Grammar Unit 4: Active and Passive VoiceAdapted from http://www.unc.edu/depts/wcweb/handouts/style.htmlNouns (person, place, thing, or concept) and verbs (words that describe an action or state of being) are the hearts and souls of all sentences. These become the essential elements--what your grammar teacher may have called the "subject" and the "predicate" or the "actor" and "action" of every sentence. The reader should be able to clearly locate the main subject and verb of your sentences and, ideally, the subject and verb should be close together in the sentence. Some style "crimes" are varied symptoms of one problem: the subjects and verbs or the actor and action of your sentence are hiding from the reader. Again, the reader has trouble following "who is doing what to whom." Instructors may write comments like "passive voice" or "weak verbs" in your paper’s margins. While using passive voice or weak verbs is grammatically correct, they may make the reader work too hard to decipher your meaning.
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