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Active versus passive voice

The active voice is direct and lets the reader know who is doing the action. It focuses on the subject and the action. It is often used in informal communication, eg personal letters.

The passive voice is used to:

  • focus on issues / information / processes rather than the subject or doer of the action
  • avoid a personal tone and eliminate the use of personal pronouns, eg I, you and we.

Compare the following sentences:

Passive sentences are generally used in formal writing including in reports.

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