Shannon Bolithoe : A Writing Life

Passive Voice: Myths and Facts

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Passive Voice: Myths and Facts

“Many people have been taught, or convinced, that passive voice should never be used and active voice should always be used. Some people have gone so far as to say there is a “rule” that using passive voice is wrong.

As with many “rules” about writing, this is another one that began as a good general principle and over time morphed into an inflexible rule. The primary underlying reason behind this is that active voice is typically preferred to passive voice as it is often stronger.

Overuse of passive construction is a secondary reason for the “rule.” Passive voice is frequently seen by those who are trying to sound formal or academic. It is commonly seen in business, government, and academic writings. It is also used as a way of communicating events and actions without taking or placing blame.

Although active voice is stronger, there are some situations where passive voice is the better choice. Before we can choose when to use active voice and passive voice, we need to understand the difference between the two…”

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Author: SBolithoe

Librarian, author, blogger, presenter, history buff and animal lover.

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