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How to write formal sentences using the passive voice Posted on by Phil Williams Formal, or polite, sentences often use the passive voice because it sounds more impersonal and neutral.
Active sentences, on the other hand, can seem personal, or direct, which can sound too casual or too aggressive. Consider the following active sentences, and how they might be interpreted: You must do something to change this. Personal threat We will mark the exams this weekend.
Personal action Using passive voice for formal sentences These examples could be made passive, removing the active subject to make them sound more neutral.
Consider how they could now be interpreted, in brackets: Something must be done to change this. Neutral fact The exams will be marked this weekend. Impersonal action By removing the agent of the verb, we remove responsibility and relations.
The first sentence is no longer direct because we do not emphasise by who, so while it can still raise a threat, it is not a personal one. The second sentence no longer says who will mark the exams, which makes it a more neutral, and less personal, statement.
The passive voice can also be important to emphasise the object, when the object is more important than the subject. The team are working on a final report. Bob will present it on Monday.
It will be presented on Monday. The first example is used to tell us who is presenting the report, while the second example, with the passive tense, tells us when the report is being presented.
If the agent of the action is not important, the neutral passive gives our writing more focus on what is important. Exercise 1 Try to form similar passive sentences from the following active sentences, to make them more formal and less personal, and to emphasise the object: They will do their homework.
I will tell you when the results are ready. The janitor will clean up the mess in the toilet.Sentences in Active and Passive Voice. Here are examples of sentences written in both the active voice and the passive voice, with the active voice sentence appearing first. Harry ate six shrimp at dinner.
(active) At dinner, six shrimp were eaten by Harry. ACTIVE / PASSIVE VOICE. Active voice. In most English sentences with an action verb, the subject performs the action denoted by the verb.. These examples show that the subject is doing the verb's action..
Because the subject does or "acts upon" the verb in such sentences, the sentences are said to be in the active voice..
Passive voice. English for Effective Business Writing The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology About this course: This course aims to improve your Business English writing skills by developing your use of vocabulary, grammar, understanding of different business writing genres, and your ability to write professional business documents.
Solutions for Chapter 8.L2 Problem 3CRE. Problem 3CRE: Writing Exercise. Careful writers use the active voice in business and professional communications when they . Be (is, am, are, was and were) can be used to make both passive forms and continuous forms in the active voice.
Past participles are used to make both passive verb forms and perfect tenses in .
And while the correct use of active vs. passive voice is critical in academic writing, it’s just as imperative in business writing – especially when it comes to resumes. So here you have it, from someone who took years to understand it, a crash course on active vs. passive.