5 Top Passive Voice Checkers To Make Your Writing Powerful

Why you can trust Elite Content Marketer

We have a robust review methodology that relies on unbiased testing of software. We practice editorial integrity and want to help you choose the best product for your needs. Though we're neutral, our recommendations use affiliate links. If you buy by clicking on these links, we may make a commission.

Though there are several tools available on the internet for detecting passive voice errors, most of them also detect other grammatical errors like spelling mistakes, complicated sentences, use of adverbs, etc, which can be effective in improving your writing style and readability.

Because intricate passive voice isn’t easy to spot, I’ve listed the tools that would make your work easy and assist you in your writing process.

  • Grammarly Premium: It is best as an all-in-one grammar checking to improve writing style.
  • ProWritingAid: Best for improving readability in your writing and for novel writers working with Scrivner.
  • Hemingway App: Best for expert writers who need to run a robust passive voice check.
  • GrammarCheck: Best for free online grammar and spell check
  • Datayze: Best for analyzing text when used with its other writing tools such as extraneous word finder, readability analyzer, alternate spelling finder, and word blender.

Testing Methodology

In this article, I will walk you through five of the best and most effective passive voice checkers available on the internet. I used the following sentences containing passive voice and ran them through passive voice checking software to test them:

  • A research document written by him is not of much value now.
  • I was raised to believe.
  • A car was hit by a bus.
  • It was designed to function this way.
  • This is known information.
  • There is a considerable range of expertise demonstrated by the spam senders.

You can see the results in each review and pick the one you would like to use. Before that, let’s address some often asked questions about the passive voice.

Frequently Asked Questions About Passive Voice

Here are the answers to some FAQs about the meaning and usage of the passive voice.

What is passive voice?

Passive voice is when the subject receives the action of the verb. E.g.: The windows were opened by him.

How do you identify the passive voice?

Passive voice is when the subject receives the action of the verb.

E.g., A car was hit by a bus. Here the emphasis falls on the bus. Let’s convert it into an active voice: The bus hit a car.

Do you see the difference in both sentences? The second sentence sounds better. It is easy to identify the doer of the action.

Is the passive voice a writing mistake?

There is nothing innately wrong with the passive voice, but it can sound dull, rigid, and incoherent. Active voice is clear, direct, and easy to understand. If you’re a content creator, editor, or writer, you must steer clear from passive voice.

Where do we use passive voice?

If you’re a lawyer or an academician, use passive voice. That said, it can confuse the reader and not have the desired impact.

How many types of passive voice are there?

There are two types of passive voices:

  • Short Passive: In this type of usage, the subject or the performer is unknown. For instance, in the phrase “mistakes were made,” there is no subject, or it is anonymous.
  • Long Passive: In this type of construction, the object becomes the subject of a sentence. For example, in the sentence “The letter was written by George,” the object ‘house’ has become the subject.

Grammarly Premium: All-In-One Grammar Checker

Grammarly is one of the best, if not the best, software for correcting punctuations, spellcheck, and other grammatical errors.

Grammarly Premium offers many features like spellcheck, a personal dictionary, and so on. The browser extension works with Safari, Chrome, and Firefox and you can easily add the extension to your desktop.

Grammarly Premium highlights the passive voice in real-time and offers an in-depth explanation to improve your writing style. The program may be comprehensive, but it cannot replace a human proofreader.

In my testing of Grammarly, the software only detected the passive voice in 3 of the six sentences. Instead of indicating the fourth sentence as passive voice misuse, it only flagged it for intricate text.

With this all-in-one grammar checking software, it’s possible to build a good writing habit become a prolific writer. You can set goals, develop fluency, write clarity-focused sentences, adjust tone, and more.

However, using Grammarly solely for the passive voice can be a bit expensive.

Price:

  • Free plan: Free to use as a browser extension.
  • Premium plan: Starting at $11.66/month.
  • Business plan: Starting at $12.50/member/month.

Best for: An all-in-one grammar checking to improve writing style.

Strengths
  • It highlights errors in real-time.
  • You have access to in-depth explanations and solutions.
  • It also has advanced features like setting goals, transforming style, structure, etc.
  • Grammarly facilitates learning and improvement.
Weaknesses
  • It isn’t 100% accurate.
  • This grammar checker is not available offline.
  • Grammarly overlooks some of the passive voice errors.
  • The price is higher than other grammar software.

ProWritingAid: Best For Improving Readability In Your Writing

ProWritingAid’s both free and premium versions are optimized for checking passive voice, readability, transitions, structure, style, and more.

ProWritingAid highlights mistakes in real-time. It may not be a good spell checker, but it delivers on the money when it comes to correcting other grammatical errors and providing deep insight. It is available as a browser extension on Windows and Mac and also supports MS word, Google Docs, and Scrivener.

This grammar checker works as a mentor to evaluate your writing and check if it’s comparable to fellow writers in the same field. The free version of ProWritingAid offers 22 detailed reports— 25 in the Premium version-which are ample to help you improve.

I tested ProWritingAid for passive voice detection and it highlighted the passive voice sentences in purple and poor readability in yellow. Out of the six sentences, it flagged 3 for passive voice misuse and 2 for poor readability.

Unlike Grammarly, ProWritingAid detected passive voice in the fourth sentence. The web app itself gave an in-depth insight into the misuse of passive voice in these sentences and the methods to avoid them.

ProWritingAid’s Premium version has a 14-day refund policy to test the reliability of the software. It is a cheaper and far-reaching alternative to Grammarly.

