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As a student or writer, mastering the skill of writing your essays or articles in active voice is key in keeping your readers engaged from beginning to end. Along with that, it also gives your work some sort of distinctiveness, authority, and a closer connection with the readers, because it’s an indication you’re talking to them directly. And although using passive voice isn’t technically bad, it makes your writing appear bland and indirect. Left unchecked, passive voice has the potential to turn off your readers, more than even the most glaring typo error. 

In fact, according to a study conducted by Microsoft on the most commonly occurring mistakes, passive voice use emerged a second close after punctuation. If passive voice use is such a pervasive mistake, how then do you fix it? 

In this article, we are going to look at how you can identify passive sentences in your work, the different ways to go about it, and how a passive to active converter can help. Before we answer that, let’s get the basics out of the way.

What is passive voice?

At a very basic level, an active sentence contains the subject and an action. As such, the reader can distinguish between the person performing a particular action and the action itself. In other words, the subject performing the action comes before the action. Passive voice construction, on the other hand, overshadows the subject by placing the action before the subject.

You’re probably wondering, “how did I misuse passive voice in the past?” Take an example of the following sentences:

  • Passive voice: The toy was chased by the cat. Active voice: The cat chased the toy.
  • Passive voice: The cookie was eaten by her. Active voice: She ate the cookie.
  • Passive voice: The door was closed by him. Active voice: He closed the door.
  • Passive voice: The marathon was run by Jane. Active voice: Jane ran the marathon.

Even without using a passive to active voice generator, you can see that using an active voice makes sentences more concise and easy to read. With that said, however, there are instances where using passive voice is ideal.

when using passive voice is right

When the subject is unknown

Example: ‘We don’t know who did it, but our car has been stolen.’ Instead of: ‘We don’t know who did it, but someone has stolen our car.’

When the listener or the reader knows the subject

Example: ‘She had been instructed to get rid of the garbage.’ Instead of: ‘Her mum had instructed her to get rid of the garbage.’

When the subject is irrelevant

Example: ‘Do you need an umbrella?’ ‘No thanks, I have mine.’ Instead of: ‘Do you need an umbrella?’ ‘No thanks, my husband bought one for me.’

When the subject has already been mentioned

Example: ‘In the next parliament session, new campaign laws will be enacted to curb domestic violence.’ Instead of: ‘In the next parliament session, the government will enact new laws to curb domestic violence.’

How to Find Passive Voice Misuse

‘How do you correct passive voice misuse’ and ‘how to spot passive voice misuse’ are two of the most searched phrases on Google. If you’re one of those that have been wondering about the same… there are several ways. The most obvious method of identifying passive voice in your texts would be manually combing through your work word-by-word to identify instances where your nouns are out of order. With that said, passive voice construction is a little and sneaky devil, especially when dealing with long and complex sentences. Worse still, manually combing through your work is time-consuming and can be a real pain in anatomy parts that we’re not ready to mention here. 

Take a look at this example: “The sports of football, cricket, and rugby are loved by Britons in particular.”

Looks readable and straightforward, right? Now compare that with this edited version: “Britons particularly love football, cricket, and rugby.”

If you read them both out loud, you’ll quickly realize that the second version is less wordy, hence easy to understand.

This leads us to the second option on how to change a sentence from passive to active; using a passive voice analyzer. Basically, this is an online (or otherwise) tool that helps automatically detect and fix passive voice in your sentences and texts. What’s best, most of these online tools are compatible with multiple browsers, allowing you to catch passive voice, as well as many other grammatical errors whenever typing online.

Why You Should Consider Using a Passive Voice Misuse Corrector

There are many reasons why you should consider using an online tool to check for passive voice, including:

  • Saves time: The most obvious benefit of using an online passive voice finder as a student or a professional writer is its time-saving aspect. Unlike manual proofreading which may take hours, an online tool takes a few seconds to crawl through huge text volumes, identify the mistakes, and offer the most appropriate suggestions.
  • Accurate: A passive voice corrector leverages grammar rules, AI, and NLP technologies to identify mistakes, ensuring you get the most accurate suggestion on how to replace passive voice use in your texts. Along with that, it also helps identify other grammatical and syntactical errors in your texts, so you get to submit or publish error-free work. Needless to say, some even incorporate a plagiarism checker.
  • 24/7 availability: Another key benefit of using an online tool to detect passive voice in your texts is availability. Most of them (if not all) are cloud-hosted, allowing you to edit your work anytime and from anywhere. Even better, most are free, allowing you to save the money that would have otherwise gone towards procuring a professional editor.
passive voice identifier features

Factors to Consider When Choosing an Active Voice Changer

To effectively change active voice to passive voice online, you need to use a reliable tool. Unfortunately, finding a trusted passive voice identifier can be challenging, given that the market is awash with hundreds of almost similar tools. Here are a few factors to keep in mind:

  • Cost: As indicated above, there are dozens of passive voice correctors on the market, some paid-for and others free.  Depending on your needs, you can choose a free option, and upgrade to the paid version if the need arises. The good thing is that most free tools work just as good so you’ll rarely need to upgrade. While at it, also ensure that the tool you choose is cloud-hosted, as it allows you to use it anytime and from anywhere. 
  • Library of words: Ideally, a good active voice changer should have a huge library of unique phrases and words, use grammar rules, as well as use technology. This is particularly important in understanding your text’s context tool to offer appropriate suggestions and create meaningful sentences.
  • Security and confidentiality: In an era where online scams and preys are always on the lookout for loopholes to steal important financial information, your security is important. As such, the tool you use to turn passive into active words should be foolproof. For example, the servers should be protected against attacks using firewalls and data transfers secured via SSL encryption technology. 
  • Integration: Whether you’re online or offline, you need a voice checker that works in both environments.

Passive Voice Checker: Final Words

Whether you’re a college student looking to make your essay paper shine or a professional writer composing a self-publishing comic book, stamping out passive voice use is the magic bullet to elevating your writing. Unfortunately, changing sentences from passive to active voice can be tricky, especially if you have limited knowledge of how basic parts of a sentence works. With the help of a passive voice misuse corrector, however, you can easily identify passive construction in your texts and make the amendments before handing in or publishing your work. What’s best, a passive voice checker will also help you catch many other issues including grammar, punctuations, and spelling mistakes. 

If you’re tired of spending countless hours manually combing through your work word-by-word, try using a passive to active voice translator today and improve your writing.