Active And Passive Voice.


In the context of Large Language Models (LLMs), the use of active and passive voice in more complex prompts related to cooking can shape the communication style. Active voice emphasizes the subject performing the action, like “Describe how chefs prepare a gourmet dish.” This prompt highlights the role of chefs and their actions in the cooking process. Passive voice shifts the focus to the action itself, as in “Explain the process by which a gourmet dish is prepared.” This prompt centers on the process without specifically mentioning the chefs. Choosing between active and passive voice allows users to highlight specific aspects, such as the role of individuals or the process itself, shaping the LLM’s response style and directing the focus of the conversation.

Active and passive voice are two different ways of constructing sentences in English.

Active Voice:

In active voice sentences, the subject performs the action directly. The subject is the “doer” of the action, and the sentence structure typically follows the subject-verb-object pattern.

Active Voice: “John baked a delicious cake for the party.”
In this sentence, “John” (the subject) performs the action of baking (the verb) directly on the cake (the object).

Passive Voice:

In passive voice sentences, the subject is acted upon, and the focus is shifted from the doer of the action to the recipient or object of the action. The sentence structure follows the object-verb-subject pattern, and a form of the auxiliary verb “to be” is used along with the past participle of the main verb.

Passive Voice: “A delicious cake was baked by John for the party.”
In this sentence, the cake (the object) becomes the subject, and it is the recipient of the action “baked” performed by John (the doer).

In an LLM (large language model) context, active voice is generally the dominant form used. This is because active voice tends to be more concise and direct, which is important for generating effective prompts that guide the language model towards generating accurate and relevant text. Additionally, active voice is generally considered more authoritative and engaging, which can enhance the overall effectiveness of the language model.

However, there are some situations where passive voice may be more appropriate. For example, when the focus is on the object of the sentence rather than the subject, or when the subject is unknown or unimportant. In these situations, passive voice can be used to create a more neutral or objective tone. In a creative writing context passive voice can add variety and stylistic effect.

  • By creating a sense of mystery and intrigue
  • By creating a sense of anticipation and drama
  • By allowing the focus to be on the vibrant ambiance

By utilizing active voice as the dominant form in an LLM context you can create prompts that are concise, direct, and engaging. However, also be aware of situations where passive voice may be more appropriate, in order to create prompts that accurately reflect the intended meaning and tone.

Active voice is often preferred when you want to:

  • highlight the doer of the action
  • convey a sense of directness
  • engage the end-user
  • maintain a strong tone

By considering the context and purpose of your writing, you can determine when active voice is more appropriate to accurately reflect your intended meaning and tone. FYI these prompts below are set in an organisational / business / corporate context:

Active Voice:

  • Prompt: Explain the benefits of effective team collaboration in driving innovation and problem-solving.
  • Prompt: Provide strategies for improving customer satisfaction and loyalty through personalized experiences.
  • Prompt: List the Key factors for successful project management and timely delivery of deliverables.
  • Prompt: Describe Techniques for enhancing employee engagement and fostering a positive work culture.
  • Prompt: Explain advantages of data-driven decision-making in optimizing business performance.
  • Prompt: Describe the role of effective leadership in inspiring and motivating high-performing teams.
  • Prompt: List the best practices for managing change and navigating organizational transitions.
  • Prompt: Address the significance of continuous learning and professional development in career growth.
  • Prompt: Explain the importance of transparent communication in building trust and credibility with stakeholders.
  • Prompt: Describe ways to leverage digital marketing channels for expanding brand reach and driving customer acquisition.

Passive Voice:

  • Prompt: Detail measures taken to ensure compliance with industry regulations and standards.
  • Prompt: Describe efforts made to streamline internal processes and enhance operational efficiency.
  • Prompt: Justify investments made in research and development to drive product innovation.
  • Prompt: Estimate the impact of effective supply chain management on cost optimization and customer satisfaction.
  • Prompt: Describe the role of corporate social responsibility initiatives in promoting sustainable business practices.
  • Prompt: Detail measures taken to mitigate risks and ensure business continuity in times of crisis.
  • Prompt: Describe the implementation of quality control measures to maintain high product standards.
  • Prompt: Describe efforts to promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace and foster a culture of belonging.
  • Prompt: Justify the adoption of lean methodologies to optimize resource allocation and minimize waste.