I think the article above is incorrect in its examples of passive voice. If I’m correct, I find it a little disturbing because its the featured snippet when you GOOGLE: Passive Voice Screenwriting. (using Safari on iPhone)

I’ve been researching active vs. passive voice and I feel like I have a pretty good grip on it, but when I read this article I was so confused as to why the examples were considered “passive voice”.

Here’s an excerpt from the linked article above


Mila is kneeling beside a large rooftop air conditioning unit. Shooter #1 is standing nearby, looking out for trouble.

The rooftop A/C unit has been opened. Mila works on the bomb unit.

Near them, a sniper/spotter team is watching the street below.

The above reads very flat by action screenplay standards. The biggest failing is the frequent use of passive voice.

End of excerpt

As far as I know - Passive voice is when the subject is being acted on by the verb. PASSIVE: The burger is being eaten by Bob. ACTIVE: Bob is eating the burger.

If I’m correct, then I feel like this article shouldn’t be THE featured snippet Google offers when Googling Passive Voice Screenwriting.




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    Could you include an example or two from the article, or a short quote or summary of what it says? Right now people can't answer your question (which sounds kind of broad) without following the link, so if the link ever goes away the question loses meaning. (Besides, all the necessary info should be in the question itself.) Thanks. Dec 5 '17 at 3:58
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    Oh ok. Sure. I didn’t think about the possibility of the link becoming inactive. Dec 13 '17 at 22:06

Your understanding of passive voice is correct.

Lots of people incorrectly take any form of to be as passive. Perhaps it’s because passive voice usually (or maybe always) involves to be.

Other people confuse passive voice (a grammatical idea) with passiveness or lack of action. Some of the examples in the article are passive in the sense that no action is taking place, but they are not passive voice.

Those are common errors when people write about passive voice. They are sort of reasonable errors, but they are errors.


You're right - the article is wrong. I didn't see any use of passive voice in the examples they gave - and (rooftop example, first paragraph) you certainly can't change passive to active voice by applying a contraction to one word.

What the writer of the article seems to be doing (but only as far as they're doing anything useful) is changing from a present participle to a simple present tense.

Another example of the internet as a tool for spreading ignorance, I'm afraid.

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