What is strong English?
I showed a text to someone. The person said that it is weak English? What does that mean?
- Anonymous1 month agoFavorite Answer
Weak English contains errors, not necessarily large ones, unusual turns of phrase, odd word choices, unnatural sentence structure, inconsistent voice, and/or a host of other errors.
It's relatively easy for someone learning English as a second (or third, or fourth) language to understand and be understood in written English, yet their writing is weak.
- bluebellbkkLv 71 month ago
By "weak" I understand either that your grasp of the language was not strong, OR that they thought your writing wasn't confident and convincing. Many people believe that using any form of the verb "to be" makes language weak; some even call it "passive", by which they generally mean "inert" or "unengaging". They forget, or don't know, that using the word "passive" this way has caused endless confusion for learners struggling with the Passive Voice, a particular grammatical structure which must include some form of the verb "to be" (or "to get") PLUS a Past Participle.If there is no Past Participle, it may be "passive" but it is not Passive Voice.
Many people believe the Passive Voice should be used only in technical writing, but like all such "rules" what they really mean, when it comes down to it, is that you should always consider whether any word or phrase or structure best conveys your meaning *in a given context*. There is NOTHING wrong in itself with using the Passive Voice; just be sure it works in your specific context.Lisa's example of "The dinner was eaten" is - confusingly for learners - both Passive Voice AND "passive" in the sense of "not engaging". Certainly we can all agree that this sentence is boring and uninformative. But it is not the use of the Passive Voice itself that makes the sentence uninformative; it is the lack of other detail and colour, and Tina has provided a vivid example showing how these can just as easily be included in a Passive Voice sentence as in an Active one.
Tina is correct on this. It is essential to maintain the difference between "passive" (inert) writing, and the Passive Voice.
- TinaLv 71 month ago
Lisa the opposite of "The dinner was eaten" is "He,she,it or they ate the dinner." That is the difference between active and passive. You can add detail just as easily if you use the passive voice:
"The dinner was eaten in perfect silence. Once or twice one of the guests looked as if he might start a conversation, or just ask to be handed the bread, but he was frowned into silence...
- LisaLv 71 month ago
No one can say for sure what that person meant other than that person. However, when someone writes with a lot of passive verb usage, sometimes that is referred to as being weak. For example the following sentence is passive:
The dinner was eaten.
Notice it doesn't say WHO ate or WHERE it was eaten or WHY. Not that an active sentence has to include all of that, but it should include some. So, to fix the above sentence, you might write:
The aspiring writer ate her dinner.
The aspiring writer ate her lobster in cream sauce while her boyfriend watched.
At the Lobster Hut Restaurant, the aspiring writer, her boyfriend, and eighteen other people competed in the lobster eating contest in order to win the $400 prize.
Notice how much more bang for your buck you get with that third sentence. Of course, it uses a lot more words than the first one, but readers are generally happy to read long sentences if they contain lots of useful meaning.
Perhaps you can go back to the person who said your text was weak and ask what exactly was meant. That is the only way to be sure.
Hope this helps!
Note to Tina: Sorry, but although your way of defining what passive voice is can be said to be correct, it is not the only way to define it. You are, of course, welcome to your opinion, but it is best, when trying to correct someone, to do a little research first and see if you are, in fact, correct. It is unkind to do otherwise.Source(s): College English instructor
- How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
- CogitoLv 71 month ago
It usually means that while you can understand it, the spelling, punctuation and/or the grammar is incorrect.
- LomaxLv 41 month ago
It's a rather nebulous phrase. I can only assume that he or she meant that you didn't make the point you were trying to make in a very convincing manner.