In 1946, George Orwell wrote six writing rules, the fourth of which was “Never use the passive when you can use the active.”
This directive shows that, almost 70 years ago, Orwell (and others) recognized the problems caused by the misuse of the passive voice. However, Orwell’s fourth rule is not a blanket ban, suggesting that there are instances where using the passive voice might be more appropriate.
Sometimes, the passive voice is obvious, while at other times it is not very apparent. There are some tricks that you can use to help you recognize the passive voice—we’ll cover these as we go.
In this course, we will look at:
- What the passive and active voices are
- How to construct the passive voice
- What the effect of the passive voice is
- Which voice you should use in different situations.
Launch the course below to learn more about using the passive voice and to test your knowledge using our interactive quiz.