A passive construction occurs when you make the object of an action into the subject of a sentence.

Avoid writing sentences that lack the precision and connection to context and cause rigorous thinking.

Strengthen your writing by not relying on the passive as a crutch when summarizing plots or arguments and achieve greater clarity with the active voice.

Revise and re-edit. If you decide that your sentence would be clearer in the active voice, switch the sentence around to make the subject and actor one – put the actor (the one doing the action of the sentence) in front of the verb.


  • Use of the passive voice constitutes a grammatical error.
  • Any use of “to be” (in any form) constitutes the passive voice.
  • The passive voice always avoids the first person.
  • You should never use the passive voice.
  • I can rely on my grammar checker to catch the passive voice.