There is a IELTS topic confused me.
Here is the topic: Children who are disinterested in subjects such as mathematics and philosophy should be made to study them at school. These subjects should be optional rather than compulsory.
When I scan if there is any grammar error by grammarly.com, it shows I may overuse passive voice, but this is a IELTS Topic recently held in Malaysia and Australia. How can the sentense be wrong?
I'm about to lose confident withe the grammarly.com, please, is there any body can answer the question for me?
I noticed that many writers who give advice in creative or academic writing discourage the use of the passive voice. When you use the active voice, the message you convey is more powerful as compared to the situation when you use the passive voice. Grammarly is just advising you to rephrase the sentence so that you use the active voice instead of the passive voice. In my point of view, the use of the passive voice is not necessarily wrong, but the impact of the text on the reader will not be that strong.
|link||answered Sep 25 '11 at 10:29 Aura Raducan New member|
IELTS examiners are far from perfect, and I would say 'not interested in' rather than 'disinterested in". 'Disinterested' suggests objectivity, so we might hope that a judge is 'disinterested', not that he is bored by the case bfeore him!
If you have copied the question accurately, I do see a problem with it, as the first half is really a question:
"Why should children who are not interested in subjects such as mathematics and philosophy be made to study them at school? These subjects should be optional rather than compulsory."
|link||answered Sep 25 '11 at 08:00 Mark Heyne Expert|
In my humble point of view all the trouble seems to be in that explanation about passive voice: "In an active sentence we need to include the agent as a subject; using a passive allows us to omit the agent by leaving out the prepositional phrase with by. Consequently, we prefer passives when the agent:
- is not know
- is "people in general"
- is unimportant
- is obvious.
In factual writing, particularly in describing procedures or processes, we often wish to omit the agent, and use passives."
That subject is so confusing! I'm not sure that I'm on the right track!!! :) So, I can't help you as I'm ALSO needing a helping hand. Warm regards from Brazil,
|link comment||answered Sep 25 '11 at 23:55 Mônica Brandão New member|
Two things worth noting here:
1) are disinterested doesn't need to be interpreted as a verb in the passive. It could be a verb & predicate adjective. Read more here.
2) The criterion of using or overusing a particular form is much too context-dependent to be delegated to automated checkers. In other words: trust grammarly.com for spotting simple errors / mistakes, but use your judgment (or native speakers' judgment) for anything more advanced - like questions about style, register, cohesion and coherence.
Personally, I'd agree with Mark Heyne here - "not interested in" would sound much better.
|link comment||answered Sep 27 '11 at 14:22 Wiktor Contributor|
Hero of the day
Person voted on the most answers.