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What's active voice?

Active voice is a relationship that exists between a subject and a verb.  Active voice indicates that the subject of the clause performs the action stated by the verb.

Martha (the subject) reads (the verb) books (the object).                                                                                                                                                                      

Active voice sentences are transitive sentences. A transitive sentence is a sentence with a subject that performs the action and an object that receives the action.

Jennifer read a book. We ate dinner at seven o'clock.
Our waiter spoke Cantonese. My father barbecued beef ribs. 
John wrote a good poem.  The teacher gave a good lecture. 
The congressmen cheered the president.  The old lady watered her flower bed.
Wanda watched The Perfect Storm on TV. The guests drank a lot of beer at the party.