The Active Voice

When talking about “Active” and “Passive Voice,” we typically refer to the form of a verb that tells us if the “subject” in a sentence either performs or receives an action. In other words, when we use the “Active Voice,” the subject in a sentence is also the person or thing that carries out the act. But let’s have a closer look. 

When Do We Use the Active Voice?

In most English speech and writing, especially academic writing, we use the “Active Voice.” It tells the reader or listener who or what “does a verb.” The focus is on the subject, and the respective verb to the subject is called the “active verb.” Again, sentences in the “Active Voice” are about what people (or things) do, while sentences in the “Passive Voice” tell us about what happens to people (or things). Also, sentences written in the active voice are easier to understand than sentences written in the passive voice. 

Take a look at these examples:

I drank a cup of water. 

(In this example, the subject is “I,” the verb is “drank,” and the object is “a cup of water.”)

She is walking the dog.

(Again, the subject “she” does the verb “walking” and the object (or “receiver of the action”) is “the dog”)

Stephen will be visiting his grandparents in Venice this summer.

(The subject is “Stephen,” the verb form is “will be visiting,” and the object in this sentence is “his grandparents”)

Verb Tenses Used In Active Voice 

Here’s a quick summary of the verb tenses in the “Active Voice” with the example verb “to speak”:

Present SimpleI speak
Present Continuous /
Present Progressive
I am speaking
Past SimpleI spoke
Past Continuous /
Past Progressive
I was speaking
Present PerfectI have spoken
Present P. Continuous /
Present P. Progressive
I have been speaking
Past PerfectI had spoked
“Will” Future SimpleI will speak
“Going to” Future SimpleI am going to speak
ConditionalI would speak