Everybody drinks water.
Water is drunk by everybody.

Voice is a grammatical category that applies to verbs. Voice expresses the relationship of the subject to the action. Voice has two values:

Shakespeare wrote Hamlet.      
    Hamlet was written by Shakespeare.

The active voice is the "normal" voice - the one that we use most of the time. In the active voice, the object receives the action of the verb:

active subject verb object
Cats eat mice.

The passive voice is less common. In the passive voice, the subject receives the action of the verb:

passive subject verb object
Mice are eaten by cats.

See how the object of the active verb becomes the subject of the passive verb:

  subject verb object
active Everybody drinks water.
passive Water is drunk by everybody.

In this lesson we look at the active voice, passive voice and some example sentences in active and passive, finishing with a quiz to check your understanding:

Active voice

Passive voice

Active and passive examples

Voice quiz