Passive voice

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How can I fix this sentence? I do not understand how to get the passive voice gone... Would be glad for some help!

See example:

Immigration has led to a multicultural society where the Norwegian society is influenced by different languages and family and food traditions (regjeringen.no 2013).
asked Jul 15 '13 at 11:55 Lene Sandem New member

4 answers


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I like where Lewis is headed, but I'm not a big fan of his solution. Immigration itself doesn't have different languages and family and food traditions (it's the people who immigrate who do). I think your original sentence is fine, but if you want to switch the dependent clause to the active voice, I think you should do so within your current sentence structure:

 

Immigration has led to a multicultural society where different languages and family and food traditions influence the Norwegian society (regjeringen.no 2013).

 

I'm guessing that your citation is of a website, but I can't comment on whether the structure is correct or not.

link answered Jul 15 '13 at 14:19 Actually Holly Expert

Thank you! It is a better sentence now! Perfect!

Lene SandemJul 16 '13 at 08:17

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I'm not entirely sure that this is passive voice.  I teach my students a fun test for passive voice. Add "by zombies" at the end of the sentence.  If it still makes sense, then it is passive; if the sentence does not make sense, then it is active.  

 

In this case, I suggest switching the verb:  "Immigration created a multicultural society..." but I'm not sure if "created" maintains the meaning of the original sentence in its context.

 

I hope this helps.

link answered Jul 15 '13 at 12:53 Neznayou New member

Thanks!! :)

Lene SandemJul 15 '13 at 18:00

Thanks!! :)

Lene SandemJul 15 '13 at 18:00

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The passive part of your sentence is in the dependent clause 'where the Norwegian society is influenced by different languages and family and food traditions'. 'Society' is the subject, but it is being acted on by being influenced by languages and traditions. Passive voice is grammatically correct but is not considered the best usage. You can rewrite the clause to remove it, if you wish.  Your citation, (Regjeringen.no 2013), needs to be changed, but I'm not sure what it is supposed to be. The '.no' is confusing. I put my best guess in the example.

 

Immigration, with its different languages and family and food traditions, has led to a multicultural society in Norway (Regjeringen, No. 2013).

link answered Jul 15 '13 at 13:11 Lewis Neidhardt Grammarly Fellow

Thanks!! :) This is of great help for my master thesis!

Lene SandemJul 15 '13 at 18:01

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Part of the reason the passive voice is discouraged (hehehe) is that it encourages vague and unclear use of ideas. 
For example, "the passive voice is discouraged" says that *someone* out there is discouraging, but it doesn't tell anyone who that someone is. If I say "writing instructors and editors," the sentence is far more precise. If it were govenment agencies and tax accountants who disouraged the use of the passive voice, I don't think many of us would care...

 

In your sentence, you've got "Immigration" as the subject, which seems okay... but ask yourself: what does "Immigration" actually do? Aren't we talking about real people who have these new languages and traditions?

link answered Jul 15 '13 at 17:31 Daniel Jackson New member

Ok, I see... It is just that I don`t know how to fix the sentence when I have a passive voice error (and I see that I got plenty... ). Its hard when I am used to speak and write in Norwegian... But I`ll try to use your tip and fix them!

Thanks! :)

Lene SandemJul 24 '13 at 15:03

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