Optimizing your passive voice score

Passive voice is a way of constructing your sentences in a way that can make a sentence more difficult to read. For example: “I was hugged by mom” is a sentence in passive voice, while its active counterpart is “Mom hugged me”.

You should try to avoid passive voice constructions whenever you can. Why? They almost always make your writing more distant and your message less clear. The readability analysis in Yoast SEO comes with a passive voice assessment, which checks whether the number of sentences containing passive voice exceeds the recommended maximum amount. So, try to write in an active voice — it will make your writing much stronger!

Not happy with your score? Here’s how to fix it!

Almost every passive sentence has an active counterpart. If you can’t find an active alternative, you can just use the passive form.

Let’s focus on rewriting passive voice sentences into active ones first, though. We’ll give an example for every tense in English in which the passive makes sense.

When you rewrite a passive sentence into an active sentence, two things happen:

1. The verb changes.
2. The actor and receiver are switched around.

The change of the verb is most difficult. Therefore, we’ll highlight it. Of course, the examples below are really simple, but all the important information is there. Most sentences just have more words after the subject, verb and object. Those words will not change when you rewrite the sentence.

TensePassive voiceActive alternative 
Present simpleA book is bought by me.buy a book.
Present simple continuousA book is being bought by me.am buying a book.
Present perfectA book has been bought by me.have bought a book.
Past simpleA book was bought by me.bought a book.
Past simple continuousA book was being bought by me.was buying a book.
Past perfectA book had been bought by me.had bought a book.
FutureA book will be written by me.will write a book.
Future perfectA book will have been written by me.will have written a book.

So, in order to get your bullet to turn green, you’ll have to put in some active work!

Bullet turned green?

That’s awesome! You’ve now made it possible for more people to find your site and enjoy your content!