How to use the passive voice in reports
Hey, welcome to another free episode of the Art of Business English podcast.
In this week's episode I am sharing with you some tips on how you can use the passive voice in your reports.
Do you write reports for work? If so, then you will definitely need to check out this episode. Using the passive voice in your writing will help it to sound more formal and less personal. This is ideal for a report, as a report is a piece of writing that has a neutral to formal tone.
Watch the episode here
The Passive Form
The active voice shows what something does. The passive voice shows what happens to something. We make the passive with a form of the verb be + past participle.
passive form: be + past participle (+by + agent)
the union is run by 7 executive officers.
the union is being run by 7 executive officers.
the union was run by 7 executive officers.
the union was being run by 7 executive officers.
the union has been run by 7 executive officers.
the union had been run by 7 executive officers.
the union is going to be run by 7 executive officers.
the union will be run by 7 executive officers
the union is to be run by 7 executive officers.
the university insists on the union being run by 7 executive officers.
the university used to be run by 7 executive officers.
the university should be run by 7 executive officers.
Need to/ have to
the university needs to/ has to be run by 7 executive officers.
Need + -ing
the university needs running by 7 executive officers.
We do not use the passive with intransitive verbs (verbs which cannot have an object):
He arrived (not he was arrived)
Use of the Passive
We use the passive when:
When the object is more important than the subject and the agent is either obvious, not important, or unknown:
Notice how if we want to repeat the ending of the previous clause or sentences at the beginning of the next, we may need to use the passive:
Does the university run the union?
No, the union is run by seven executive officers
Who are elected by students each year.
The executive officers are held accountable by the union council.
The council is also elected by the student’s population.
This pattern is typical of academic writing.
Tips for Report Writing
Expressions for your Report
Comparing and contrasting:
Comparing and contrasting:
So, that is how we use the passive voice in formal writing and that is how you can implement it in your next report.
Please feel free to drop me your comments below and I will be happy to clarify any questions that you may have.
Be sure to stay with me next week as I complete this series into the passive. We will be looking at using the passive for reporting information and talking about services.
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