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Do the following sentences sound the same to you? Is the active voice or passive voice more commonly used?

  • She has to quarantine for 14 days.
  • She has to be quarantined for 14 days.

Thank you.

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  • 1
    The important point is not which of these is most common, but which reflects the facts in any given situation.
    – Xanne
    Sep 14, 2020 at 3:49
  • I've seen someone use the active voice even though it wasn't something she wanted to do. The quarantine measure was imposed by the government.
    – Ana
    Sep 14, 2020 at 4:08
  • When she needs to be observed, it is the second that holds good. Else, it should be, "She has to quarantine herself...."
    – Ram Pillai
    Sep 14, 2020 at 6:42

1 Answer 1

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The difference is small, and in practical terms may not matter much.

In the first sentence she is the subject of the verb. She feels compelled to quarantine at her own volition.

In the second sentence she is the object of the verb, presumably compelled by regulations, law, advisors, or health officials. Whether or not she wants to do so, she must do so.

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  • I've seen a British colleague use the active voice even if the quarantine was imposed by the authority. Do people actually mix the two in daily conversation? (Perhaps my colleague wanted to sound she was willing to do so?)
    – Ana
    Sep 14, 2020 at 9:46

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