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Macr; Focus on grammar. Passive vs. Active
Passives are very common in legal writing. Passive verbs have some specific uses:
- when the author is more interested in facts and events than in people,
- when the actor is unknown or unimportant,
- in writing about disasters and accidents if the result or the victim is more important than the cause.
- The Act prohibiting the sale of narcotics was passed last year.
- The criminal was arrested last night.
- The child was injured.
Active sentences must have a subject, verb,anddirect object.But the passive must have onlya subject and verb.Additional information is optional in the passive.
ACTIVE:The victim filed charges against the offender.
PASSIVE:The charges were filed (by the victim).
We form the passive by using the appropriate tenses of the verb to be followed by the past participle of the verb we are using.
Most passive verbs can be changed into active verbs.
1. In most cases, some form of payment is required from the offender to compensate for the injury he or she caused.
2. The offender was required to compensate for the injury he caused.
3. Some form of payment will be required from the offender to compensate for the injury he caused.
1. In most cases courts require the offender to compensate for the injury he or she caused.
2. Court (judge) required the offender to compensate for the injury he caused,
3. Court (judge) will require some form of payment from the offender to compensate for the injury he caused.
ADVANTAGES OF THE ACTIVE VOICE
· An active construction can give more information in fewer words.
· An active verb makes your writing livelier and more vivid.
EXERCISE 13. Change the passive pattern in the following sentences into the active one.
1. The content of law can be categorized as substantive and procedural.
2. Procedural laws are rules, concerning how substantive laws are to be administered, enforced, changed, and used by players in the legal system.
3. Public law is concerned with the relationship between the individual and the state.
4. Private law is concerned with the relationships between individuals.
5. Occasionally, a criminal action may be followed up by a civil suit.
6. Common law is not based on acts of parliament but on case law.
7. Statutes are enacted by national parliaments.
8. Civil law system was greatly influenced by Roman law.
Extend your skills
EXERCISE 14. Do a mind map for the text TYPES OF LAW.
EXERCISE 15.Complete the table according to the given example.
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