Passive voice


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 ( 2013).
asked Jul 15 '13 at 11:55 Lene Sandem New member

3 answers


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 ( 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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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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