Using the Active Voice

Contributor: Linda Price. Lesson ID: 10080

"Passive" reminds me of being lazy and dull. Active sounds much better! That's true with verbs, too. Using online stories and your imagination, learn to use the active voice to make your stories live!



English / Language Arts
learning style
personality style
Grade Level
High School (9-12)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

  • Ever read something that is lifeless and dull?

Good writers use the active voice to make their writing come alive! Active verbs are strong verbs, where the subject performs the action.

  • Can you identify active verbs?

Using the active voice to write creative fiction and nonfiction, you will create strong, concise, lively sentences. This skill improves the writing of all writers, and will help you, too!

“Sometimes when we look at it, it looks crazy,” remarked Adam Steltzner, an engineer who works for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration—known as NASA. “It is the result of reasoned engineering thought. But it still looks crazy” (“Seven Minutes of Terror,” Eight Years of Ingenuity).

When writing creative prose or poetry, writers like verbs in the active voice because they make their work more exciting, alive, and stronger. Study the sentences above. Notice that in each one, the subject of the sentence is performing the action.

Study the pairs of sentences in the activity below.

  • Can you figure out which ones are in the active voice and which are not?

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