Active vs. Passive Voice

An easy and quick way to ensure your writing is clearer is to check whether you are using the passive voice rather than the active voice.

Active voice–place the subject (the person or thing doing the action) at the start of the sentence.

Example: Jerry threw the basketball to Sally.

Passive voice–the subject gets pushed to the end of the sentence.

Example: The basketball was thrown to Sally by Jerry.

As you can see, sentences using the passive voice are usually longer and more convoluted than sentences using the active voice. Although there are many instances where passive voice is appropriate, it is best to avoid using passive voice when you can.

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