Writing Passive Voice? - I Was And Didn't Even Know It!

Last Update: July 30, 2017

Are You Writing Passive Voice?

When creating your posts/pages do you give much thought to grammar?

I had no idea I was writing passive voice sentence structures until recently. I didn't even know what it was, do you?

What Is Passive Voice

In Layman's terms, Passive Voice is when the subject of the sentence is acted upon.

Example of a Passive Voice Sentence:

The brakes were slammed on by her as the car sped downhill.

The action (slamming brakes) is acting upon the subject (her).

Example Of The Active Voice Sentence:

She (subject) slammed on the brakes (action) as the car sped downhill.

Spotting Passive Voice

You want to look for a form of "to be". These could be words such as:

  • Is, Are, Am, Was, Were
  • Have Been, Has Been, Had Been
  • Will Be, Will Have Been, Being

followed by a past participle (typically expresses completed action), typically, but not always, ends in "ed".

More Examples: Passive Voice Vs Active Voice

This Product can be bought in our workshop
Customers can buy this product in our workshop

The bags are checked by a security guard
A security guard checks the bags

The employees are informed about....
The manager informs the employees about.....

More Information On Passive Voice

There is defiantly more information about recognizing, using/or not using, and how to spot the usage of passive voice online but, my intent was just to bring awareness to this part of the grammatical construction.

The use of passive voice is just one of the analysis components for readability in Yoast SEO

I like this tool because it gives the % of the sentences containing passive voice. The recommended maximum is 10%. Yoast shows you where you can correct the grammatical construction from passive voice to active voice.

In Conclusion

As brief as this post is, I hope that this has been helpful to you. I do believe this information is very beneficial while composing content on our websites or really, in any writing that we do.

Are you writing passive voice on you blogs? Now you know what they are, how to spot them, and how to correct them using active voice.

Be sure to click the Like Button and leave a comment below. Thanks!

Make The Effort - Great Things Will Happen!


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Emeolu Premium
Thanks for the information.
SuzetteH Premium
You are very welcome!
emerald860 Premium
Thanks for explaining this Suzette! I've seen this on Yoast and have wanted to explore it in more detail. I'll keep an eye out in my Yoast stats. Alanna
SuzetteH Premium
Your welcome Alanna, I kept seeing this in Yoast as well and had a hard time trying to get that dot to go green LOL. So I thought to myself, hey you dummy, it might not be so hard if you knew what passive voice meant.

I still need more practice but, it is getting easier to spot and correct. And I have to say, I am really liking the Yoast SEO plugin.
GaryJr Premium
I've been using Site Content here at WA to write posts, and it told me a few times that I was writing passive voice. I didn't know what it meant, and I didn't see anything wrong so I ignored it.

Now, I get it. Thanks for the explanation.
SuzetteH Premium
Hey Gary, good to hear from you. Thank you for reminding me about the Site Content. I keep forgetting about that awesome feature here at Wealthy Affiliate.

Glad I could clear things up for you a bit about writing passive voice.
abdul11 Premium
good interesting post thanks for sharing
SuzetteH Premium
Your Welcome.
spurway Premium
interesting and thanks for sharing
SuzetteH Premium
Thanks for the reply. I am pleased to hear you found this interesting. I did too once, I discovered it again and began looking into it. I guess I probably should have paid better attention in school many many years ago :).
AniGago Premium
Very good. Thanks for this.
SuzetteH Premium
You're welcome and thank you. I am pleased that you found this post Writting Passive to be good. I find that the English language can sometimes be difficult. I was aiming to make this post simple but informative at the same time.
TezzaW Premium
wow, interesting. Thank you so much for sharing Suzette.
SuzetteH Premium
Thank you. I found learning about writing passive voice interesting as well. I am anxious to see how my content is ranked going forward with this knowledge and applying it.
ValerieJoy Premium
This is good information Suzette. Thank you.

I am used to Yoast advising me about Passive voice and try to take time to make changes. Also, I intend at those times to do a study of Passive voice so as to understand how it works. As I have not yet taken time to study this, your information is valuable :)
laurenjean Premium
Interesting Suzette. I'll check my posts.
SuzetteH Premium
That is awesome Lauren. That is what I am currently doing with this new site. I had several posts and pages already created when I switched to the Yoast SEO plugin.

I noticed that using passive voice in my content was extensive.

With having only a limited amount of content on this site, I decided to go through each post and page, and follow the recommendations.

I have seen much better search results since doing this.
Tbarlow1 Premium
Thanks for sharing, I will be aware of the way I am wording things more now.

Have a Great Day!
SuzetteH Premium
Thank you Tracy, I appreciate the reply. I do believe that be being aware of the over usage of passive voice sentence construction has helped with better optimizing my posts and pages.

I am finally seeing my posts and website ranking on pages 1 & 2 opposed to seeing my google + posts ranking. Not to say that Google+ posts ranking is a bad thing.
bigrog44 Premium
Thanks for sharing, Suzette.
SuzetteH Premium
Your welcome Roger, Thanks for taking the time to read this post. I appreciate it.
MKearns Premium
I have an aversion to passive over active Suzette. I do use passive when events are more in the past!
SuzetteH Premium
Thank you Mike for the reply. Perhaps we need a PM session as to why you have this aversion. :)