Katie's Blog

Thoughts of a PR student

Active vs. Passive Voice August 29, 2010

Filed under: PRCA 2330 — rebekahkatherine @ 2:32 pm

When I visited the Grammar Girl website, I knew exactly which topic I wanted to read about. Active vs. passive voice has been giving me trouble since high school and if I’d only properly learned the difference between the two, I could have gotten better grades on papers throughout my time in school.
I’ve finally learned the difference now. I learned the active voice means the noun comes before the verb. For example, “Amy loves Steve” is active voice. In passive voice, it would be “Steve is loved by Amy.” The active voice is much less confusing and gets to the point faster. I think I always liked using passive voice in high school is because it made my papers longer and therefore made me write less. Let’s just say I was a lazy writer in high school.
One thing that did surprise me though was that passive voice is sometimes okay in a journalistic piece like a crime report where not all of the information is available. For example, if a store was robbed, but no one knows who did it, it is appropriate to say “The store was robbed.”
I’m glad I was finally able to learn the difference so I can prevent the pesky passive voice from entering my writing anymore.


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