Misuse of the passive voice when the active voice is needed or the other way around.
In examples 1 and 2, the active voice is misused when the passive voice is needed. As a result, the subjects (i.e. “Sydney”, “reclamations”) appear to be the agents of the actions. However, “locate” and “carry out” require a human agent (i.e. “I locate”, “I carry out”). Therefore “locate” and “carry out” would have to be in the passive voice for these sentences to make sense.
 

 

WRONG
RIGHT

1.

Sydney is the capital city which located in the South-East of Australia, is as well a harbor city.

Sydney is the capital city which is located in the South-East of Australia.

2.

With the low availability of land resources, several reclamations have carried out around the harbour to
increase the supply of land for buildings development.

With the low availability of land resources, several reclamations have been carried out around the harbour to increase the supply of land for buildings development.

 

In examples 3 and 4, the passive voice is misused when the active voice is needed. “Exist” and “disappear” are intransitive verbs and have no objects. “The damage of heritage” and “the history of the Hong Kong harbour” are the agents of the actions “exist” and “disappear” and should be coded as subjects with the verbs in the active voice.
 

 

WRONG
RIGHT

3.

The damage of heritage is being existed
whenever there is reclamation.

The damage of heritage exists whenever there is reclamation.

4.

Without heritage in the harbour, the history of the Hong Kong harbour will be disappeared over time.

Without heritage in the harbour, the history of the Hong Kong harbour will disappear over time.

See more.

Click here for an exercise in revising passive constructions.

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