Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Active verses passive voice

Every writing book or article I read says use the active voice. Figuring they know a bit more about writing that I do, I have tried to use the active voice in my pieces. If you find a situation where I’m using the passive voice, let me know as I’d like to hear feedback.

I’m the type of person that learns best by application and teaching. That is, I need hands-on experience. Then once I understand what’s going on, I like to teach it which improves my recall. At that point, I either really know the subject matter or realize I don’t know jack sh*t and head back to the proverbial drawing board. With this being said, here is my short lesson on using the active voice over the passive voice.

The active voice is where you use the “subject” in the beginning. An example is “The computer makes me crazy.” The subject (i.e. computer) is at the beginning of the sentence. Conversely, rewriting the sentence in the passive voice, I would say “What makes me crazy is the computer.” The subject (i.e. computer) is moved to the end of the sentence and thus not emphasized. Or so I understand.

English is not my forte. So if you’re reading my lesson and disagree, please let me know. Or if you agree with my interpretation of the active voice, I’d enjoy hearing a confirmation.

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