1. SlowToShow

    SlowToShow Member

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    Active voice.

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by SlowToShow, Jul 11, 2017.

    I'v been trying to write active sentences. I couldn't figure out what the subject of this.

    Scrutinize what you can't describe.

    For context, the sentence is referring to problem solving. The "what" could be any problem. Write out what the problem is. Scrutinize what you can't describe....
     
  2. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin Funky like your grandpa's drawers.... Staff Contributor

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    That sentence is a command and the subject of all commands (i think) is the person or thing being commanded.

    I could be totally wrong about that.
     
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  3. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

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    No, you're not wrong.

    You
    is the grammatical subject.
    What is the grammatical direct object.

    The subject is coming in dead center of the sentence, which tends to make English a little twitchy. It could be rephrased as: What you can't describe, scrutinize.
     
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  4. Mouthwash

    Mouthwash Senior Member

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    And this is an important thing to know because...
     
  5. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Passive voice, active voice, parts of speech, these may be things that are obvious to many of us, but it does seem that, on the whole, this topic has fallen by the wayside in education since I last sat at a grade-school desk. The outlining of sentences is no more. When these basic bits of knowledge are missing, how can we discuss the more complex dynamics built upon them?
     
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  6. OJB

    OJB A Mean Old Man Contributor

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    No truer words were spoken today.
     
  7. SlowToShow

    SlowToShow Member

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    I didn't think of it as a command, but now I see.

    After some googling, I found examples of commands, "Shut the door." "Take out the trash." If a sentence is meant to be a command, then would it be better to put the action at the beginning? Scrutinize what you can't describe.
    Verb+You+Verb..... The best example is, "Kill anything that moves!"
     
  8. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    I'm slightly confused. All of your examples have the action at the beginning, don't they?
     
  9. SalvadorAndrés

    SalvadorAndrés New Member

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    On Imperative mode, it is a given that the subjet is in second person (you). While not being present in the sentence itself, it exists, and it's usually called Null Subject (or something along those lines).

    Active and passive mode turn subject and verb around, so to speak. So, "(You) Shut the door" comes to me as active, while its passive counterpart would be something like "The door has been shut by you".

    Please correct me if I'm wrong. I'm taking spanish knowledge (which can be flawed to begin with) and applying it to english, and it may not be valid at all.
     
  10. Mouthwash

    Mouthwash Senior Member

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    I recall this being taught at every school I attended (I'm twenty).

    What value do these 'more complex dynamics' have if I can comprehend and write sophisticated English without knowing what they are?
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2017
  11. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

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    No, no. I think the sentence was fine as you originally wrote it. I was speaking only to the original concern of not finding the subject. Sometimes it helps to rephrase in order to wheedle these things out. I was just trying to bring it closer to the head of the sentence to make it clearer without changing the overall structure. :bigwink:
     
  12. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Ah, yes, twenty. That explains a lot.
    If these discussions have no value to you here in a writing forum, in the area set aside specifically for the discussion of the nuances of grammar then... don't. I mean, you are twenty after all. What more could there be for you to know?
     
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