Learn & Improve Your English


Active and Passive Voice


    Author:     Member Level: Gold    Points: 35 (Rs 35)

Active Voice:

A transitive verb can be used in two different forms and these two forms of the verb are called the Active Voice and the Passive Voice. In Active Voice, the subject of the verb is active; it is directly responsible for the action indicated by the verb. In this form, the subject acts or does something which affects the object. The action of the subject passes on to the subject.


Passive Voice:

In the Passive Voice the subject is not the active agent of the action indicated by the verb. The object governs the verb and the subjects does not act, but is acted upon. Thus in the Passive Voice, the subject is either pushed into the background or deleted altogether.


Change of Voice:

The Active Voice can be changed into the Passive Voice and vice-versa. For the change of Active Voice into Passive Voice, the following basic rules must be kept in mind:-

Rule 1. The object in the Active Voice is changed into the subject in the Passive Voice and the verb is governed by its number and person.

Rule 2. The subject in the Active Voice is changed into the object in the Passive Voice and the preposition ‘by’ is mostly used before it.

Rule 3. The main verb of the Active Voice is changed into its third form and some form of the Auxiliary Verb ‘to be’ is used before it, according to the tense of the verb.

Rule 4. In the Passive Voice, only the third form of the main verb is used.


Cases of No Change of Voice:

Following are the cases where the change of voice is not at all possible:
1.Present Perfect Continuous Tense cannot be changed.
2.Past Perfect continuous Tense cannot be changed.
3.Future Continuous Tense cannot be changed.
4.Future Perfect Continuous Tense cannot be changed.
5.A verb with a reflexive pronoun cannot be changed into the Passive Voice.
6.Intransitive verbs cannot be changed into the passive voice.


1.Present Indefinite Tense:
Rule: In the Passive Voice of this tense, ‘is’/’am’/’are’ is used with the third form of verb.

2.Present Continuous Tense:
Rule: In the Passive Voice of this tense, we use ‘is’/’am’/’are’ and ‘being’ with the third form of the verb.

3.Present Perfect Tense:
Rule: In the Passive Voice of this tense, we use ‘has’/’have’ and been with the third form of the verb.

4.Past Indefinite Tense:
Rule: In the Passive Voice of this tense, we use ‘was’/’were’ with the third form of the verb.

5.Past Continuous Tense:
Rule: In the Passive Voice of this tense, we use ‘was’/’were’ and ‘being’ with the third form of the verb.

6.Past Perfect Tense:
Rule: In the Passive Voice of this tense, we use ‘had been’ with the third form of the verb.

7.Future Indefinite Tense:
Rule: In the Passive Voice of this tense, we use ‘will be’/’shall be’ with the third form of the verb.

8.Future Perfect Tense:
Rule: In the Passive Voice of this tense, we use ‘will have been’/’shall have been’ with the third form of the verb.

9.Imperative Sentences:
Rule: In an imperative sentence, the transitive verb expresses an order, advice or request. To change it into the Passive Voice, we use ‘let’ before the object right in the beginning of the sentence and ‘be’ with the third form of the verb. ‘Please’ or ‘Kindly’ of the Active Voice should be changed into ‘You are requested’ in the Passive Voice.

10.The use of ‘Let’:
Rule: ‘Let’ is used in the Active Voice in different senses. Sometimes it means ‘to allow’ and sometimes it refers to a proposal or suggestion. ‘Let us’ is usually used in the sense of making a proposal or suggestion. In such cases, ‘It is proposed’ or ‘It is suggested’ should be used in the Passive Voice.
When ‘let’ is used in the Active Voice in the sense of ‘seeking permission’, ‘may be allowed to’ should be used in the Passive Voice.

11.The use of ‘Who’, ‘Whom’ etc.:
Rule: ‘Who’ in the Active Voice is changed into ‘By whom’ in the Passive Voice. ‘Whom’ in the Active Voice is changed into ‘who’ in the Passive Voice.

12.The use of Prepositions:
Rule: If a transitive verb is followed by a preposition in the Active Voice, it should be followed by the same preposition in the Passive Voice also.

13.Two Objects in One Sentence:
Rule: If a transitive verb has two objects in the Active Voice, one may be changed into the subject and the other may be used as an object in Passive Voice.

14.The Change of Infinitive:
Rule: Sometimes only the Infinitive of the Active Voice is changed to effect the change of voice.

15.Passive Verbs in Active Voice:
Rule: Some verbs are used in the passive sense even in the active voice. We have to deal with them according to the sense.

16.Missing Object in the Passive Voice:
Rule: Sometimes the object (the active agent) is missing in the passive voice. A suitable agent should be supplied while changing the voice.



Sample Usage

Exampes :-


1.Active Voice: She buys flowers.
Passive Voice: Flowers are bought by her.

2.Active Voice: He is flying a kite.
Passive Voice: A kite is being flown by him.

3.Active Voice: She has seen a ghost.
Passive Voice: A ghost has been seen by her.

4.Active Voice: She hated men.
Passive Voice: Men were hated by her.

5.Active Voice: She was telling a story.
Passive Voice: A story was being told by her.

6.Active Voice: He had stolen my pen
Passive Voice: My pen had been stolen by him.

7.Active Voice: I shall help you.
Passive Voice: You will be helped by me.

8.Active Voice: The doctor will have given him an injection.
Passive Voice: He will have been given an injection by the doctor.

9.Active Voice: Help the poor and the handicapped.
Passive Voice: Let the poor and the handicapped be helped.

10.Active Voice: Let me go home.
Passive Voice: I may be allowed to go home.

11.Active Voice: Who does not love beauty?
Passive Voice: By whom is not beauty loved?

12.Active Voice: Send for the doctor at once.
Passive Voice: Let the doctor be sent for at once.

13.Active Voice: He gave me a book.
Passive Voice: I was given a book by him.

14.Active Voice: I want to sell my car.
Passive Voice: I want my car to be sold.

15.Active Voice: Rose smells sweet.
Passive Voice: Rose is sweet when (it is) smelt.

16.Active Voice: The thief was arrested.
Passive Voice: The police arrested the thief.


Next Resource: Future Tense
Previous Resource: Direct and Indirect Speech (Narration) Part-2

Return to Index

Post New English Language Resource


Related Resources


Awards & Gifts
Top Contributors
TodayLast 7 Daysmore...

 
ISC Technologies, Kochi - India. © All Rights Reserved.