How to Detect and Eliminate Passive Voice in Word on Mac

    How to check for passive voice in word mac

    If you’re a Mac user and want to improve your writing, it’s important to be aware of passive voice. Passive voice can make your writing sound weak or impersonal, so it’s a good idea to check for it and make necessary changes. Microsoft Word for Mac offers a quick and easy way to check for passive voice in your documents. In this article, we’ll guide you through the steps to identify and correct passive voice using Word Mac.

    Firstly, let’s understand what passive voice is. Passive voice is a grammatical construction where the subject of a sentence receives the action of the verb rather than performing it. It often involves the use of the auxiliary verb “to be” and the past participle of a verb. For example, “The cake was made by Sarah” is a passive construction, whereas “Sarah made the cake” is the active version.

    To check for passive voice in your Word Mac document, start by opening the document you want to work on. Then, click on the “Review” tab at the top of the screen. In the “Proofing” section of the toolbar, you’ll see an option called “Spelling & Grammar.” Click on it to open the “Spelling & Grammar” dialog box.

    What is Passive Voice?

    What is Passive Voice?

    Passive voice is a grammatical construction that is used to emphasize the object of a sentence rather than the subject. In a passive voice sentence, the subject of the sentence is being acted upon by the verb.

    In active voice, the subject performs the action of the verb. For example, in the sentence “John ate the pizza,” John is the subject and he is performing the action of eating the pizza.

    However, in passive voice, the subject receives the action of the verb. For example, in the sentence “The pizza was eaten by John,” the pizza is the subject and it is receiving the action of being eaten by John.

    Passive voice is often used when the person or thing performing the action is either unknown, unimportant, or intentionally left out of the sentence. It is also used to sound more formal or objective.

    Identifying passive voice can be helpful in writing because it allows you to vary your sentence structures and make your writing more dynamic. It can also help you ensure that your sentences are clear and that the emphasis is on the appropriate subject or object.

    Why is Passive Voice Important?

    Passive voice is an essential grammatical structure that plays a key role in written and spoken English. It allows writers and speakers to emphasize the object of an action rather than the subject, which can have several important advantages.

    1. Object Emphasis

    The passive voice allows us to focus on the object or recipient of an action rather than the subject. This can be particularly useful when we want to draw attention to who or what is affected by the action.

    Example: “The cake was baked by Sarah.” Here, the passive voice emphasizes the cake as the object of the action.

    2. Formality and Objectivity

    Using the passive voice can lend a sense of formality and objectivity to written or spoken communication. It can create a more neutral tone and depersonalize the subject, which can be useful in academic or professional writing.

    Example: “The findings of the study were analyzed.” This passive construction emphasizes the objective analysis of the findings rather than a specific person or group.

    3. Flexibility and Variety

    The use of passive voice provides writers with greater flexibility and variety in their sentence structures. By shifting the focus from subject to object, different parts of a sentence can be emphasized or changed, adding depth and diversity to the writing.

    Example: “The road was repaired by the construction crew.” The passive construction emphasizes the action of repairing the road rather than the construction crew performing it.

    4. Avoiding Blame or Responsibility

    The passive voice can help writers avoid assigning blame or taking responsibility for certain actions. This can be beneficial in situations where it is necessary to discuss negative or sensitive topics without directly attributing them to specific individuals or groups.

    Example: “Mistakes were made.” Here, the passive voice allows for a more diplomatic approach to discussing errors without pointing fingers.

    5. Clarity in Scientific Writing

    In scientific writing, the passive voice is often used to present research findings objectively and clearly. By eliminating personal pronouns and focusing on the actions and results rather than the researchers themselves, the passive voice can promote clarity and impartiality.

    Example: “The experiment was conducted to determine the effects of the drug.” This passive sentence structure emphasizes the objective nature of the experiment and its purpose.

    In conclusion, passive voice is important because it allows for object emphasis, adds formality and objectivity, provides flexibility in sentence structure, helps avoid blame or responsibility, and promotes clarity in scientific writing. Understanding and effectively using passive voice can greatly enhance one’s writing skills and overall communication abilities in English.

    Using Grammarly

    Using Grammarly

    If you are using Word on a Mac, you can use Grammarly to check for passive voice in your documents. Grammarly is a powerful online writing assistant that can help you improve your writing skills by identifying grammatical errors and providing suggestions for improvement.

    To use Grammarly to check for passive voice, you will need to have a Grammarly account. If you don’t have one, you can sign up for a free account at Once you have an account set up, you can install the Grammarly add-in for Word on your Mac.

    To install the Grammarly add-in, open Word on your Mac and click on the “Insert” tab in the toolbar. Then, click on “Get Add-ins”. In the add-ins pane, search for “Grammarly” and click on the “Add” button next to the Grammarly add-in. Word will download and install the add-in for you.

    Once the Grammarly add-in is installed, you can start using it to check for passive voice in your documents. To do this, open the document you want to check and click on the “Review” tab in the toolbar. Then, click on the “Check Document” button in the Grammarly section.

