Passive Verbs


I need a tip for reducing passive verbs in my writing.

asked Feb 07 '14 at 02:17 Susan Layton New member

1 answer


Look at the verb and see what the action of the verb is.  Next, make sure that whatever is performing the action is the subject of the sentence.


This is active voice.

John hit the ball.

'John' is the subject, 'hit' is the verb, and 'ball' is the direct object.


This is passive voice.

The ball was hit by John.

What used to be the direct object, 'ball', is now the subject but still receives the action. I've added a form of the verb to be, 'was' to the verb 'hit', and placed what was the subject into a prepositional phrase.


This is the common structural difference in active and passive voice, but now you will have to practice using these to learn how to apply them to more complex sentences.

I hope this helps.

link comment edited Feb 07 '14 at 04:00 Lewis Neidhardt Grammarly Fellow

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