Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Common Problems (Part 5 of 50)

Prefer the active voice. I use prefer because at times the passive voice works when we don't want to identify who did the action.

I've previously blogged about using the active and passive voices, but it's a constant problem with writers. This is the principle: Prefer the active voice; avoid the passive. The active voice uses fewer words and the writing is stronger.

Read the partial sentences below. The passive voice shows itself by the use of what we commonly call the helping verb (is, was) and usually written in the past tense.

• After my arraignment, I was transferred to

• All my basic needs were taken care of.

• It can only be explained from the realm of the supernatural.

• Secret knocks are given and tested.

• Her hours were filled with the usual phone calls.

• The conflict arose because invisible boundaries were crossed.

Because I want my writing to be strong,
I choose the active voice.

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