    Grammarly will analyze your document and highlight any instances of passive voice. If Grammarly detects passive voice, it will provide suggestions for rewriting the sentences to make them more active. You can accept these suggestions by clicking on the Grammarly suggestion and applying the changes to your document.

    Using Grammarly to check for passive voice can help you improve the clarity and readability of your writing. By making your sentences more active, you can make your writing more engaging and impactful. So, give Grammarly a try and see how it can help you become a better writer.

    Using the Built-in Spell Checker

    Using the Built-in Spell Checker

    To check for passive voice in Word on a Mac, you can make use of the built-in spell checker. This feature not only helps you correct spelling mistakes, but it can also identify other grammar and style issues, such as the use of passive voice.

    Step 1: Open your document in Word

    Step 1: Open your document in Word

    Launch Microsoft Word on your Mac and open the document you want to check for passive voice.

    Step 2: Access the spell checker

    Step 2: Access the spell checker

    Click on the “Review” tab on the top menu bar to access the review tools. Within this section, you will find the spell checker.

    Note: You can also use the keyboard shortcut “Command + :”(Command key + colon key) to access the spell checker.

    Step 3: Start the spell check

    Step 3: Start the spell check

    With your document open and the review tools visible, click on the “Spelling & Grammar” button. Word will then scan your document for any spelling or grammar errors, including passive voice.

    Step 4: Review the suggestions

    Step 4: Review the suggestions

    If Word detects any instances of passive voice, it will highlight them and suggest possible replacements. These suggestions will appear in a separate window, and you can choose to accept or reject them.

    Tip: To enable or disable specific grammar rules within the spell checker, click on the “Options…” button while the spell check is running. This allows you to customize the spell checker’s behavior to better suit your needs.

    By utilizing Word’s built-in spell checker, you can quickly identify and correct instances of passive voice in your documents, helping you improve the overall clarity and effectiveness of your writing.

    Using the Review Tab in Microsoft Word

    Using the Review Tab in Microsoft Word

    When it comes to writing with Microsoft Word, the Review tab is an essential tool for proofreading and editing your documents. The Review tab provides a range of features that can help you improve the quality of your writing. In this article, we will explore some of the key features and how you can use them effectively.

    Spelling and Grammar Check

    Spelling and Grammar Check

    One of the most important features of the Review tab is the Spelling and Grammar Check. This powerful tool can automatically scan your document for spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. It can highlight these errors and offer suggestions for corrections. To use this feature, simply click on the Spelling & Grammar button, and Word will guide you through the process of reviewing and correcting the errors.



    Another useful feature found in the Review tab is the Thesaurus. If you are struggling to find the right word or want to add variety to your vocabulary, the Thesaurus can be a great tool. It offers synonyms and antonyms for words, allowing you to choose the most appropriate one for your context. To access it, highlight the word you want to find alternatives for, and click on the Thesaurus button.

    Note: It’s important to use a Thesaurus carefully and make sure that the chosen word fits well with the rest of your writing. Using overly complex or unfamiliar words can make your writing sound unnatural or confusing.

    Track Changes

    Track Changes

    The Track Changes feature in the Review tab is invaluable when collaborating on a document or receiving feedback from others. It allows you to keep track of any modifications made to the document, including insertions, deletions, and formatting changes. By reviewing the tracked changes, you can easily see and accept or reject any suggested edits. This feature is particularly useful for collaborative writing projects or when working with an editor or a writing team.

    Note: When using Track Changes, it’s essential to review the suggested changes carefully and consider if they improve the clarity and flow of your writing. Sometimes, it might be necessary to make additional edits to integrate the changes smoothly.

    The Review tab is an invaluable resource for anyone using Microsoft Word for writing, proofreading, and editing tasks. By utilizing the features mentioned above, you can ensure that your documents are error-free, coherent, and well-crafted. Whether you are a student, a professional, or a casual writer, make sure to explore the Review tab and take full advantage of the tools it offers.

    Why It’s Important to Check for Passive Voice

    Why It's Important to Check for Passive Voice

    The use of passive voice in writing can often lead to unclear or ambiguous sentences. When the subject of a sentence is not performing the action, but rather receiving it, it can make the sentence less direct and less engaging to read. This can result in a loss of clarity and impact for the reader.

    Passive voice can also lead to a lack of accountability and responsibility in writing. By using passive voice, the writer may obscure or avoid identifying the person or entity responsible for an action. This can make it difficult to determine who is accountable for certain actions and can weaken the argument or point being made in the writing.

    Another reason to check for passive voice is that it can often indicate wordiness or excessive use of nominalizations. Nominalizations are words that turn verbs into nouns, such as “utilization” instead of “use.” These types of words can make writing more dense and complex. By identifying and revising instances of passive voice, you can simplify your writing and make it more concise and direct.

    Benefits of Checking for Passive Voice
    1. Improved clarity in writing
    2. Enhanced accountability and responsibility
    3. Reduced wordiness and complexity
    4. Increased impact and engagement for the reader

    In conclusion, checking for and avoiding passive voice in your writing is important for maintaining clarity, accountability, and impact. By using active voice and eliminating wordiness, your writing will become more direct and engaging, making it more effective in conveying your message.

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