Active Voice, Passive Voice


Voice is that inflection of a verb that shows whether its subject is the doer of the action indicated or is acted upon.

If the subject performs the action, the verb is in the active voice. If the subject is acted upon, the verb is in the passive voice.

Active voice is dynamic. Passive voice is static. Active voice is vigorous and emphasizes the actor. Passive voice is evasive about naming the actor.

News writing should almost always be in the active voice because news is about action and actors.

To test for the active voice, find the subject and verb in the sentence. Put the subject before the verb so that the subject takes action: Jill hit the ball, not: The ball was hit by Jill.