Using the Passive Voice
The passive voice gets a bad rap, but it’s not actually a grammatical error. The key is knowing when the passive voice is appropriate for what you're writing—it can be a stylistic choice, for example. While it isn’t an error, it can sometimes make your writing sound wordy and indirect. In some cases, writers may even try to use it to avoid accountability. That’s what’s going on in sentences like "Mistakes were made." Find out when and where to use the passive voice and how to turn it into the active voice when needed.
Watch and Learn
Learn more about the differences between the passive and active voice.
How Grammarly Can Help
Grammarly’s full range of writing feedback is designed to help you make your writing the best it can be. With real-time suggestions on everything from spelling, grammar, and punctuation to tone and clarity, you can be confident that your writing presents your ideas in their best light.
Passive Voice Detection
Find and revise sentences written in the passive voice.
Punctuation and spelling fixes
Be confident that your punctuation and spelling are spot-on every time.
Get concise alternatives for wordy phrases.
Find out how your message is likely to sound to a reader.
Works Where You Write
Great Writing Made Simple
Join over 30 million people who use Grammarly to improve their writing every day.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does Grammarly’s passive voice checker work?
Grammarly’s algorithms analyze your writing in real time to detect the passive voice and help you replace it with the active voice.
Where can I use Grammarly’s passive voice checker?
What is the passive voice?
Voice is an aspect of grammar that has to do with the relationship between subjects and verbs. In passive voice sentences, the grammatical subject is not the person or thing performing the action of the sentence.
How can I improve my use of active vs. passive voice?
The passive voice isn’t wrong, but it's not always appropriate. It’s pretty common to use the passive voice in scientific writing or in situations where you don't know who performed a certain action, as in "My bike was stolen." But in most other cases, sticking to the active voice is more direct and produces more concise writing.
What other writing feedback does Grammarly offer?
Grammarly offers a full range of writing feedback, with real-time suggestions on clarity, vocabulary, tone, and more. Check your English text for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors with Grammarly’s free grammar checker.