Active vs. Passive Voice

  • It is easy to always write about things in the past tense that have happened to you, because they happened to you in the past. One problem we face is writing about things that we "were" or "was" doing: "We were driving..." or "I was fishing..." etc. Notice when we write like that we tend to add "ing" to our verbs. To make things a little more active, drop the "were," "was," etc., and the "ing": "We drove..." or "I fished..."

    Writing in the present can bring things alive because it's as if it is happening "right now." When writing in the present tense, it is easy to write about things that we "are" or "am" doing: "We are driving..." or "I am fishing..." To make things more active, drop the "are" or "am" and the "ing": "We drive..." or "I fish..."

    Go to the OWL website for a much better explanation. also has good examples of active/passive voice.


    Here is an example of a poem that has been changed from the past tense to the present tense to make it more active.