Active Voice Sentence

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An Active Voice Sentence is a declarative sentence where the sentence subject expresses the agent of the main verb.



  1. O'Grady, William, John Archibald, Mark Aronoff, and Janie Rees-Miller (eds.) (2001). Contemporary Linguistics: An Introduction Fourth edition. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's. ISBN 0-312-24738-9
  2. Saeed, John (1997). Semantics. Oxford: Blackwell. ISBN 0-631-20035-5


  • (WordNet, 2009) ⇒
    • S: (n) active voice, active (the voice used to indicate that the grammatical subject of the verb is performing the action or causing the happening denoted by the verb) "`The boy threw the ball' uses the active voice"
  • (Wikipedia, 2009) ⇒
    • In grammar, the voice (also called gender or diathesis) of a verb describes the relationship between the action (or state) that the verb expresses and the participants identified by its arguments (subject, object, etc.). When the subject is the agent or actor of the verb, the verb is in the active voice. When the subject is the patient, target or undergoer of the action, it is said to be in the passive voice.
    • For example, in the sentence:
      • The cat ate the mouse.
    • the verb "ate" is in the active voice, but in the sentence:
      • The mouse was eaten by the cat.
    • the verbal phrase "was eaten" is passive.
    • In a transformation from an active-voice clause to an equivalent passive-voice construction, the subject and the direct object switch grammatical roles. The direct object gets promoted to subject, and the subject demoted to an (optional) complement. In the examples above, the mouse serves as the direct object in the active-voice version, but becomes the subject in the passive version. The subject of the active-voice version, the cat, becomes part of a prepositional phrase in the passive version of the sentence, and could be left out entirely.