- Slides: 6
Passive Voice in News Reports
ACTIVE VS. PASSIVE VOICE Generally, we use the active voice whenever possible because the Passive voice sentences often use more words, can be vague, and can lead to a tangle of prepositional phrases. In a sentence written in the active voice, the subject of sentence performs the action. In a sentence written in the passive voice the subject receives the action. § Active: The candidate believes that the government must place a ceiling on the budget. § Passive: It is believed by the candidate that a ceiling must be placed on the budget by The Government. § Active: Researchers earlier showed that high stress can cause headaches. § Passive: It was earlier demonstrated that headaches can be caused by high stress. § Active: The dog bit the man. § Passive: The man was bitten by the dog.
Active Voice to Passive Voice Have a go at changing the Active voice to the Passive Voice – see the document named ‘Active and Passive Worksheets. Complete the 1, 2 or 3 star sheet depending on how confident you are feeling.
There are sometimes good reasons to use the passive voice. § TO EMPHASIZE THE ACTION RATHER THAN THE ACTOR § After long debate, the proposal was agreed by the School council. § TO KEEP THE SUBJECT AND FOCUS CONSISTENT THROUGHOUT A PASSAGE § The data processing department recently presented what proved to be a controversial proposal to reduce its staff. After long debate, the proposal was endorsed by. . § TO BE TACTFUL BY NOT NAMING THE ACTOR § The procedures were somehow misinterpreted. § TO DESCRIBE A CONDITION IN WHICH THE ACTOR IS UNKNOWN OR UNIMPORTANT § Every year, thousands of people are diagnosed as having migraines. § TO CREATE AN AUTHORITATIVE TONE § Visitors are not allowed after 9: 00 p. m.
Why is the Passive Voice used to Report the News? § Headlines (both newspaper headlines and TV / radio headlines) tend to use passive voice structures. Why? Because that way: § A. You can make the relevant information the focus of information, by placing it at the beginning of the sentence: § A Lidl employee is believed to have been fired for working too much. § Destiny’s Child is considered the “most successful girl group in history”. § b. you can be more impersonal in your statements: § It is estimated that littering costs the global economy £ 445 billion a year. (*) § Littering is estimated to cost global economy £ 445 billion a year. § It is now believed that dinosaurs were killed by the fallout from the impact between a comet and an asteroid. (*) § Dinosaurs are now believed to have been killed by the fallout from the impact between a comet and an asteroid. § (*) The “It is believed…” option tends to be used only in writing, and only in certain kinds of writing: academic writing, for example, when you want to sound “scientific”, or “impersonal / detached” from the information you’re giving. On the contrary, for headlines, the alternative option (He is believed to …) is much more common.
Passive Voice headlines (Breaking news report worksheet) Using the Passive Voice, create News report headlines for the following topics on the ‘Breaking News Worksheet.