Passive Voice Checker

Passive voice can lower readability, which is crucial to effective SEO! Check for passive voice in your text using our free Passive Voice Checker!

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Avoid Passive Sentences With INK Passive Voice Checker

Passive voice checker

INK Passive Voice Checker can help check for passive voice in your writings.

Main Takeaways:

  • In passive sentences, the subject undergoes the action of the verb.
  • The verb "to be" and the past participle are required to form a passive sentence.
  • Writing in the passive voice raises the issue of meaning and clarity.
  • It's okay to write in the passive voice in some instances.
  • INK Passive Voice Checker can help identify passive sentences.

The use of passive voice in a text is not a grammatical error. It's just a grammatical voice construction that can weaken the clarity of your writing. In other words, using passive voice can prevent a reader from understanding what you mean.

Since passive voice isn't a grammatical error, you can't rely on a regular grammar checker to catch its usage in a sentence. Instead, you must use a passive voice checker tool that's designed for that specific purpose.

Before exploring the benefits of using INK Passive Voice Checker, let's first understand what passive voice is.

What is Passive Voice?

In English, we use passive voice to emphasize the action and the object of a sentence rather than the subject. That implies that the subject is either less important than the action itself or that we don't know the subject's identity.


  • My wallet was stolen.

In the sentence above, the thief's identity is a mystery. However, if we know who the subject is, we can add it at the end of the sentence using the preposition "by." In this case, the subject is a passive agent.


  • My wallet was stolen by John.

Although the sentence is grammatically correct, most editors would recommend avoiding passive voice when possible. If you know who the subject is, it's always better to use the active voice.

Differences Between Passive Voice and Active Voice

Differences between passive voice and active voice

A sentence is in the active voice when the subject of a sentence performs the action. Unlike the passive voice, sentences in the active voice have a sharp, direct, and clear tone.


  • Steve picked up the hammer.

The sentence above has a basic active voice construction, and that's subject, followed by the verb, then the object. The subject, John, performed the action of stealing the wallet.

Meanwhile, in the passive voice, the subject is acted upon by the verb. As a result, we usually construct a passive voice in English sentences using a conjugated form of the "to be." The sentence also includes the verb's past participle as well as a preposition.


  • The hammer was picked up by Steve.

Writing a sentence in passive voice is not nearly as complicated as it sounds. It's actually easy to do.

How to Form Passive Voice in the English Language

How to form passive voice in the english language

As said earlier, two elements are essential for writing a sentence in passive voice in English. These are the appropriate form of the verb "to be" and the past participle.

Here are some noteworthy methods of forming passive voice sentences.

Passive Voice with Infinitives

We can use a bare infinitive after a modal verb or any other verb to write a sentence in passive voice. Some modal verbs include may, must, should, can, and would.


  • You may be disappointed.
  • He might be promoted next year.

Passive Voice with "To Be Born"

The phrase "to be born" is in the passive voice, and we mostly use it in the past tense. However, it can also work with the presentor future tense.


  • He was born in 1947.
  • An average of 250 babies is born every minute.
  • She doesn't know when the baby will be born.

Passive Voice with Gerunds

Gerunds refer to a verb form that functions as a noun. We can combine these words with a preposition and a verb to form passive voice.


  • Most movie stars hate being interviewed.
  • Cats like being pampered.

You can't create a passive sentence when there's no one to receive the action. As a result, verbs that have no object cannot exist in an inactive form.

Examples of such words include die, come, happen, exist, love, occur, sleep, and go, among others.

Instances When Passive Voice is Useful

Even though an active sentence is preferable and more precise, a passive sentence can also be useful in some situations. For instance, we could use this sentence structure to focus readers' attention on the person or thing that an action affects.


  • She was asked to take on a new role.

In the sentence, we don't know who asked her to take on a new role. So, writing the sentence in passive voice helps us focus the attention on the person being asked.

When the Actor is Unknown

You can use passive voice when the person acting in a sentence is unknown.


  • Peter's rent has been increased.

In this instance, we're unsure who's responsible for increasing Peter's rent. It could be an individual landlord, a rental company, or any number of entities.

Since we don't know who the actor is, it's best to fall back on the passive voice.

When the Actor is Inconsequential

In some instances, we can use the passive voice when the source of the action doesn't matter.


  • I'm carrying the box because I have been let go.

The sentence places more emphasis on the person receiving the action than the person carrying it out.

With that said, the words "have been" is a popular construct in passive sentences. However, if you can do without them, it's always better to use an active voice.

The Problem with Writing in the Passive Voice

It can be Confusing

Most writing instructors frown on the passive voice because it raises the issue of clarity in writing. They usually have to guess what you mean in your text.


  • When her purse was stolen again, Jackie cancelled her afternoon appointments.

As you can see, the sentence above lacks a clear reference to the actor. So, readers might wonder who stole Jackie's purse and why the theft affected her afternoon appointments.

An active voice, on the other hand, can quickly clarify things.


  • After her secretary stole her purse again, Jackie cancelled here afternoon appointments.

In the second example, we know who is doing the action. And this knowledge helps readers make sense of the sentence.

Passive Sentences are Wordy

Wordiness takes away from clarity. It involves using too many useless words that could clutter your writing.

Good writing should be direct and straightforward. Unfortunately, passive voice is neither of those. The passive alternative to an active sentence is often longer, and this makes your writing seem wordy.


  • The boy ate the apple.
  • The apple was eaten by the boy.

Although the two sentences convey the same message, the passive sentence used two extra words. This can add up when you overuse passive voice in your texts.

Complex Sentence Structure

The basic active sentence structure in the English language is relatively consistent and logical. It usually involves a subject that's performing a specific action. The passive voice turns it the other way round.

So, you have to read the action before knowing the identity of the performer. As a result, readers have to expend more cognitive effort to understand the sentence structure.

While it's okay to use passive sentences in your writing, these complex sentence structure issues can quickly add up. In the end, you'll have a speech, novel, essay, or article that's difficult to understand.

Changing a passive sentence into an active one is simple. You just have to locate the subject and object, then switch your sentence around.

The challenging part is identifying all the passive voices in your writing. That's where a passive voice detector comes in.

Benefits of Using INK Passive Voice Checker

INK Passive Voice Checker helps identify the use of passive voice in your writings.

Most conventional grammar checkers claim to be able to catch the passive voice in sentences. But, as you already know, using passive voice in your writing is not grammatically wrong.

So, a regular grammar checker might not be the most effective at catching all forms of this voice construction. Luckily for you, INK Passive Voice Checker is far from conventional.

This passive sentence checker can analyze your writing within seconds to highlight all the passive voice use. That way, you can rewrite the sentences into active voice.

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