change into active voice
Mobile phones should not be used while driving-change into active voice
This sentence is passive for two main reasons:
- The main verb is written in the past participle ('used')
- You have used the auxiliary verb ‘be’, which is a passive 'state-of-being.'
Remove the passive phrasal verb ('be used') and replace with an active verb ('to use').
Here are some options.
"While driving, do not use mobile phones."
A: 2 (add a character for clarity; although, some flow is lost).
"Drivers should not use their mobile phones while driving.” (Subject: drivers; direct object: mobile phones).
"Do not use mobile phones while driving." (imperative yet passive).
Passive is correct? It is not always necessary to change everything into the active voice. I actually think the passive works best in this example. We don't notice the missing character/s--these are the people using their phones, and driving their cars--because the agent of the action is obvious.
You don't need to change a passive:
- "If the agent of an action is self-evident" (Williams, 65).
- "If it lets you replace a long subject with a short one."
- "If it gives your readers a coherent sequence of subjects."
- If you deliberately want to hide the subject of an action.
- If the passive verb "helps your reader move smoothly from one sentence to the next" (54).
"Mobile phones should not be used while driving."
Hope that helps!
Willams, Joseph M. Style: Lessons in Clarity and Grace. http://goo.gl/WHC6t (brilliant book)
|link comment||edited Feb 16 '13 at 14:16 Iain Sutherland New member|