Filipino Students’ Active-Passive Voice Preference in Invitation Letters

Leonardo O. Munalim, Gina O. Gonong


Discussions on active and passive use are rich in literature. However, there is a remarkable dearth of studies showing students’ actual voice preferences after all concepts of the voice have been introduced. This study aims at ascertaining Filipino university students’ actual preference of voice in invitation letters written in 2012, 2014, and 2015. It also looks at the tense-aspect combinations and the semantics achieved in the two voice categories. Three groups taking technical writing course from three universities in Manila produced 135 letters. Letters were run using AntConc and UAM Corpus tools. Results confirm the dominance of active voice, with passive almost nil in the corpus. The preference is found to be statistically significant. The dominance of active voice may suggest that foregrounding the doers is important. Moreover, there is no significant difference between the long and agentless passive. Although the results came from the parochial Philippine context, implications respecting students’ preference of voices may be universal. Limitations and trajectories are offered accordingly.


active voice; business letters; invitation letter; passive voice

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