Using Active Voice

Most sentences are in active voice, meaning the subject performs the action. A sentence in passive voice has no clear subject that receives the action specified by the verb. Because passive sentences are wordier and weaker than active sentences, use active voice most often.

However, when you want to be less direct and emphatic, passive voice is a better choice. Since passive-voice sentences do not always specify the performer of the action, this option may be desirable to avoid laying blame or offending the reader.

When changing voice, take care not to change tense, add dangling modifiers, or resort to wordiness in the sentences.




Rewrite the following sentences to eliminate the passive voice and dangling or misplaced modifiers.

1. A pay increase for the clerk was requested.

2. This package was delivered by a mail carrier.

3. The panel must be removed before starting to replace the toner.

4. Your request was denied.

5. The room was cleaned.

6. I was told about your plans to resign.

7. Your absence was reported by Miss Wilson.

8. "Mistakes were made." (an actual statement by a spokesman for a President of the United States)