passive voice and gerunds
In my editing work, I often encounter passive sentences that contain gerunds. (They make me crazy.)
So, while I'm fine with the sentence
A. I can gain weight by eating cake.
B. Weight can be gained by eating cake.
rubs me the wrong way. I generally change it to the form
C. Weight can be gained through the eating of cake.
Unfortunately none of the sentences I edit are this simple; they are highly technical and complex, and such changes render them even less readable. To the original author, it appears that I have complicated them unnecessarily. Here's my question: Are the sentences in the form of sentence B grammatically incorrect? To me it almost sounds as though the weight is eating the cake.
PS (Please don't suggest that I put the sentences in the active voice or make them simple--can't be done in this particular situation. Thanks.)
Re: passive voice and gerunds
Hi, 'B' is not wrong grammatically but it might better be expressed by 'Weight can be gained because of eating cake.' I have to be honest and say that it's not something I have thought about before.
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