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The sound of the falls could still be heard. The sound of the falls still reached our ears. (来源:英语学习门户网站EnglishCN.com)

The reason that he left college was that his health became impaired. Failing health compelled him to leave college.

It was not long before he was very sorry that he had said what he had. He soon repented his words.

As a rule, avoid making one passive depend directly upon another.

Gold was not allowed to be exported.   It was forbidden to export gold (The export of gold was prohibited).

He has been proved to have been seen entering the building. It has been proved that he was seen to enter the building.

In both the examples above, before correction, the word properly related to the second passive is made the subject of the first.

A common fault is to use as the subject of a passive construction a noun which expresses the entire action, leaving to the verb no function beyond that of completing the sentence.

A survey of this region was made in 1900. This region was surveyed in 1900.

Mobilization of the army was rapidly carried out. The army was rapidly mobilized.

Confirmation of these reports cannot be obtained. These reports cannot be confirmed.

Compare the sentence, "The export of gold was prohibited," in which the predicate "was prohibited" expresses something not implied in "export."

4. Put statements in positive form.

Make definite assertions. Avoid tame, colorless, hesitating, non-committal language. Use the word not as a means of denial or in antithesis, never as a means of evasion.

He was not very often on time. He usually came late.

He did not think that studying Latin was much use. He thought the study of Latin useless.

The Taming of the Shrew is rather weak in spots. Shakespeare does not portray Katharine as a very admirable character, nor does Bianca remain long in memory as an important character in Shakespeare's works. The women in The Taming of the Shrew are unattractive. Katharine is disagreeable, Bianca insignificant.

The last example, before correction, is indefinite as well as negative. The corrected version, consequently, is simply a guess at the writer's intention.

All three examples show the weakness inherent in the word not. Consciously or unconsciously, the reader is dissatisfied with being told only what is not; he wishes to be told what is. Hence, as a rule, it is better to express a negative in positive form.

not honest dishonest

not important trifling

did not remember forgot

did not pay any attention to ignored

did not have much confidence in distrusted

The antithesis of negative and positive is strong:

Not charity, but simple justice.

Not that I loved Caesar less, but Rome the more.

Negative words other than not are usually strong:

The sun never sets upon the British flag.

 
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