about passive voice


Hello, I am trying to edit my manuscript and I find it diffulcult to understand what is meant by passive voice use, I understand stand the definition of it, but the examples and how to fix it are very tricky, is there any kind of help I can get, and is it very cruicial to what I am trying to do or can I get away with leaving it as I have it? Thank you

See example:

So if, a baby represents the purest form of innocence and hope for the world and by our action(s) prevent this hope from renewing the world's purpose then the price humanity will pay and is paying will be equal if not greater than that suffering and the abomination that is sustained on the fabric of the soul of humanity for if God is keeping score of all the transgressions that the citizens of the world is afflicting on itself and if there is a misery barometer of how evil the world is becoming then with each denial of life we are fulfilling the devils plan, Thus God will make us all pay for allowing this evil to flourish as our fellow brethren are denied Life and most of all hope and the promise of a new day.
asked Apr 03 '12 at 16:44 cody New member

What program are you using to write your manuscript?

Tony ProanoApr 04 '12 at 03:51

add comment

1 answer


Quick and dirty on passive voice:

it's marked by "to be" followed by the past participle of a verb.


are beaten

was kicked

is forced

Sometimes, we add averbs between the "to be" and verb, but passive is passive...

To make it active, swap the actor and object...


Tom and Andrew are often beaten by Mike and Jarrod in football. (passive)

Mike and Jarrod often beat Tom and Andrew in football. (active)


Passive voice is acceptable, and even desirable when the active form becomes overly complicated, or when the object is actually more important.

For example:

Pi was discovered by mathematicians in 2012. (passive=more desirable because the sentence is all about Pi, not about the mathematicians)

Mathematicians discovered Pi in 2012. (active = less desirable because the focus is supposed to be on Pi, but as written, the mathematicians sound more important)


In your writing, "are denied" is a passive form of the verb "to deny".  And, it appears that you would want to keep it passive because the focus of that sentence is on the people being denied life, not on the people who do the "denying."  Does that make sense?


On a side note, your writing is VERY convuluted and could use lots of help in other areas besides active/passive.  It is a very wordy sentence that should be untangled quite a bit...

link comment answered Apr 03 '12 at 16:58 Erik Czerwin Contributor

Your answer

Write at least 20 characters

Have a question about English grammar, style or vocabulary use? Ask now to get help from Grammarly experts for FREE.