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Use the active voice

When should active voice be used?

❶The solution was heated to the boiling point. The data processing department recently presented what proved to be a controversial proposal to expand its staff.

Active Versus Passive Voice

Sentences in Active and Passive Voice
Active vs. passive voice
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It used to be an obscure hard-to-find ingredient, but recently the Internet has exploded with websites selling weight loss products based on an extract of the fruit and it even got some decidedly hucksterish treatment from Dr. Oz, a TV personality made famous by Oprah Winfrey. The fruit is known in India as gambooge. It is apparently also an ingredient in some weight loss products as hydroxycitric acid. Oz promoted it and continues to assert that garcinia cambogia is an effective aid to weight loss.

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Get Grammar Girl's take on active voice versus passive voice. Learn whether passive voice is always wrong, or if it is sometimes preferred to active voice.

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Myth: The passive voice always avoids the first person; if something is in first person (“I” or “we”) it’s also in the active voice. On the contrary, you can very easily use the passive voice in the first person.

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Generally, try to use the active voice whenever possible. Passive voice sentences often use more words, can be vague, and can lead to a tangle of prepositional phrases. In a sentence written in the active voice, the subject of sentence performs the action. Active and passive voice Readers prefer active voice sentences, and we should try to use the active voice in most of our business writing to communicate our message most effectively. Active voice clearly identifies the action and who is performing that action.

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Reviewing examples of active and passive voice can make it easier to understand the difference. Active voice describes a sentence where the subject performs the action stated by the verb. In passive sentences, the subject is acted upon by the verb. In a sentence, main verbs can be in active or passive voice. A main verb is active when the subject of the sentence is the doer (or the agent) of.