When do you use the active voice?
1. Use the active voice when you want to name the person who does the action. Compare these two sentences.
(a) The glass was broken by the baseball.
(b) Marty hit the ball that broke the window.
If we want readers to know the culprit, we would use the second sentence.
2. Use the active voice when you want to speed up the action.
(a) The paper was written by Paul, copied by Marla, and was presented by Eldon.
(b) Paul wrote the paper, Marla copied it, and Eldon presented it.
3. Use the active voice to write shorter sentences. The first sentence below uses nine words and the second only seven. That's not a significant difference in one sentence, but in a book of 500 pages, we might save the life of one tree.
(a) The vegetarian meals were eaten eagerly by the visitors.
(b) The visitors eagerly ate the vegetarian meals.
The active voice reads faster with less chance of misunderstanding. Good writers make reading easy.