Price:

  • Monthly subscription : $20/month.
  • Yearly subscription: $71/month.
  • Lifetime subscription: $399.

Best for: Improving readability in your writing style and see how it compares to other writing.

Strengths
  • It highlights errors in real-time.
  • You get in-depth explanations and solutions to improve your writing.
  • There is a comprehensive free version and free trial.
  • It has a 14-day refund policy.
  • You also get a Scrivener add-on.
Weaknesses
  • It isn’t 100% accurate.
  • This software is not available offline.
  • ProWritingAid overlooks some of the passive voice errors.
  • It isn’t an extensive spell checker.

Hemingway App: Best For Expert Writers Who Need To Run a Robust Passive Voice Check

Hemingway Editor is best for professional writers with a firm grasp of the English language. It is available as a free browser extension and a paid desktop app.

Unlike Grammarly and ProWritingAid, Hemingway Editor does not offer any suggestions. It uses different colors to highlight various grammatical issues like adverb usage, passive voice misuse, readability, and extremely poor readability.

Hemingway Editor further provides a grade score for the quality of writing, gives quick stats on word count, number of paragraphs, sentences, and reading time.

I am impressed with its ability to detect passive voice misuse as it highlighted 4 of the six misapplications, but basic ones.

However, the lack of suggestions and techniques to fix the issues makes it unsuitable for non-native English writers and students. Hemingway Editor is a relatively cheaper option for professionals.

Price:

You can get Hemmingway Editor for both Mac and PC for only $19.99. This one-time fee makes it a desired proofreader.

Best for: Expert writers who need to run a quick check without constructive feedback.

Strengths
  • Hemmingway App highlights errors in real-time.
  • It is more accurate than Grammarly and ProWritingAid.
  • The online version is equally good as the desktop software.
  • The price is relatively less than other grammar-checking software.
Weaknesses
  • It does not provide solutions and in-depth analysis.
  • Students and non-native English writers will not benefit from this software.

GrammarCheck: Best For Free Online Grammar And Spell Check

GrammarCheck is an online tool available to quickly check grammatical errors such as spelling mistakes, punctuation errors, passive voice sentences, etc. It’s refreshing to use software that It doesn’t ask for your personal details such as email, name, etc.

Out of the 6 passive voice sentences, GrammarCheck highlighted only 2 passive voice errors and 3 complicated expressions with short suggestions to replace them.

It’s fairly obvious that this software cannot pick up the intricate and indirect passive voice sentences, however, it has a deep check button that takes you to Grammarly premium for editing and in-depth explanations.

Price: Free to use online

Best for: Quick grammar and spelling errors check.

Strengths
  • It is available online for free.
  • The software detects common passive voice errors.
  • It also detects complicated expressions and offers short suggestions.
  • The UI is fuzz-free and easy to use.
Weaknesses
  • It does not provide solutions and in-depth analysis.
  • There is no extension available for this software.
  • The accuracy is limited.
  • It is not suitable for intricate corrections and deep editing.

Datayze: Best For Analyzing Texts Online

Datayze is nothing like regular grammar checkers. You can analyze your text using their passive voice checker tool on the web.

It is available online and works similarly to Hemmingway Editor. The editor isn’t as clean and smooth as compared to the other software mentioned in this article but it detects common passive voice errors.

Datayze has other writing tools that are available separately like spell checker, word analyzer, difficult and extraneous word finder, readability analyzer, alternate spelling finder, and word blender.

In my passive voice detector usage, Datayze highlighted passive voice errors in green in 3 of the six sentences but did not provide any suggestions or solutions to rectify the mistakes which restrict learning and improvement. Further, it marked auxiliary verb phrases in yellow.

Another downside of this passive voice detector is the absence of real-time editing. The free version of the above three grammar checkers is much better than Datayze. I wouldn’t recommend Datayze over the other software mentioned in this article.

Price:

Free to use with an internet connection.

Strengths
  • It is available online for free.
  • The software detects common passive voice errors.
  • You can also use it to replace auxiliary verbs.
Weaknesses
  • It does not provide solutions and in-depth analysis.
  • The interface is cluttered.
  • There is no real-time error detection.
  • It isn’t 100% accurate.

Final Thoughts

Passive voice takes away the effectiveness of your content. Unless you are a scientist, lawyer, or academic, I don’t recommend using passive voice for stylistic purposes. I reviewed two other popular software that did not make it to the list. Let’s understand why:

  • Ginger: It’s an alternative to Grammarly for its practical grammar and spell-checking attributes. However, it did not detect any passive voice errors in my testing. I did not receive any response or solution to my query from the technical support team either. Therefore, I haven’t included Ginger in the list of best passive voice checkers.
  • WhiteSmoke: WhiteSmoke is a popular grammar checker that claims to correct passive voice errors. However, in my testing, the results were precisely the opposite of the claim. Upon raising a query about the passive voice feature, the technical support team informed me that this feature is not available on WhiteSmoke.

My pick for the best passive voice checker is the Hemmingway Editor. Despite the lack of insight and solutions, it is more accurate than any other app listed in this review.

If you are a student, looking to develop your writing skills, minimize stylistic errors by using constructive feedback, then you can give a fair shot to ProWritingAid and Grammarly.

Photo of author
Article by
A former software product review writer at Elite Content Marketer, Ayushi loved learning and sharing new avenues to help creators. Besides, she’s a trained classical dancer, a sucker for R&B music, and a baker. Kafka has her heart and Søren, her mind.