Is Passive Voice Always Wrong?

Here’s a sentence I found on Grammarly (a platform where you can improve your language skills). I like it!

He is totally beguiling, and I’m bewitched.

But Grammarly says it’s a bad sentence: you’re supposed to avoid passive voice. I’m bewitched is passive because the sentence doesn’t tell you who did the bewitching.

Here’s Grammarly’s version:

He is totally beguiling, and he has bewitched me.

My reaction is…pfffft. I’ll agree that it’s a good sentence. But so was the original! “I’m bewitched” is strong. I can feel the witchcraft!

Sometimes grammar doesn’t matter. The sentence feels alive – and isn’t that what we want from our writing?

My oft-repeated advice still stands: be wary when someone throws a rule at you. Rules are only guidelines.

You have a lifetime of language experience.  (So does everyone else!) You know – instantly – whether a sentence works or not. Trust yourself!


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