native English speakers are accustomed to receiving the information in the order agent-action-receiver.

Wealthy business CEOs forced low-income renters to leave their neighborhoods to make room for large scaled urban development. Low-income renters were forced to leave their neighborhoods to make room for large scaled urban development. Because readers may experience active voice sentences as clearer than passive voice sentences, professional writers are often urged to limit the use of passive voice.

Passive voice is frequently used in lab reports and Methods sections of research reports because it puts the emphasis on the experiment or process being described rather than on the researcher. In the examples below, note how omitting the agent of the action emphasizes the experiment itself and excludes irrelevant information: Infinitives, the indefinite form of verbs e. The parliament is the only institution that answers directly to the European citizens.

European wide elections are held over the course of three days every five years to elect the representatives. While the Parliaments power was limited in the early years of the Union, its powers increased significantly with the Maastricht, Amsterdam, and Nice Treaties in an effort to improve the democratic legitimacy of the EU.

The Parliaments powers in the early stages of the union were non-existent. Until the debate over the EU's democratic legitimacy began, the Parliaments role was to consult with and deliver an opinion to the Commission and Council of Ministers concerning proposals and legislation. The Commission and Council of Ministers had to consult with the EP when creating legislation, but were not required to adhere to the Parliaments recommendations or opinions. It should be noted that strictly writing in the passive voice is not acceptable.

Writers who use the passive voice do so intentionally to communicate their purpose. In many cases, active sentences are a better option in writing—especially news writing. The first example is especially clumsy written in the passive voice. Are these sentences written in active or passive voice? The active voice is the most common type of writing. In active sentences, there is little confusion about which words are the subject, verb, and object. Contents 1 What is Active Voice in Writing?

The saltwater eventually corroded the metal beams. The kangaroo carried her baby in her pouch. Some people raise sugar cane in Hawaii. These sentences illustrate how different the same sentence can sound when written in active or passive voice. Generally, it's better to write in the active voice. It's clearer and more direct. Passive voice sentences tend to be more wordy and vague but can still be useful in some situations, such as formal or scientific writing. Examples of Active and Passive Voice.

Retrieved September 14th, , from http: By continuing, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Please set a username for yourself. People will see it as Author Name with your public flash cards. YourDictionary definition and usage example. Link to this page. Examples of Active and Passive Voice By YourDictionary Active voice describes a sentence where the subject performs the action stated by the verb.

Sentences in Active and Passive Voice

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Get Grammar Girl's take on active voice versus passive voice. Learn whether passive voice is always wrong, or if it is sometimes preferred to active voice.

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Myth: The passive voice always avoids the first person; if something is in first person (“I” or “we”) it’s also in the active voice. On the contrary, you can very easily use the passive voice in the first person.

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Generally, try to use the active voice whenever possible. Passive voice sentences often use more words, can be vague, and can lead to a tangle of prepositional phrases. In a sentence written in the active voice, the subject of sentence performs the action. Active and passive voice Readers prefer active voice sentences, and we should try to use the active voice in most of our business writing to communicate our message most effectively. Active voice clearly identifies the action and who is performing that action.

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Reviewing examples of active and passive voice can make it easier to understand the difference. Active voice describes a sentence where the subject performs the action stated by the verb. In passive sentences, the subject is acted upon by the verb. In a sentence, main verbs can be in active or passive voice. A main verb is active when the subject of the sentence is the doer (or the agent) of.