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Consider the following sentence:

The SuperAPI is the API that can be used to configure a Higher-Order model.

When this sentence exists in a Microsoft® Office 365 Word document, the grammar checking functionality flags the fragment, "that can be used," as passive. How would I rewrite this as an active-voice sentence?

However, Grammarly.com does not complain about this. I see plenty of examples using the sentence fragment, "that can be used," in describing the proper grammatical formation of active-voice phrases! (For example, see this page on the online MacPhaidin Library website in which exists, "Semicolons are one type of punctuation that can be used to link two independent clauses together."

I believe ignoring the warning doesn't diminish the strength of the containing document. If it does, what rule guides me in rewriting this into an active-voice version?

marked as duplicate by tchrist Aug 12 '18 at 18:12

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  • It is a passive-voice construction, but there is nothing especially wrong about the passive voice. That is why it's easy for you to find examples of it being used. – sumelic Jun 29 '17 at 0:20
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    "The SuperAPI is the API that you can use to configure a Higher-Order model." But you shouldn't rewrite it, because there's no need to introduce an actor. – Peter Shor Jun 29 '17 at 0:21
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I second other comments that the passive voice is not inappropriate. However, if you'd like to convert this to the active voice, write:

You can use SuperAPI to configure a Higher-Order model."

I've removed some details that, with this revision, are unnecessary.

Also note that you don't need to use an article for "SuperAPI" unless you write "the SuperAPI API", though that's a bit redundant.

  • Thank you. My question as presented is morphed from a context in which I have a glossary of words and phrases. In this specific entry, SuperAPI is the left-side noun being defined in a right-side column, in which I have, "An API that can be used to..." I have been stuck in finding an active-voice version of the definition. Your version fits well, and answers my question. – NW7US Jun 29 '17 at 0:33
  • In a glossary you can eliminate the verb altogether: "SuperAPI: An API to configure a higher-order model". – The Photon Jun 29 '17 at 5:22
  • You could say: Users use SuperAPI to . . . – Xanne Jun 29 '17 at 5:49

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