Monday, November 25, 2013

Active voice is tough

Understanding something and actually doing it is a lot harder than one thinks. I know what active voice is. I have spent hours surfing the internet looking for great examples of what it should read and look like. Now, actually going back to my manuscript and re-writing everything in the active voice is not that easy. I know what I should do, but knowing how to do it is where it gets hard.

Examples of active voice:

  •  I walked down the street. 
  •  My dog ran away. 
  •  I jumped rope today.

I know what I should do, but I don’t have a great understanding about what active voice really is and when I am using it. In certain instances, passive voice still sneaks in. I am not ashamed to admit it, but I am very slow on the uptake. I mean come on, correcting a bad habit is hell, but it doesn’t mean I won’t get it eventually. I just have to give myself the time to understand it properly. I have to accept and get over the fact that it might take me a while to learn all that I need to and I won’t be learning all of it in just a few days. What is my rush anyway?


  1. The best thing about writing is you're always learning something new! You'll get it, I have faith in you :-)

  2. Step by step... little by little... you WILL get there!

  3. Annalisa & Michelle - Thank you. You guys are really kind and awesome.

  4. When in doubt, employ the zombie test. If you can insert the words "by zombies" after the predicate, and it makes sense, you have a passive voice sentence. "He was asked to carry the tray." Asked is the predicate. "He was asked – by zombies – to carry the tray. Passive voice.

    "Dave asked him to carry the tray." Dave asked by zombies ... No, doesn't make sense Actrive voice. Carry on.

  5. John - Thank you! This is just brilliant! I am definitely using your trick/tip from now on. Thanks again.

  6. Can't claim credit. Just something I picked up somewhere. It's certainly memorable.

  7. John - I am still very grateful that you shared the tip. You still rock!


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