If you can't recognize the passive voice, check out the passive voice resources highlighted by Barbara Feldman in "Surfing the Net with Kids" (Nov. 27, 2009). Don't be put off by the "Kids" in Feldman's column title. She's referring you to websites appropriate for adults.
According to the Guide to Grammar and Writing's "The Passive Voice" page
In the active voice, the subject and verb relationship is straightforward: the subject is a be-er or a do-er and the verb moves the sentence along. In the passive voice, the subject of the sentence is neither a do-er or a be-er, but is acted upon by some other agent or by something unnamed (The new policy was approved).In my opinion, the active voice has a couple of advantages compared to the passive voice
- It shortens sentences
- It clarifies the relationship between cause and effect
Some of the other resources mentioned by Feldman include
- Strunk's The Elements of Style on Bartleby.com
- The OWL at Purdue: Active and Passive
- University of Victoria Study Zone: The Choking Dog: Exercise on Passive Voice
- UNC Writing Center: Passive Voice
Susan B. Weiner, CFA
Check out my website at www.InvestmentWriting.com or sign up for my free monthly e-newsletter.
Copyright 2009 by Susan B. Weiner All rights reserved