"The preparation for lodgment of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to the Department of Planning ("Planning") continues."

Although I believe the previous sentence to be an agentless passive, it is supposedly in the active voice. Can anyone clarify?

  • 4
    "It continues" Active voice. – Centaurus May 18 '15 at 23:42
  • The preparation.....of Planning = subject. continues = verb. – Centaurus May 18 '15 at 23:45
  • In what country is "lodgment of [X] to [Y] a standard construction? In America, it would be "filing of [X] with [Y]. – Brian Hitchcock May 19 '15 at 6:49
  • Welcome to EL&U. If you could edit your post to indicate why you believe the sentence to be an agentless passive, we may be able to help you identify the point of confusion. Otherwise, this question is likely to be closed as insufficiently researched. – choster May 19 '15 at 16:54

It is a beautiful example of distancing: used to make a sentence seem to be of high status and to remove any possibility of blame. What the writer is trying to avoid saying is

The environmental paper is being lodged. (passive)

or even

The lodgement of the environmental paper is being prepared. (passive)

One step more:

The preparation for the lodgement of the environmental paper continues.

Thank you for the example, and for your question. You heard the inherent passive subtext.

  • +1 It might be characterized as a de-agentive construction: it employs as subject an agent to which agency cannot be meaningfully attributed. – StoneyB on hiatus May 19 '15 at 1:02
  • 1
    Might be helpful to clarify your implied but grammatically it's not exactly a passive – Araucaria - Not here any more. May 19 '15 at 9:18

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