Daily Writing Tip: Passive/Aggressive

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To make your writing stronger, avoid using the passive voice. Instead of writing, “The house will be sold” (object-verb) use the subject-verb-object combination: “I will sell the house.” Next week’s tips: Sentence Structure 101



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Comments (4)

Mary Pope-Handy
Sereno Group Real Estate - Los Gatos, CA
CRS, CIPS, ABR, SRES, Silicon Valley

There's good, better and best - I think best is when you mix it up so that you vary the type of sentences used, the order in which the verbs fall etc. 

A lot of editors and others encourage writers & bloggers to avoid "I" sentences since the goal is to make it about the consumer.  That can be tricky...make the sentence strong but stay focused on the customer or consumer.

Jul 15, 2011 03:25 AM
Mario Rea
Talmer Bank - Macomb, MI
VA Loans.FHA Loans. New Construction.Conventiona

Catherine,  Thanks for the tip.  I'm a loan officer, but I write emails all the time and it's a little cumbersome to keep checking with  the latest version of Strunk and White, Elements of Style. LOL

We can all use a refresher on our writing skills.  I know I always switch tenses (among other mistakes)...it's a bad habit.


Jul 15, 2011 03:26 AM
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Catherine. As a former English teacher I really enjoyed this. I will look for your posts in the future. How'd I do? Have a great day.

Jul 15, 2011 03:27 AM
Catherine Rayburn-Trobaugh
CRT Commercial Media - Marble, NC

@Mario--Don't I know it! I have to write in three different styles on any given day. Sometimes I have a stack of style books on my desk.

@Sheila—Me too—twenty years of teaching college writing classes, and I can repeat this stuff in my sleep. :-) And you did very well!

@Mary--That's an interesting thought. Most writing teachers though mean to vary sentence length and structure rather than to write in passive voice intentionally, but if it works for you—go for it.

Jul 15, 2011 03:37 AM