active vs passive voice
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Active vs Passive Voice . What is Active Voice?. When the subject of a sentence PERFORMS the action. Frank built the house. Active Example. The blazing fire blistered the outside walls. Subject – fire Verb – blistered Object – walls. What is Passive Voice.

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Presentation Transcript
what is active voice
What is Active Voice?
  • When the subject of a sentence PERFORMS the action.
  • Frank built the house.
active example
Active Example
  • The blazing fire blistered the outside walls.
    • Subject – fire
    • Verb – blistered
    • Object – walls
what is passive voice
What is Passive Voice
  • When the subject receives the action.
  • When the “doer” of the action comes late in the sentence.
  • The house was built by Frank
why does this matter
Why Does This Matter
  • Active voice is stronger and more direct.
    • We know who did something!
    • More concise
  • Passive voice is often vague and boring.
    • Have to read more to find out who did something
    • Verbose – “to be”
active is usually better
Active is Usually Better
  • Immediately know the subject
    • Know the doer of the action
  • If we WANT to be vague – Passive Voice
    • Academic writing is NOT to be vague!
examples
Examples
  • Active
    • The nymphs dished it out.
  • Passive
    • It was dished out by the nymphs
examples1
Examples
  • Active
    • They broke into the Watergate Hotel.
  • Passive
    • The Watergate Hotel was broken into.
      • By whom? Who ordered it?
      • Very vague
clues of passive voice
Clues of Passive Voice
  • A form of the verb “to be”
    • As, is, are, was, were, etc
  • A past-participle
    • Past-tense for of a verb
    • Convicted, stolen
  • The word “by”
    • If the performer of the action is implied, unknown, or omitted
scenario
Scenario
  • While rough housing with your brother, one of you broke a lamp.
  • If your brother broke it, you’d say…..
    • Active voice
  • If you broke it, you’d say….
    • Passive voice….
practice
Practice
  • The art of Lucia Wilcox was admired by artists around the world.
  • Exhibits of her paintings were shown all over the world.
  • Her blindness was caused by a tumor near the optic nerve.
practice answers
Practice Answers
  • Artists from around the world admired Lucia Wilcox’s work.
  • Museums showed exhibits of her work.
  • A tumor near her optic nerve caused her blindness.
summary
Summary
  • Seek to write in the ACTIVE voice.
    • More precise
    • More clear
  • PASSIVE voice
    • Feels slow
    • Feels vague
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