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Active voice

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New member
Feb 20, 2008
Member Type
I posted something here yesterday and can't seem to locate the answer.

My question....

When it comes to writing computer manuals, I wrote, "Click the xxx button. The xxxx screen is displayed."

I was then told to use the active voice - in other words, "Click the xxxx button. The xxxx screen displays." I believe this to be incorrect due to the intransitive usage of the word displays. In my opinion, if faced with a sentence saying, "the xxxx screen displays." my immediate response would be "displays what?". My boss does not want me to use the word appears.

Secondly, I have been told that after a full stop and before the next sentence begins, I am to have two spaces. Whilst I agree that at one stage this was the acceptable norm, why is it that Microsoft Word would insert just a single space if one were to start the following sentence straight after the full stop e.g. The man sat on the chair.He stood up.

Many thanks for your answers.


Editor, UsingEnglish.com
Staff member
Nov 13, 2002
Member Type
Native Language
British English
Home Country
Current Location
1 It's common enough to use verbs in that way. Copuld you use 'opens' instead, though?
2 That's an option in the Grammar Settings; it will ignore the spacing or go for one or two spaces.


Junior Member
Feb 21, 2008
Member Type
Student or Learner
I agree, you have the correct grammar.

However, I would recommend everyone to be careful with Microsoft Word. Their grammar check is terrible.
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