Using Active Voice in IELTS Exam – Notes From Answer Checking.

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An advice before you read this article:

“Compounding is the greatest mathematical discovery of all time” – Albert Einstein.

The secret of writing well is NOT to expect drastic changes in one day. Work on making continuous improvements every day and you will achieve your goal. With this message, let us begin our journey.

I’ve checked and published more than a hundred essays on this website so far and I’ve noticed that many students fail to use active voice. An active voice, with a clear subject in the beginning, is always better than the passive voice. I’ll present various instances in which students have committed this mistake along with suitable corrections.

It is contemplated by many (Passive Voice. Prefer Active.) that what should be taught to the young children: predominance of local history rather than the international history.

Rephrase: Many people contemplate whether children should be taught local history or international history.

The passive voice clearly makes things complex. Unlike passive voice, active voice places a SUBJECT at the beginning. Subject = Many People.

I am a resident of 43, Whitehall Close which was recommended by you (Passive Voice. Use Active.) as I have taken your services for finding this accommodation.

I took your services about a month ago to find the apartment I am living in currently.

The point is that if you eliminate the passive voice, things become simpler and ambiguity vanishes. Another active voice version of the above sentence could be:

“I am a resident of 43, Whitehall Close, which you recommended as a real estate agent.”

Let us look at another sentence:

I called you seven days ago but, unfortunately, any kind of service was not made available. (Passive voice. Prefer Active)

I called you seven days ago, however, you did not rectify the issue.

Isn’t active voice simpler to write and understand? It fetches you bands as well. Let us go through some more examples.

During the past two decades in Ghana, it has been reported by the local media (passive voice)  that prisoners who serve long-term sentences with difficult hardship turn out to be better and improved individuals after being released.

During the past two decades in Ghana, the local media has reported that prisoners who serve long-term sentences …..

Please note that “the local media” is placed at the head of the sentence. Let us look at an introductory sentence from task 1, academic.

The two pie charts compare the access to world wide web by the different internet browsers (Passive Voice. Try Active Voice.) in 2001 and 2010.

The two pie charts compare the use of different internet browsers to access the world wide web in 2001 and 2010.

I’ll keep adding more examples of active and passive voice in this article. Keep re-visiting this article to learn more.

Ask any doubts in the comments box below.

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