Just got around to reading through some backed up e-newsletters, and came across the ZOMBIE test ... Apparently, an easy way to check for PASSIVE VOICE is to add "BY ZOMBIES" after the verb. I'm sorry, but I got a real kick out of that... 😂
If the sentence still makes sense, then its passive. For example... "A dinner was eaten"... by zombies = passive! Now it does say that if you're scared of zombies, it can be anything (try BY FAIRIES).
AND it may not work with really short sentences (for example... "she ran... by zombies")... the sentence still makes sense, but of course it likely has a totally different meaning (unless you're writing a zombie apocalypse novel), so would not be passive.
Just made me laugh, so thought I'd share!
You all probably know this already, but it was well articulated, so FYI, there are 4 times when it's OK to use a passive voice...
1. You don't know who did it ("the jewelry was stolen"). By who? No one knows...
The next example gives us 2 reasons - "The robber was arrested." 2. We care more about fact of the arrest than WHO arrested the robber; 3. Everyone knows the police arrested the robber, so we don't need to say it.
And finally, 4. When you WANT to be vague "Mistakes were made."... the article points out that companies use this a lot when they don't want to accept blame!
As Trevor Noah says, if you didn't know, now you know!