I will be remembered as an individual who was kind, compassionate and always helped others.

I checked my sentence on grammarly and it pointed out that this sentence has "passive voice misuse". Can someone please help me fix the error? I am not sure what the error is.

  • 2
    I see nothing wrong with your passive. I only don't like the unbalanced predicate of the relative clause, where you have "kind" and "compassionate" separated by a comma and linked with "was" and then an action verb. I prefer: I will be remembered as an individual who was kind, compassionate and helpful. OR I will be remembered as an individual who behaved kindly, showed compassion and helped others. Can you see how the unbalance has been fixed?
    – Gustavson
    Jan 26 '19 at 16:27
  • @Gustavson thanks, I could feel the "incorrectness" of my sentence but didn't know how to fix it. Thank you so much !
    – Pirate X
    Jan 26 '19 at 16:32
  • 1
    @Gustavson Yes. See the piece I ADDED to my answer. Jan 26 '19 at 16:41

Grammarly is misparsing was...helped as a passive. The actual error is a subtle matter of punctuation. You have listed your three characteristics as

... was kind, compassionate, and always helped others.

This construction leads a literal-minded "reader" like Grammarly to believe the three characteristics have the same syntactic role, but this is not the case: the first two, kind and compassionate are adjective complements of was, while helped is not an adjective but a new verb, unconnected with was.

You can eliminate this reading by saying:

                   was  and
 ... someone who   and
                   always helped others ...

That is,

... someone who was kind and compassionate and always helped others.

ADDED: Gustavson's alternative phrasings, which preserve the list construction at the cost of changing the words employed, are arguably better if the new words preserve your meaning.

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