Contemporary essays, fiction, and opinion offered regularly by author Anne Brandt.

Question for the week
What part of speech is objections?
Rules of the Games
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Kit asks...
I thought I knew the difference between a passive and active sentence. Now I'm not so sure because of a crit I received on my story. Doesn't whether the sentence is active or passive depend on whether the verb is active or passive? Jane threw the ball vs the ball was thrown by Jane. I had a critiquer tell me the following was passive: Out of his lab coat, Brizet looked remarkably presentable. Is it?
Anne answers...
You seem to understand the concept of active vs. passive voice. And the example you offered regarding Jane is correct. So this brings us to your sentence about Brizet and his lab coat. The basic sentence is: Brizet looked presentable. The rest is all embellishment. I suspect your critic is confusing transitive vs. intransitive verbs with active vs. passive voice. There is a list of verbs, look being among them, that are intransitive and which are still in the active voice. So now you need to decide how much you want to argue with the critic. Good luck!
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