Rail yard background, from the Library of Congress

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Point 27: Passive and Active Verbs

Favor the active voice. Like other "to be" formulations, the passive voice must be used in moderation. The sentence before this one uses the passive voice for good reasons; the construction allows the opening phrase to modify the noun it follows, and it makes the emphasis of the sentence fall at the beginning and end. (See Point 30.) The passive voice works well in a few situations, but more often, its tendency to add words and obscure logical relationships creates more problems than it solves. Rather than writing that a pattern of blood imagery is created by Stephen King, write that Stephen King creates that pattern. An exception: some kinds of science writing still favor the passive voice, though the trend is increasingly to shift to the active.
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