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What is the Passive Voice? 

The Passive voice is a grammatical term used to describe a sentence in which the subject is acted upon rather than performing the action itself. In other words, the focus is on the object of the action, rather than the doer of the action.

For example, in the sentence “The cake was baked by Mary,” the cake is the subject being acted upon, while Mary is the doer of the action. The passive voice makes writing seem less direct and less engaging, as it can be unclear who or what is performing the action. The active voice on the other hand is where the subject is performing the action and is clearer and more engaging.


Why do we use passive voice

There are a few reasons why we use passive voice in writing:

1. To emphasize the action, rather than the do-er: In some cases, the focus of the sentence may be on the action that was taken, rather than the person or thing that performed the action. In this case, using passive voice can help to emphasize the action and make it the central focus of the sentence.

Example: The cake was baked for an hour.

2. To de-emphasize the do-er: In other cases, the identity of the person or thing performing the action may be less important than the action itself. Using passive voice can help to de-emphasize the doer and focus on the action.

Example: The mistake was made.

3. To avoid assigning blame or responsibility: In some situations, using passive voice can be a way to avoid assigning blame or responsibility to a specific person or group.

Example: The policy was implemented by the previous administration.

It is generally recommended to use active voice in writing, as it is more direct and concise, and makes it clear who is performing the action. Passive voice comes off as vague or ambiguous, and which makes writing less engaging and thus less effective in conveying the intended message.

Some examples and the fix 

Passive Voice

Active Voice

The cake was eaten by the dog.

The dog ate the cake.

The report will be reviewed by the supervisor.

The supervisor will review the report.

The book was written by the author.

The author wrote the book.

The car was driven by John.

John drove the car.

The concert tickets were sold out by noon.

The concert sold out by noon.

The package was delivered by the mail carrier.

The mail carrier delivered the package.

The house was built by the contractor.

The contractor built the house.

The proposal will be discussed at the meeting.

We will discuss the proposal at the meeting.

The letter was typed by the assistant.

The assistant typed the letter.

The mistake was made by the employee.

The employee made the mistake.


The passive voice can make writing less clear and direct. It is unclear who or what is performing the action in a sentence, which can lead to confusion and a lack of clarity. Additionally, the passive voice can make writing seem less engaging and lively, as it can make sentences feel more abstract and distant. In contrast, active voice can make writing more direct, engaging, and easy to understand, as it clearly identifies the subject performing the action in a sentence.


Impact on SEO

The passive voice can have an impact on SEO. While search engines have become more sophisticated in understanding language and context, using passive voice excessively in your content can still affect its readability and potentially impact SEO. Here’s how:

Readability: Passive voice can make sentences more complex and harder to understand. If your content is difficult to read, visitors may spend less time on your page and could potentially bounce away.

Keyword Optimization: In active voice, it’s often easier to place keywords in a natural and prominent position within a sentence. With passive voice, keyword placement can become awkward, potentially affecting your keyword optimization efforts.

Engagement: Active voice tends to be more engaging and dynamic, while the passive voice can sometimes sound distant or vague. Engaging content is more likely to be shared and linked to.

Featured Snippets: When Google generates featured snippets (those brief answers displayed above search results), it often prefers content written in concise, active voice. Clear and concise content is more likely to be chosen for these snippets.

Search Intent: Search engines aim to provide users with the most relevant and direct answers to their queries.