The video tutorial on active and passive voice

Folks who rail against passive voice usually cite an unethical writer (or speaker) who is trying to avoid responsibility. Passive voice is certainly one linguistic tool for unethical behavior. But active voice can be used unethically, too. Compare the two lies:

My homework was eaten. (passive)

The dog ate my homework. (active)

I see confusion here between the tool and the intent of the person using it.

My last post advised you to steer clear of anyone who tries to limit your stylistic choices. I’m sharing a video tutorial on active and passive voice today based on a chapter in Revising Professional Writing. I think it’s all a pro needs to know about this topic. You can get a copy of the analyzed document by using the tab at the top of the page labeled ”Docs.”  I’ve also added a page where links to all of the videos appear in one place.

Let me know what you think.

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One Comment

  1. In the tutorial, passive sentences are defined as those containing a form of “be” plus an -ed or -en verb form. There is another type of passive construction in English called a “get” passive. It has a form of the verb “get” instead of a form of the verb “be.” Consider the following sentences.

    1a. John ate the apple. (active)
    1b. The apple was eaten by John. (“be” passive)
    1c. The apple got eaten by John. (“get” passive)

    Use what you’ve learned to decide if either of the following sentences is a “get” passive.

    2. John should have gotten over Mary by now.
    3. John should have gotten fired from his job.

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