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Active Voice in Writing: Improve Your Grammar Skills to A+ Level

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Active voice in writingSpeaking English seems pretty simple. However, when it comes to writing and grammar, there are usually a lot of stumbling blocks – and the Active and Passive Voice must be the worst one. However, let’s take a closer look at it – perhaps, it’s not as black as it is painted.
Writing in Active Voice is actually pretty easy!
In English, Active and Passive voice makes it clear who does something and what (s)he does.
So let’s dig into English grammar and writing – with good examples, Passive voice and Active voice rules will seem much easier!

Active Voice in Writing and… Passive Voice in Writing: The Rules

The active voice is used when we aim to communicate mainly who has done a certain thing or what is happening to someone/something. First of all, check the way active voice is formed:

An auxiliary (if any) + the notional verb + the ending (if any)
Unlike active, passive voice is more about what has been done, not who did it. In passive, tense usage is the same – only the accent shifts from the doer to the object. However, you’ll need a good look at the active and the passive voice examples below to get a good understanding of all the peculiarities, so hold on!
Generally, the passive and active voice are quite interchangeable. However, when you don’t know who the doer is, it’s better to use the passive voice:
My father built this house in 1955. – Okay;
Someone built this house in 1955. = This house was built in 1955.
As for “to be,” passive voice simply can’t do without it – by contrast to active voice.

Active Voice in Writing: To Be or not to Be. On Auxiliary Verbs

Unlike passive voice, active voice uses the verb “to be” in a different manner. As a matter of fact, “to be” appears rather often when one uses the active voice in writing, although the form depends on the tense used:
Continuous Tenses: to be + Verb+ing:
I am watching an interesting movie;
They will be leaving soon;
We were waiting for him for too long.
Perfect Continuous Tenses: have/has/had been + Verb+ing:
You have been reading that book for two hours;;
They will have been living here for 10 years by then;
He had been sleeping until we came..
So much for “to be” in active voice. Well, hold on – you’re almost there! All that it takes to learn everything about the issue is to check a couple of examples of active voice and read some professional tips!

Active Voice in Writing: Check These Fabulous Examples Right Here!

Well, it’s time you dealt with some active and passive voice with examples – so take a look at these:
Examples: Active and Passive Voice
Part 1. Sentences in Active Voice: Active Voice in Writing. Rules

The Tense The Example
Present Simple He reads the book.
Past Simple They missed their train.
Future Simple He will find the way home.
Present Continuous You are reading an article now.
Past Continuous It was raining hard.
Future Continuous I will be watching you.
Present Perfect She has lost her way.
Past Perfect I had left before the rain started.
Future Perfect I will have left by tomorrow.
Present Perfect Continuous They have been watching this movie for too long.
Past Perfect Continuous I had been working until you came in.
Future Perfect Continuous Even 7 years from now, he will still have been working on that idea.
Future-in-the-Past: Simple Dan said he would be surprised to hear that.
Future-in-the-Past: Continuous Mary said she would be cooking tomorrow
Future-in-the-Past: Perfect Sam said he would have finished the project by tomorrow.
Future-in-the-Past: Perfect Continuous They said in a couple of weeks they would have been working here for two years.

With these active voice sentences, you’ll get the idea of using active voice in writing. However, to get the entire picture, you’ll also need examples for passive voice. So now, read some passive voice examples:
Part 2. Sentences using the passive voice:

The Tense The Example
Present Simple The door is shut.
Past Simple The choice was made.
Future Simple The dinner will be served at 4 p.m.
Present Continuous The house is being built.
Past Continuous The room was being cleaned.
Future Continuous – (There’s no such thing.)
Present Perfect The meeting has been arranged.
Past Perfect The room had been cleaned before the parents returned.
Future Perfect The contest will have been finished by next Sunday.
Present Perfect Continuous No
Past Perfect Continuous Nope
Future Perfect Continuous Does not exist.
Future-in-the-Past: Simple He said that the car would be mended soon.
Future-in-the-Past: Continuous Does not exist.
Future-in-the-Past: Perfect They said the book would have been written soon.
Future-in-the-Past: Perfect Continuous Does not exist.

That’s the general guideline for using the active voice in writing.

Active Voice in Writing: Exotic and Fun Exercises – Take a Look!

If writing in an active voice still seems a bit tough, take a look at these expert tips:

  • Think of the action – is it long, recurrent or has it just been done?
  • Think of the tense – is it past, present or future?
  • Think of who performs this action – do you need a third person ending?

However, you might also need some practice in writing in passive voice – so get your load of exercises below!
Passive Voice and Active Voice in Writing: Exercises
First of all, let’s deal with some examples of active voice exercises:
Active voice exercises:

  1. Name three things that you do every day;
  2. Name three things that you are doing at present;
  3. Name three things that you have not done yet;
  4. Name three things that you have been doing for the past few weeks.

And now, it’s time for a couple of examples of a passive voice sentences and some tasks:
Passive Voice Exercises: Fill in the Missing Words

  1. The house is being __________ (build, refurbish, taken down);
  2. A new method has __________ (been, be, was) developed;
  3. Final steps need to be __________ (took, taken, take).

With these examples of the passive voice and active voice use in writing, you’ll be able to deal with the most complicated tasks! Even if you used to have issues with this topic, these examples of passive voice and active voice should do the trick!
Like active voice, passive voice is also quite simple to deal with – just focus on what is going on, not who does all the stuff.

Active Voice in Writing: Consider the Top Five Recommendations!

With all these examples, active voice does seem much simpler, doesn’t it? To be sure of that, just read a couple of tips more – and the whole thing will be as clear as a day!

  • Learn the three forms of irregular verbs well;
  • Remember the specific endings (-ed, -ing, -(e)s);
  • Keep in mind that some verbs change when adding endings;
  • Refer the action to past, present or future before deciding on the tense to use;
  • Use the markers of the tenses:

Tense Markers
Simple

  • often/ seldom;
  • always/ never;
  • every… (day, Monday, month, etc.)

Continuous

  • Now;
  • At the/that moment;
  • At present.

Perfect

  • already;
  • recently;
  • just;
  • since.

Perfect Continuous

  • for … days/weeks/etc.;
  • since…

All in all, writing in the active voice is pretty simple and quite fun. Now why don’t you try it yourself? Learn the basic rules and gain your experience points!

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