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  1. #11
    the cat came back

    Re: Why is the passive voice "bad"?


    The first link is correct; the second is rubbish. It takes more than "was" to create passive voice.

    It's so simple, really.

    Active voice: John hit the ball.

    Passive voice: The ball was hit by John.

    N.B. -- "John was hitting the ball," is not passive voice, as they would have you believe at Absolutewrite (absolutewrongly) because the the subject, "John", is still performing (active) the action. It is past progressive tense (which is wordy but not passive, and does have a legitimate use).

    Voice and tense are two utterly different things.

  2. #12
    Jeanne Gassman

    Re: Why is the passive voice "bad"?

    Cat is correct. In passive voice, the object stands in the place of the subject of the sentence. In the above example, "John" is the subject and "ball" is the object. You can usually spot passive voice when the subject comes after the verb (hit).

    Why is passive voice considered to be a poor choice? Two reasons...
    1. It is often more wordy and lends itself to awkward sentence constructions.
    2. It distances the reader from the action and slows the pace.

    Your best choice is to use passive voice selectively--when you WANT more reader distance or a slower pace.

    Does that help?


  3. #13
    Patrick Edwards

    Re: Why is the passive voice "bad"?

    Joe Z, that was well said.

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