I checked the grammar of my research article using a leading software. This is my sentence:

  • A total of 12.3 million sequences was used for the establishment of database.

The error is: 'Potential issues with passive voice usage'

Anything wrong here?

(NOTE: Er, the OP's question is about passive voice, but the "duplicate" linked thread is about subject-verb number agreement. Perhaps there's a related issue here, on subject-verb number agreement (which is debatable), but the OP's main question on passive voice ought to be addressed. Anyway, a short answer post here would probably be more appropriate than a related link. -- F.E.)

marked as duplicate by RegDwigнt May 7 '14 at 9:53

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.


A total (of 12.3 million sequences) was used (for the establishment (of database)).

subject + [v. to be] + [v. participle]

I think the sentence is correct.

  • 1
    This has wrongly been marked as a duplicate. The question is not about whether it should be "is" or "are" (which is answered elsewhere), but whether there is a problem with passive use. The answer to that question is that the sentence is indeed passive (as the grammar checker indicates), but that there is nothing at all wrong with appropriate use of the passive (and technical writing is a textbook case of where it is appropriate). RegDwight should take more care to read questions before being so hasty to mark them as duplicate. – digitig May 7 '14 at 11:06

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