The Active voice isn’t just for 80’s workout instructors
Changing how you write your social media, advertising and website content could be the difference between crickets chirping when you post and your audience sharing and commenting! Not to mention, it can also be the difference between a sale and an abandoned cart.
If you are ready to completely change how you engage with your audience via your advertising content then read on. In this blog, Regan and Dom will explain the difference between passive and active voice and why it matters.
Understanding Active versus Passive voice
Firstly, let’s do a bit of this or that, so you understand what active voice is versus passive voice. Pick the sentence out of each group that resonates the most with you, and read on to learn why you may have selected that phrase.
This – “The waves were epic when I went surfing in Torquay today.”
That – “The people surfing in Torquay were catching some epic waves”.
This – “The dog chased the ball at the Ocean Grove Beach.”
That – “The ball was chased by the dog at Ocean Grove Beach.”
This – “Tom painted the Geelong carousel.”
That – “The Geelong carousel was painted by Tom.”
Active versus Passive voice explained
Did you guess? The sentences with ‘This’ is Active voice and ‘That’ is a Passive voice.
In an Active voice sentence, the subject needs to act upon its verb.
For example, Regan (subject) ate (verb) fish and chips (object) at dinner.
In a Passive sentence, the voice is a recipient of a verb’s action.
For example, At dinner, fish and chips (object) was eaten (verb) by Regan (subject).
You will notice the second sentence sounds a bit clunky and is difficult to understand because it is in the Passive voice.
Which should you use – Active or Passive voice?
Using an Active voice in your business socials, website or product/service information and your blogs help draw the reader in. An active tone conveys a strong, clear message, whereas passive is more subtle and ambiguous.
Overall, while the Passive voice is not incorrect, we tend to find it is less precise or ignore it as it is difficult to discern what the sentence is about.
While there are times a Passive voice is fine, we recommend putting the majority of your sentences in an Active voice. It is easier for your audience to understand what point you are making when you use Active voice.
Get help writing content for your business
If you’re like many parents and got a refresh in English during homeschooling, you will notice that our kids tend to write in the active voice (and that your writing skills maybe could use a brush-up!).
While writing in an Active tone seems straightforward it is not always easy. Our team at Viewpoint Digital Media in Ocean Grove believes in educating people to further their skill set. Whether it be for social media marketing, digital marketing strategies, or creative copywriting and blog writing, our workshops will help you gain knowledge to promote your business.