Active voice is generally the style of speaking that students learn first. In active sentences, the verb is performed by the subject.
- James wrote a book.
- James wrote a book. ("Book" is the direct object.)
- James slept. (There is no direct object.)
- a book
- was written
- by James
- A book was written by James.
- James is writing a book. > A book is being written by James.
- James was writing a book. > A book was being written by James.
- James has written a book. > A book has been written by James.
- James had been writing a book. > A book had been written by James.
- Did James write a book? > Was a book written by James?
- Has James written a book? > Has a book been written by James?
- My purse was stolen! (We don't know who stole the purse.)
- This program was founded in 1901. (Maybe we know who founded the program, but the focus is on the program, not on the founder.)
- The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe was written by C.S. Lewis. (Even if we know who wrote the book, we are placing more emphasis on the book, not on the author.)