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Worst Passive Errors

Passive Voice is very important to draft a formal letter!

Look at some correct and incorrect usage of passive sentences:

Incorrect Correct
She was commenced medication. Her medication was commenced.
She was prescribed Metformin. Warfarin was prescribed.
She was described her condition. The condition was described.
She was managed with Mylanta. Her condition was managed with with Mylanta.
She was recommended a gluten free diet. A gluten free diet was recommended for her.

Why are they incorrect?

Commence is another word for “start”, so, let’s look at a few sentences with “commence” (start). Understand them carefully and say what can be started (commenced) and what cannot be started (commenced).

Say which of the following actions are possible:

  1. You can commence (start) reading a book.
  2. You can commence (start) Mr Joe’s treatment.
  3. You can commence (start) Ms Sarah’s blood-sugar monitoring.
  4. You can commence (start) Ms Tara’s INR monitoring.
  5. You can commence (start) Ms Lee’s medication.
  6. You can commence (start) Ms Lee.
  7. Reading a book was commenced.
  8. Mr Joe’s treatment was commenced.
  9. Ms Sarah’s blood-sugar monitoring was commenced.
  10. Ms Tara’s INR monitoring was commenced.
  11. Ms Lee’s medication was commenced.
  12. Ms Lee was commenced.

Written by Biju John

Love for English begins with understanding its unknown rules. Biju John lives on the internet, teaching OET, IELTS and PTE. More than a million students have thanked him from their heart.

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