Daily Dose of Grammar!

Sharmin and Joy, Ages 16,

WriteGirl Summer Interns

If you’re anything like us interns here in the WriteGirl office, you probably know how difficult it can be to prevent errors while writing essays for school, work, or creative pieces in general. Every single person who has ever written a formal paper has made unnecessary mistakes. And we don’t blame you; English can be a confusing language! So for those of you who continually struggle with the rules of writing, worry no more! We have created grammar guide for those of us who keep making the same mistakes with punctuation and grammar with a special focus on apostrophes and the active and passive voice; so none of you WriteGirls will be deterred to write creative writing pieces due to an inexplicable fear of making grammatical mistakes.

Active Voice vs. Passive Voice

As anyone who has ever sat through an English class probably knows, using the active voice instead of passive voice is very important when it comes to writing essays and articulating creative writing pieces. But why exactly are they so significant? If you sat through similar types of classes as we did, the answer probably goes something like “goodness, I don’t know!” Well, an active voice is when the subject of your sentence is doing the action, while a passive voice is when “the target of the verb is promoted to the subject position” (Fogarty). The active voice usually makes a sentence more understandable, while a passive voice leaves the reader uncertain of the subject and many times can make the sentence wordy.

1) How to an active voice, instead of a passive voice:

-Example 1:

Active Voice: Joy took my shoes from Gucci!

Passive Voice: The shoes from Gucci were taken by Joy!

-Example 2:

Active Voice: Sharmin left the her purse yesterday.

Passive Voice: Yesterday, the purse was left. (Note: The subject is not longer present in the sentence and you as the reader do not who left the purse).

Now that you know the basics of active voice versus passive voice, we here at Writegirl hope that you implement the grammar rule aforementioned and use it to aid you in the future when composing essays or other writing assignments. In order to make the greatest use of your new knowledge, write about your day today using an active voice when describing actions and apostrophes when appropriate. Elaborate on each event and try to use the tips that we gave you about active voice and passive voice at least three times in your writing. Before you know it, you might have a novel!