Active and passive voice1
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  • 1. Karen S. Wright
  • 2. Verbs are vigorous, direct communicators. Use active rather than passive voice.
  • 3. The voice of a verb tells whether the subject of the sentence performs the action (active voice) or is acted upon (passive voice).
  • 4. The active voice always names the actor (whoever performs the verb’s action), whereas the passive voice puts the actor in a phrase after the verb or even omits the actor altogether.
  • 5. Active voice is usually more clear, emphatic, and concise than passive voice. The Internet is used for research by scholars, and its expansion to the general public was criticized by some. Scholars use the Internet for research, and some criticized its passive active
  • 6. Change the Passive to the Active Voice 1. Around the turn of the century, a story about a clever horse was carried by Berlin newspapers. 2. The horse was named Babe by her owner. 3. Fraud was suspected by many people. 4. Doubts were still entertained by Herman. 5. The math test was failed by
  • 7. The mood of a verb indicates whether a sentence is a -- Statement-The theater needs help. Question-Can you help the theater? A command- Help the theater! A suggestion/desire-I wish I were an actor.
  • 8. The subjunctive mood expresses a suggestion, requirement, or desire, or it states a condition that is contrary to fact (that is, imaginary or hypothetical).
  • 9. When using a suggestion or requirement with the verbs ask, insist, urge, require, recommend, or suggest use the verb’s plain form with all subjects. EX: Rules require that every donation
  • 10. When writing about desire or present condition contrary to fact, use the verb’s past tense form; for be use the past tense form were. If the theater were in better shape and had more money its future would be guaranteed.  I wish I were able to donate money.
  • 11. Shifts in mood within a sentence can be confusing. Dissolve the crystals in liquid. You should also heat the solution. (The first sentence is a command, the second a statement.) inconsistent Dissolve the crystals in liquid; then heat the solution. (Consistent commands.) Revised Mood Consistency
  • 12. Verbs. You can’t have a sentence without them. Make the most of them, use them right, and they will do wonders for your papers. Trust me.