passive & active forms


Dear All,

As I know the verbs “increase” and “decrease” don’t normally occur in the passive form. What about the verb “shift”?
Could you please correct the following sentences and explain which one can be used which one is better to use, and which one is a wrong one.

Sales have increased.
Sales have been increased.
Sales have been increased by our activity.
Sales have shifted from February to March due to the customer's intention.
Sales have been shifted from February to March by the customer’s intention.

Thank you very much in advance! Lola.

passive active asked Feb 07 '14 at 07:46 Lola New member

1 answer


Hi Lola,


If you use the word 'shifted', it may sound deceptive because you are not saying that sales have increased nor decreased, only changed. If you want to use the word 'shift' or 'shifted', you should explain whether it is a positive shift or a negative one. If you prefer not to show either a positive or  negative change in sales, here is an example of what you can use:


"Sales have shifted in the past two months due to a change in customer preferences."


Otherwise, "Sales have increased" is a good, positive statement but again, it would be helpful to explain why sales have increased. For example, "Sales have increased over the past year due to the diligent activity of our professional sales team."


Does this help you at all? I hope so. Good luck to you!


:D   Karen

link answered Feb 07 '14 at 22:42 Karen OKeefe Contributor

Hi Karen,
Many thanks for your helpful advice.
Is it true that the words like “increase”, “decrease” and “shift” do not normally occur in the passive from?

Thank you,Lola

LolaFeb 11 '14 at 06:53

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