When to Avoid Passive Voice
Last week we reviewed what passive voice is. Here‘s why it‘s not the best thing to use in your writing.
The opposite of the passive voice is the active voice. A sentence in the active voice is structured traditionally: Subject, verb, object. Beth stubbed her toe. John loves pie. Harry hates country music.
Using the passive voice instead of the active voice weakens the sentences, and makes them less graceful. The toe was stubbed by Beth. Pie is loved by John. Country music is hated by Harry. Awkward, right?
When the agent that is performing the action is the most important part of the sentence, use the active voice. Beth, John, and Harry are all agents in these examples, and so using the active voice is the way to go.
Take fifteen minutes and describe a typical morning for a character. Use the active voice to describe their daily routine. Post your practice in the comments, and leave comments on your fellow writers’ work.
About Liz Bureman
Liz Bureman has a more-than-healthy interest in proper grammatical structure, accurate spelling, and the underappreciated semicolon. When she's not diagramming sentences and reading blogs about how terribly written the Twilight series is, she edits for the Write Practice, causes trouble in Denver, and plays guitar very slowly and poorly. You can follow her on Twitter (@epbure), where she tweets more about music of the mid-90s than writing.