Before and After: Active versus Passive


Step 1: Click Next buton to show the "Before" example.
Step 2: Click Next button again to show the "After" Plain Language revision.
Repeat Steps 1 and 2. Total 15 items.
[1] Our office was asked to respond.Governor Crist asked our office to respond.
[2] The law was passed.The Florida Legislature passed the law.
[3] A User Manual was created.DMS created a User Manual.
[4] If necessary, the DMS Learning Place can be accessed outside of DMS via the Internet.If necessary, you can access the DMS Learning Place outside of DMS on the Internet.
[5] The state negotiated using these lots for employees until construction began.Employees can use these lots until construction begins.
[6] When the state requests formal bids, a competitive solicitation is used.The state uses competitive solicitation to request formal bids.
[7] Additionally, search criteria can be narrowed by the following search fields.Additionally, use the following search fields to narrow search criteria.
[8] Sourcing is the tool utilized by DMS for competitive solicitations for state term contracts utilized by state agencies.Sourcing is the tool DMS uses for competitive solicitations for agencies’ state term contracts.
[9] The newsletter is distributed to more than 3,000 customers.More than 3,000 customers receive the newsletter.
[10] Timesheets must be submitted by close of business today.Submit your timesheets by close of business today.
[11] The information will be mailed by June 30.DMS will mail the information by June 30.
[12] The reporter is looking for a general overview of our broadband efforts.The reporter asked for a general overview of our broadband efforts.
[13] After a full review, a determination was made that…After a full review, we determined that….
[14] In order for DMS to prepare this report, information is needed from each agency.DMS needs information from each agency to prepare this report.
[15] A contract cannot be signed without Secretary South’s approval.Secretary South must approve all contracts.


Note: This exercise is based on "Active versus Passive" by the Department of Management Services, Florida, USA. Other valuable DMS Plain Language resources are:

2008 Weekly Plain Language Tips


2009 Weekly Plain Language Tips


2010 Year-to-Date Weekly Plain Language Tips


Positive Messages | Turn a Don't into a Do


Plain Language Quick Reference Card 2010


Guide to Plain Language Writing 2010

Exercises created by Atty. Gerry T. Galacio; all rights reserved. You can freely use these exercises, but you must not upload them to any website or the cloud. For comments, questions, corrections, or suggestions, email


Exercises created with freeware Hot Potatoes v. 6.3 from the University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada.


Family Matters (complete text of the Family Code of the Philippines; frequently asked questions; relevant laws like RA 9262; legal procedures and Rules of Court)


Legal Updates (in-depth discussions of issues affecting the Filipino family, legal procedures, support, inheritance, etc.): Plain Language / Plain English for government offices, private companies, schools, and organizations; Clear, concise English for effective legal writing; Legal procedures in civil and criminal cases; Heirs and inheritances

Better English resources and exercises (free resources on grammar, pronunciation, spelling, writing, vocabulary, idioms, reading comprehension, public speaking, etc.)


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