Which of the following sentences is more correct?

I dreamed I got punished by my English teacher cos I could not recite the article he offers.


I dreamed I got punished by my English teacher cos I could not recite the article offered by him.

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    I think English Language Learners would be a better site for this: ell.stackexchange.com Aug 2, 2015 at 2:37
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    “cos” is cosine, the word is because and is sometimes shortened very informally to ’cuz. But your sentence doesn’t seem to be a case where this level of informality is warranted. Also offers is probably not the right verb. Maybe *requested, specified, demanded”
    – Jim
    Aug 2, 2015 at 3:29
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    @Jim ’Cos is a fairly common spelling in British English (’cuz being entirely American); ’cause is of course Bipondian. Aug 2, 2015 at 9:33
  • To the OP: Note the apostrophe in all variations. To confuse it further: without an apostrophe, "cos" is also a type of lettuce, and "cuz" is a shortened form of "cousin". Aug 2, 2015 at 11:51

2 Answers 2


In general, the active voice is preferred over the passive voice.

I kicked the ball.

is preferred over

The ball was kicked by me.

“The active voice is usually more direct and vigorous than the passive.” (Strunk & White, Elements of Style)

"Active voice is used for most non-scientific writing. Using active voice for the majority of your sentences makes your meaning clear for readers, and keeps the sentences from becoming too complicated or wordy. Even in scientific writing, too much use of passive voice can cloud the meaning of your sentences." (Purdue University Online Writing Lab)


Both sentences have problems in them, the least of which is whether or not to use passive or active voice.

This is my suggestion for the idea you wish to convey:

Formal: I dreamed I was punished by my English teacher because I could not recite the article he gave me.

Informal: I dreamed I got punished by my English teacher 'cuz I couldn't recite the article he gave me.

I changed "offers" to "gave" to match the tenses, and also because "offers" is strange. He offered you something but then punished you because you couldn't/wouldn't recite it?

If you choose to stick with "offers" then the first sentence should end, "...he offered." and the second, "...offered by him."

Remember, oftentimes it's not a matter of "more correct," but what you want to express to your reader / listener.

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