Posted by: episystechpubs | July 15, 2014

Nifty Nuggets: Passive Zombies

“Voice” refers to the relationship between the subject of a sentence and the verb. In a sentence written in active voice, the subject of the sentence performs the action. In a sentence written in passive voice, the subject receives the action. Use active voice whenever possible because it is generally more energetic and clear. There are, however, certain instances when passive voice is acceptable. For example:

• When the subject is unknown or unimportant

• When the action, not the doer, is the focus of the sentence

• In error messages, to avoid giving the impression that the user is to blame

To create an active sentence or to revise a passive sentence: Start the sentence with the subject.

Examples:

• Episys takes the specified payment amount rather than the standard payment amount.

• Type this field value during the Bond Redemption (BR) teller transaction.

(In the example directly above, the subject you is implied.)

Try this fun trick to identify passive voice. If you can insert “by zombies” after the verb, you have passive voice.

Original sentence:

• Changes were made to Episys in this enhancement to remain compliant with government regulations.

Zombie trick:

• Changes were made by zombies to Episys in this enhancement to remain complaint with government regulations.

Active voice:

• Symitar made changes to Episys in this enhancement to remain compliant with government regulations.

Thank you,

Jackie Solano

Technical Writer, Episys Technical Publications

Symitar®

8985 Balboa Avenue

San Diego, California 92123

Direct Line: 619-542-6711


Responses

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