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Regarding the April 27 Bilingual page article, “Stop worrying and embrace the passive tense“: Sorry to nitpick, but I think someone writing a column on language is obliged to be careful about linguistic terminology.

The article starts out well enough, referring to active voice and passive voice, but then inexplicably uses the term “passive tense.”

Simply put, there ain’t no such animal. Verb tense is for specifying the time of an action, distinguishing between past, present and future, for example. It has nothing to do with the distinction between active voice and passive voice.

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

paul smith

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