In grammar, an active voice is a type of clause or sentence in which a subject takes an action and expresses it through his representative verb. Simply put, when a subject is taking an action directly, it is in the active voice. It then uses a transitive verb to show the action.
Style guides usually recommend using active voice as it is clear and direct. For example: “Some customers prefer mulled beer as hot as coffee. A lazy cat named Minnie sleeps in a boat by the stove. “(The Old House at Home, by Joseph Mitchell). All these sentences are in an active voice, since the verbs “relate”, “keep”, “get” and “sleep” are in active mode.
Examples of active voice in literature
Example 1: Harold and Maud (by Colin Higgins)
“ You know I broke into pet stores once to get the canaries free, so I decided this was an idea long before it happened. The zoos are full, the prisons are overflowing. Oh how the world still loves a cage so much! ”
The active voice in these example sentences is underlined. The subject "I" is performing an action through the verbs "break" and "decide." The subject "world" is performing an action through the verb "loves". All sentences are in active voice.
Example # 2: Hillary's Once in a Lifetime (by Kathleen Parker)
“Finally, Hillary entered and moved through a line of huggers to a raised platform centered in the room ... Her position it meant that she had to keep turning so she could hug him back. She went round and round and round, 360 degrees, over and over, her arms outstretched in perpetual salute, like a jewel box dancer whose battery has run out. "
Here the theme "Hillary" is to act through the verbs "swept", "lowered", "had", "turned" and "has run". The verbs are in active mode, which is why all the sentences they are in active voice.
Example 3: Mr.Personality (by Mark Singer)
“Seven days a week, Paul Schimmel ventures into the subway with his clarinet. At the IND branch on Sixth Avenue and 42nd Street, he paid his fare with a free ticket one afternoon. “
The use of active voice added directness to this passage. The subject is "Paul Schimmel" who is "doing things" and "paying" the fare.
Example 4: Heart of Darkness (by Colin Higgins))
"I looked at him in amazement ..." Ah, he talked to you about that Love spoken! "I said, amused." It's not what you think, "he exclaimed almost passionately." It was in general. `` He threw up his arms ... Then he had his second illness. After that, I had to stay out of the way; But I didn't mind. He lived mostly in these lakeside villages. Sometimes when he came down to the river he would take me, and sometimes it was better for me to be careful. This man suffered too much. “
In this passage the author has written all the sentences with an active voice that are direct and clear in meaning. The verbs of the active voice include “looked”, “spoken”, “think”, “thrown”. "Had", "lived", "came down" and "suffered".
Example 5: The Catcher in the Rye (by J. Salinger)
"If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you will do is I probably want to know where I was born and what my lousy childhood was like ... You are nice and everyone - I'm not saying that - but they're also very sensitive. Besides, I'm not going to tell you I'm just telling you about this crazy stuff that happened to me last Christmas… ”
In this excerpt the author used the verbs“ hear ”,“ want "," Say "," say "used. Go" and "te ll" with active voice.
Feature of Active Voice
Active Voice plays an important role in creative writing and business reports as these types of writing need to be concise, clear and direct. They increase interest and help grab readers' attention. Not only do you keep the audience interested, it also improves the quality of a written work. The active voice gives energy and life to a sentence because it is less verbose and therefore less difficult. In addition, the active voice keeps readers focus and attention on a single point.
Popular Literary Devices
- Ad Hominem
- Deus Ex Machina
- Double Entendre
- Flash Forward
- Half Rhyme
- Internal Rhyme
- Line Break
- Non Sequitur
- Pathetic Fallacy
- Poetic Justice
- Point of View
- Red Herring
- Tragic Flaw