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R: Re: preferred voices?

From:Mangiat <mangiat@...>
Date:Sunday, September 24, 2000, 12:05
Marcus Smith wrote:

> nicole perrin wrote: > > >Yesterday we were reviewing the passive voice in my French class, and > >one of the points the teacher made quite emphatically is that the active > >voice is preferred. I know that this is also the case with English, > >although I could never understand it. > > Me either. I use the passive quite often, but I know other English > speakers who have claimed that they *never* use it. I think "never" is
> strong a word, but I must admit that I've never heard those people use it, > so they could very well be right.
*Never*? I find that a language without the passive voice wouldn't be so neat as one wich includes it. It allows you to change the prospective, to describe the action in a new way. The passive voice is lively present in Italian, and I can't figure out people not using it. I think people can use it *much* more than the subjunctive mood, which in Italian is really powerful (but not used anymore by many -low instructed- speakers).
> > The only explanation I've ever > >gotten is that it's not as powerful as active but I don't really buy > >that. > > That doesn't really make much sense to me. What is "powerful" supposed to > mean?
I find the passive voice powerful as the active. Ergative langs use passive much more than active (okay, okay, that's not exactly the same thing!). Luca