0

When it seems unlikely to hear something from somebody and that person says something that was not expected, which one of the following sentences would sound more natural:

  • I didn’t expect such things coming out of your mouth.
  • Such things were not expected coming out (of / from) your mouth.
  • 3
    The first is active voice, the second is passive voice. Generally speaking, active voice is always better: it's more concise, easier to understand and, most importantly, says who is doing something. – JavaLatte Jul 29 '16 at 11:16
  • Thank you very much @JavaLatte; I would be thankful if you could change it to an answer. :) – A-friend Jul 30 '16 at 12:04
2

The first is active voice, the second is passive voice.

You might use passive voice when you don't know who did something (I was mugged) or if you don't want to say (Your vase got broken), or it's not important to say (The surveys were carried out over a three year period).

In all other circumstances, active voice is better: it's more concise, easier to understand and, most importantly, says who is doing something.

The expression coming out of your mouth is fine if what was said is inappropriate or offensive. If what's said is quite proper but not expected from this particular person, from your lips might be better. So, you could say any of these:

I didn’t expect such things coming out of your mouth.
I didn't expect such things from your lips.

1

There are two interpretations of the question:

  1. I expected them to say nothing at all, I expected them to be silent.
  2. I did not expect them to say those (types of) words.

The phrase "coming out of your mouth" is commonly used in sentences like those in the question when telling off a child for using rude (or profane or vulgar) words. It does not complain about the child talking, it complains about the words used.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.