Avoid the Passive Voice

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He was arrested for beating and robbing a woman on the street

See example:

He was arrested for beating and robbing a woman on the street as the victim was attempting to enter her church.
asked Mar 25 '12 at 20:54 lewis mayo New member

He was arrested for beating and robbing a woman who was attempting to enter a church.

Although you want to avoid it when you can, the passive voice is more efficient here.

Janet Kay JensenMar 27 '12 at 03:34

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1 answer


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Passive voice is saying something was done to someone.  Active voice tells who the someone is and who they did it to.  A lot of times, passive voice is caused by a missing subject.  In this case, whoever performed the arrest is what is missing.  Obviously, some law enforcement agency made the arrest.  You could say:

 

Police arrested him for beating and robbing a woman on the street.

 

If you don't want to mention the police, you could restructure it:

 

He beat and robbed a woman on the street, leading to his arrest.

link edited Mar 27 '12 at 19:36 Courtney Contributor

Is it proper to state "polices"?Police is a collective noun?Please help.

Rahul GuptaMar 26 '12 at 06:10

Police is a collective noun. A specific synonym would be "officers" or "police officers."

TolleyMar 27 '12 at 16:24

I just edited what I said. Polices was a typo. I meant police. It is a collective noun.

CourtneyMar 27 '12 at 19:37

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