When writing fiction, you should try to use the active voice. Passive sentences don't pack much of a punch, and they're wordier.

Related Articles: Story Checklist

A quick way to find a lot of passive sentences is to scan for the word "was".


Active voice is where the object recieves the action of the verb.

Passive voice is where the subject recieves the action of the verb.

The object of the active verb is the subject of the passive voice.


  • Active: The boy threw the ball.
  • Passive: The ball was thrown by the boy.

  • Active: The cat ate the mouse.
  • Passive: The mouse was eaten by the cat.

  • Active: The hunter killed the bear.
  • Passive: The bear was killed by the hunter.

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