Posted by: Jack Henry | March 11, 2015

Editor’s Corner: Avoid the Passive

If you’ve ever sent a document into Symitar Editing, there’s a good chance you’ve seen the comment “Avoid passive voice.” Well, here it is again from

Avoid the Passive Voice

The passive voice is flaccid. The subject becomes a helpless thing, acted on by outside forces. In a well-written sentence, the verb is powerful and precise, an active tool at the subject’s command. For example:

· Passive: It is believed by the boxer that the power is there to cause his opponent to fall down.

· Active: The boxer thinks he has a knock-out punch.

If you feel like you could use some practice turning the passive voice to active voice (or knowing when passive is appropriate) have a look at this site for a quiz. It includes a sentence for you to rewrite, space to write it, and then their suggested rewrite: Capital Community College.

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory


  1. […] · […]

  2. […] For more information on this topic, see this previous Editor’s Corner post: Avoid the Passive. […]

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