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Active Voice

Grammar Glossary for Spanish Students

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Oranges

Pedro come las naranjas. (Pedro is eating the oranges.)

Photo by Daniel Sancho; licensed via Creative Commons.

Definition: A sentence in which the subject of the main verb performs the acting is in the active voice. We can also say that the verb is in the active voice. This is the way in which an "ordinary" simple sentence is constructed in both English and Spanish. The active voice is in contrast to the passive voice, in which the noun performing the action of the verb is stated indirectly, if at all.

Also known as: La voz activa in Spanish

Examples in Spanish: 1. Pedro come las naranjas. The subject (Pedro) is the noun that is performing the action (come), so the verb is in the active voice. 2. Compré el coche. The subject (implied by the verb conjugation to be yo) is who performed the action (compré).

Corresponding examples in English: 1. "Pedro is eating the oranges." The subject ("Pedro") is the noun that is performing the action ("is eating"), so the verb is in the active voice. 2. "I bought the car." The subject ("I") is who performed the action ("bought").

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