How to identify the passive voice
Do you have trouble finding and fixing the passive voice? Here are two tips for making in easier.
1. Add “by my grandma.”
If you can add “by my grandma” to the end of a sentence, it’s probably passive voice, agent deleted, says Tim Burnett, who handles Express communications at FedEx.
Example: “A nap was taken … by my grandma.”
2. Make sure the subject is doing the verb.
- Identify the verb.
- Figure out who’s doing that verb.
- Move that subject in front of the verb.
For “A nap was taken by my grandma,” ask:
- What’s the verb? Took (a nap).
- Who took the nap? My grandma.
- Move “my grandma” in front of the verb, and you’ll get “My grandma took a nap.”