Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Active and Passive Voice


Pic by G.W. aka P.A. ~ An excerpt from an article in Royal Auto magazine.
The traveller's tale is written mostly in active voice so that the reader feels close to the journey.
~

Pic by G.W. aka P.A. ~ Sign at Coolart, Mornington Peninsula
~

ACTIVE VOICE ~ When the subject of the verb does the action of the verb, then the whole sentence is in the active voice.
e.g.
1. He walks the dog along the beach in all weathers.
2. He is walking the dog along the beach today.
3. He has been walking the dog along the beach today.
4. He walked/was walking the dog along the beach today.

When to use the active voice:
(a) This is the preferred form in essays, with particular preference for 1. and 4. ("walked" NOT "was walking") above. It is a compact, direct style, keeping attention on the topic of the essay rather than on complicated grammatical issues.
(b) In creative writing, this form can create a sense of immediate drama.

PASSIVE VOICE ~ When the subject of the verb is being acted upon, then the whole sentence is in the passive voice.
1. The dog is being walked by the man along the beach today.
2. The dog was/has been walked by the man along the beach today.

When to use the passive voice:
(a) If a word needs special emphasis, then the passive voice may be preferred. In the first example above, attention is drawn to the dog rather than the man. But notice that more verb elements are needed to achieve this + the preposition "by" is included!
NOTE: Signs (like the one above for the Old Buttery) often take short cuts and avoid the extra words.
(b) In creative writing, this form may create a slowly paced drama or narrative (for tension).

6 comments:

Nelson Souzza said...

The blog is very good!
Congratulations!
http://nelsonsouzza.blogspot.com

Boonie S said...

This is interesting and useful stuff. Thanks.

All the best, Boonie

ms. freelancer said...

Hi,

Ms. Freelancer here, a new follower. This site will help me a lot in my freelance writing career.

'Hope you won't mind me linking GRAMMAR CITY to my blogs entries in http://getfreelancewritingtipshere.blogspot.com.

Great Site! =)

The Tame Lion said...

Absolutely fantastic!
Keep it coming!!

Pranavam Ravikumar a.k.a. Kochuravi said...

Very helpful.. I think I missed this a lot. Count me into your student list. Thanks and have a good day!!!

Katya kate said...

I really appreciated this. It's good to be reminded once again of our grammars. It's good to review grammars in a fun way! Thanks for sharing :)