Business English Quick Tips: active versus passive

If you need to write for your job or business in English, these quick tips will help you succeed…

In some of my writings on this topic I talk about “go” words/sentences versus “slow” words/sentences and despite not being very intellectual, those terms make it easy to remember which style works better!

This is closely linked with the need to write simply and straight to the point and using active phrasing – through the correct use of “go” verbs – gives your business writing a much more authoritative, credible style. Here are some examples:

Passive: The test was passed by most of the delegates at the conference.
Active: Most of the delegates at the conference passed the test.

Passive: An excellent speech was given by the Chief Executive.
Active: The Chief Executive gave an excellent speech.

Passive: An agreement in principle was reached by members of the Board.
Active: The members of the Board reached an agreement in principle.

Passive: The supplier was given an ultimatum by the store manager
Active: The store manager gave the supplier an ultimatum

For a really useful 200-page guide to business writing in English, check out “Business Writing Made Easy” – you’ll find it very, very helpful! Click here

And for something a bit different, try the exercises associated with this article in my “30 Day Business Writing Challenge” – Click here

More next week … and if you have any questions about business writing in English please add them here in the comments section, and I will try to answer them as well as I can.