What’s Wrong With Passive Voice

You may have heard that it’s preferable when you’re doing any kind of business writing to favor active voice over passive voice. Active voice is certainly preferable when you’re doing any kind of copywriting or writing for marketing.

Let’s talk about the difference between passive voice and active voice, what’s wrong with passive voice, and how to go about changing passive voice to active voice.

What is Passive Voice?

Passive voice is a style of writing in which the subjects are not clearly defined. Essentially it’s a less direct and less deliberate way of communicating in writing.

Passive Voice Example

Let’s give a passive voice example to better exemplify what this is.

“Frozen bananas can be used to make a thicker smoothie.”

This is an example of passive voice.

What’s Wrong With Passive Voice?

what's wrong with passive voice

You might ask what’s wrong with passive voice. There’s nothing grammatically wrong with the above sentence; its message is still clear.

The problem with passive voice is that it uses more wording than necessary and doesn’t speak directly to the reader.

We always want to connect with our readers as quickly as possible through our writing, so let’s talk about how to turn passive voice into active voice.

Changing Passive Voice to Active Voice

Changing passive voice to active voice is simple to do. You simply need to adjust how you write to address your reader directly.

Let’s tweak our passive voice example from a moment ago into an active voice example.

“You can use frozen bananas to make a thicker smoothie.” contains the same information as before, but it addresses the reader directly.

There’s no ambiguity regarding the subject of the message. You’re making the message personal in addressing the reader and thus creating that connection.

If we want to improve on this further, we might remove a word or two.

“Use frozen bananas to make your smoothie thicker”. This keeps our message personal with that active voice but keeps our message efficient.

Again, remember you want to both connect with your reader and convey the message as succinctly as possible.

Be sure to use active voice whenever you’re writing anything for your website.

It helps to create a relationship with your reader, and you will keep your reader engaged by utilizing as few words as possible to convey what you want.

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