Inspiration Engagement Pieces 2018-01-17 00:00

Improve Your Writing Tip #3: Favor active verbs

Improve your writing

Using active voice instead of passive voice is one of the best ways to improve your writing. Active voice injects urgency into your work, while passive voice dulls it.

Consider this sentence:

The ball was thrown over the fence by John.

This sentence is in the passive voice. The person or thing doing the action (John) follows the action itself (thrown). Using the active voice turns the sentence around and puts the ‘actor’ first.

This rewrite makes the meaning clearer and the sentence shorter:

John threw the ball over the fence.

Often in the passive voice the actor is completely omitted:

The ball was thrown over the fence.

And the passive voice can sometimes be reduced or hidden:

The ball, thrown over the fence, was later found.

The above example is a reduction of this sentence:

The ball that was thrown over the fence was later found.

ProWritingAid highlights passive verbs in your work so you can turn them into active verbs. Try our writing improvement software.

Our next writing tip: Improve Your Writing Tip #4: Vary your sentence length.

Be confident about grammar

Check every email, essay, or story for grammar mistakes. Fix them before you press send.