Writing Basics

Passive Voice to Active Voice

Passive Voice

Passive Voice –  the dreaded phrase used by SEO and English teachers (but lately SEO) to tell me to rearrange my sentences to make my blog posts “Green Light” friendly.

SEO stands for search engine optimization which basically means making your webpage visible to search engines such as Google to increase traffic to your website.

What is Active Voice, but the opposite of Passive which SEO wants me to achieve?

Voice refers to the relationship between the subject and the verb.

If the subject performs the action the verb is active voice.

Example: James closed the door.


closed – ACTION


If the subject is acted upon, the verb is passive.

Example: The door was closed by James.-


was closed – ACTION


Active voice is tighter, more vigorous when writing.

Passive voice is useful when you don’t know who the subject is or don’t want to take the blame. (Insert political joke here).

Look for IS, WAS, ARE, WERE in sentences using passive voice and replace with specific ACTION VERBS to make ACTIVE VOICE instead of passive voice sentences.

I have taken a previous post from November 14 Fire Alarm Fears, which SEO flagged as having passive voice sentences. I’ve listed the original and then shown ACTIVE VOICE replacement.

I was still very much a night owl. PASSIVE

I am a night owl. ACTIVE


As I was pulling up the covers, I looked over and

     saw the blinking red light of death. PASSIVE

         I pulled up the covers, looking at the blinking

               red light of death. ACTIVE


Let’s just say, I slept downstairs that night

alone and was sadly disappointed in myself. PASSIVE 

I slept downstairs last night,

disappointed in myself. ACTIVE

Active voice makes writing feel more engaging and alive, but it can be difficult to make sure passive voice doesn’t sneak in. These tips can help you identify passive voice and change to active voice. This will help your writing and give your SEO a boost for your webpage views.

Amazon also several books on this subject if you’re looking for more information. Link here. One of the novels was an eBook and is free for Kindle Unlimited members. Otherwise, it was under a dollar. A good deal!

Until next time, may God’s grace surround you,

passive voice