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I have to convert the following sentences from active to passive voice and vice versa:

A) Most insomnia is caused by stress.

B) Health chiefs have voiced concerns that Britain is fast becoming a nation of sleeping pill addicts.

I think that the conversions are:

A) Stress causes most insomnia.

B) Concerns that Britain is fast becoming a nation of sleeping pill addicts have been voiced by health chiefs.

My questions:

A) Are my conversions correct?

B) This "most" on sentence A causes problems to me. Specifically, I think that the way I have written sentence A doesn't make any sense as far as "most" is concerned.

C) Can I rephrase my conversions so that minimum reordering of phrases is present and if yes, how? (you can see that I have completely changed the ordering of certain phrases on the sentences)

D) The "is becoming" verb on sentence B can't be converted, right?

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  • Where did the "anxiety" come from in A? What is your concern about "most"? Why do you want to 'convert' "is fast becoming"? – TrevorD Jun 13 '16 at 17:55
  • @Trevord Error on A copy pasting... Sorry. Will correct that. Also, can an admin migrate this question to the site you suggested, whose existence I wasn't aware of. I don't ask for proof-reading. My main concerns are my other questions. – Jason Jun 13 '16 at 18:07
  • I don't know what the process is for migrating Qs, but I've raised a flag to the mods for you. – TrevorD Jun 13 '16 at 18:11
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    C) One of the stylistic benefits of voice changes is the reordering of the elements of a sentence, say, to emphasize the more important by placing it first. D) become isn't transitive, so you're right. The clue is that you can't specify an agent in a prepositional phrase with by. – deadrat Jun 13 '16 at 19:06
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    @deadrat I think anorak derives from our hackneyed view of trainspotters, who will go out in all weathers and stand around for hours in the rain waiting to see some train they haven't seen before. So us Brits usually use the term for amateurs/enthusiasts/pros who are slightly obsessive, especially if the subject matter/hobby at hand is perceived by other people as rather dull. – Araucaria Jun 15 '16 at 12:24
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Both the Original Poster's passive voice sentences are perfectly grammatical. However, b) is slightly awkward in English:

  • [Concerns that Britain is fast becoming a nation of sleeping pill addicts] have been voiced by health chiefs.

The problem here is that the head noun concerns takes a declarative content clause as Complement:

  • that Britain is fast becoming a nation of sleeping pill addicts

This clause is very long and it makes the Subject very heavy (heavy is just a technical term for very long). Usually in this kind of situation we tend to move any Complements or Postmodifiers in the noun phrase to the end of the clause. This is called 'extraposition from noun phrase movement'. This makes the sentence easier to process and also makes that information that appears at the end of the sentence more prominent. If we do this with the Original Poster's example we get:

  • [Concerns] have been voiced by health chiefs [that Britain is becoming a nation of sleeping pill addicts].
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A )Stress causes the most insomnia. (superlative )

b )Concerns have been voiced by health chiefs that Britain is becoming a nation of sleeping pill addicts.

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