Writing in the Active Voice

Generations of writers agree the active voice is more engaging for readers than using the passive voice.

In active writing, the subject is at the start of the sentence and the order is subject – verb – object.

Valentina sang the song
subject verb noun

In passive sentences, the subject is at the end and the order is object – verb – subject.

The song was sung by Valentina
noun verb subject

Like all grammar rules, it doesn’t always work and you shouldn’t remove every passive sentence. More often than not, you should make your passive sentences active.

In passive voice, the person or thing follows the action. In active voice, it puts the person or thing first and makes the sentence clear and precise.

When we leave the subject out:

When writing in the passive voice, we sometimes leave the subject out. This makes our readers having to draw their own conclusions.

The kite was thrown into the sky
noun verb
Action was taken against the protesters
noun verb
Joann was praised at school
noun verb

Passive voice can be sneaky

Here we see the passive voice being used with a modifier.

The kite thrown into the sky was later found
noun verb split passive verb

Is a reduction of:

The kite (that was) thrown into the sky was later found
noun Passive verb split passive verb

Turn it into the active voice:

Kate threw the kite into the sky, Greg found it again

subject

verb

noun subject verb noun

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