Understanding the active and passive voice

16 Jun, 2024 - 00:06 0 Views

MANY verbs can be active or passive. When the verb is active, the subject performs the action.

For example: This is called the active voice. When the verb is passive, the subject is on the receiving end of the action, for example: This is called the passive voice.

The passive voice is frequently used in investigative reports to create a more formal tone. Active: I placed one plant in the light for 24 hours. Passive: One plant was placed in the light for 24 hours. These sentences demonstrate the use of active and passive voice. The main tenses used in reports are past and present. The selection of detail is key in report writing. For example: When writers report on a football match, they do not give a second-by-second account of the game.

It would be a ridiculously long report. Writers have to select the main points in the match, the ones the reader would be interested in and report on these. Similarly, when teachers write reports on students, they do not write everything they know about those students. They select the things that are relevant to the subject and what the students’ parents or guardians would want to know. There are different formats for reports.

As already stated, in a report, the writer gives information to the reader. This can be presented in a number of ways — through prose, graphs, tables, diagrams and charts. I am sure this destroys the myth that reports always come in the form of prose or notes. Learn all the formats of report writing as you are most likely to get any one of the formats depending on what the examiners want to test in that particular year. We take you back as we look at building paragraphs.

Organising sentences into paragraphs When you read in most cases, you find that most writing is organised into paragraphs. This helps the reader to follow the points being made more easily. Each paragraph marks a new stage or idea in the writing. The first sentence of a paragraph is sometimes called the topic sentence. This is because it often gives you a clue as to what the paragraph is going to be about.

How do you make writing interesting? When we first learn to read and write, we almost always use simple sentences.

As we develop our skills, we start to use compound and complex sentences. This makes our writing more interesting.

Punctuating sentences: when we speak, we use our tone of voice and pauses to help our listeners follow what we are saying. When we write, we use punctuation to help our reader to follow what we have written.

We put spaces between words, capital letters at the start of a sentence and full stops at the end. We use commas in sentences to mark pauses and pairs of commas to separate out extra pieces of information.

Both/both of, neither/neither of, either/either of – We use both, neither and either when we are talking about two things. You can use these words with a noun: -Both shops are very good. (not the both shops). Neither of the shops is expensive. We can go to either shop, I do not mind. (either = one or the other, it does not matter which one.) –I didn’t like either shop. (not one or the other).

You can also use both/neither/either with of . . . When you use these words with “of”, you always need the/these/those/my/your/his. You cannot say “both of shops.” You have to say “both of the shops”, both of these shops”. –Both of the shops are very good. -Neither of the shops we went to was (or were) expensive. –We can go to either of those shops, I don’t mind. With “both” you can leave out of. So, you can say: both my parents and both of my parents.

After both of/ neither of/either of, you can also use us/you/them. Can either of you speak English? – I wanted Jack and Henry to come, but neither of them wanted to. You must say both of, before us/you/them. –Both of us were tired. (not ‘Both us. . .). After neither of . . . you can use a singular or a plural verb. – Neither of the children wants (or want to go to bed. –Neither of us is (or are married).

You can say both . . . and . . . neither . . . nor . . . and either . . . or. Study the following examples: Both James and Amanda were late. They were both tired and hungry. Neither James or Amanda came to the party. He said he would contact me, but he neither wrote nor phoned. I’m not sure where he is from. He is either English or Dutch. Either you apologise or I’ll never speak to you again.

You can also use both/neither/either alone. Is he English or Dutch? Neither. He is Russian. Do you want tea or coffee? Either. I don’t mind. I couldn’t decide, which one to choose. I liked both. Practice these language structures because they are always confusing.

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