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My parents bought a house. the verb is active, the subject (my parents) is doing the action of 'buying'

The house was bought a few years ago. the verb is passive, the subject (the house) is not doing the action, it is having the action done to it.

Verbs are either 'active' or 'passive' according to whether the subject of the sentence is doing the action or whether they are having it done to them. 

For example;

The verb To Clean.

Jack cleaned the house.

The verb To Clean is active here, (cleaned), because the subject of the sentence 'Jack' is doing the cleaning.

The house was cleaned by Jack.

In this sentence the verb 'To Clean' is passive because the subject of the sentence, the house, is being cleaned.

So active verbs are those verbs, in sentences, which are being done by the subject of the sentence.

All verbs are doing words and involve an action, but examples of 'active verbs' depend on whether the thing being done, (cleaning, eating etcetera), is being done by the subject of the sentence or not.

An active verb is a word that basically show an action within a sentence.

An example: Charlotte talks for an incredibly long time.

the active verb here would be talks; as talking is something that Charlotte can do. Basically, active verbs express something that a person, animal, or object can do. That’s why they are named Action verbs. I hope I have helped :)

All verbs have an active and a passive voice.  


I am building a house.

You are driving the car.

Bill is eating his dinner

Mary is playing the game.


The house was built by me.

The car was driven by you.

The dinner was eaten by Bill.

The game was played by Mary.

There are 2 types of sentence- active and passive. 

Active verbs detail the action ie:

The teacher taught the lesson.

The passive sentence would read:

The students are taught the lesson.

Basically it means when someone is physically doing something!

An example of an active verb would be in the sentence "Sally cleaned the car" - where "cleaned" is an active verb.

Compare this with "The car was cleaned by Sally" - where "was cleaned" is a passive verb.

In an active sentence, the subject of the sentence is the thing or the person carrying out the action (Sally in the example above).  In a passive sentence, the thing being acted upon is the subject of the sentence (the car in the example above).


An active verb is where the person or thing does something rather than has something done to it. An active verb appears when the sentence will look like this:  subject verb object,      NOT object (is) verb (by) subject.

eg Tina cleans her car 

James buys an iPad

They will complete the project   (rather than 'The project will be completed by them')

My mum used to bake cookies   (rather than 'Cookies used to be baked by my mum')

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