When and why do you prefer to use the 'passive' rather than the 'active' voice?
To emphasize the object, adding a philosophical or poetic touch: "The road less traveled is the preferred route for some people."
I prefer to be both.
I have a passive sense about myself. I'm not an aggressive person.
But, I am active about my voice in the present, which I was not some years ago. I finished my research about life, with regards to religion's role, which opened a new clarity I did not have before hand. So, now I am writing everything I've learned, so as to be my active voice, until other factors come to bare fruit.
Once that occurs, then I will be active more than passive.
Sometimes the passive voice can be used in writing History. It's a wonderful tool to use when the writer doesn't want to accept accountability.
For example: "Many of the Indians in the New World were slaughtered",
instead of: "Europeans slaughtered many of the Indians in the New World"
Like Getitright said, passive voice is useful when the narrator wants to distance him/herself from something. For example, companies will use it to distance themselves from a price increase.
Active voice: We have raised your prices.
Passive voice: Prices have been raised.
The first can invoke resentment, given that the "we" have acted against you, so to speak, by raising your prices. It's "our" fault.
The second makes it so that "we" are not the agent of the action. It's not our fault. We didn't do it. At least not in the sentence.
There are other uses in literature as well, but I risk boring you to death as it is. It's a function of style and intent, bottom line. Creating the effect you need to move your reader into a mood or belief that sets the stage for your purpose rhetorical or artistic.
Most people use it by accident, at which point it usually is a bad idea.
There's a purpose for passive voice when you want to avoid the "she / he" challenge. As in, "The course is plotted with skill and certainty," as opposed to, "The navigator plots his course with skill and certainty," when the "navigator" could be either feminine or masculine.
Other than passive voice, I find many other ways 'to avoid the "she / he" challenge'...
In your example, '"The navigator plots his course with skill and certainty' the pronoun seems redundant. "The navigator plots a course with skill and certainty," seems adequate and non-sexist.
Both have their places of power in verbal & oral presentations. The choice belongs to the writer or orator. However, one should employ either based on the subject matter therein used & the audience therein intended. Or else misunderstanding may occur.
by Kain 360 3 years ago
Generally speaking, I fathom the difference between the active and passive sentence, however,some sentences perplex me, particularly when I am writing in the second-person. Jane kicked the ball (this is active.) The ball was kicked by Jane (this is passive).For some reason, however, I can't tell...
by Jasmeet Kaur 2 years ago
I Have tried several grammar software likes grammarly and hemingwayapp for correcting my hubs. All of these suggests to avoid using passive voice and adverbs. Adverbs and passive voice is a part of English language, then why we should avoid them in writing?
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