Active and Passive Voice

Contents

 

7.Active and Passive Voice                                                                                                    

7.1      Active Voice

7.2      Passive Voice

7.3      Rules for Changing the Voice

7.4      Transformation of Sentences-Voice Change

7.5      Summary of Rules with Examples in Tabular Form

 

7. ACTIVE AND PASSIVE VOICE

7.1 Active Voice

When a subject is doing some action on the object it is said to be in Active Voice.

Example: He wrote a letter.

 

7.2 Passive Voice

When an action is done on the subject it is said to be in passive voice

Example: A letter was written by him.

 

Note:

1. Only transitive verbs (verbs that need an object to complete their sense) can ever be in the  

    Passive.

2.  In Active Voice, the subject is given supreme importance.

3.  In Passive Voice, the object is given supreme importance.

Example: Tom killed a snake. (Active Voice)

               A snake was killed by Tom. (Passive Voice)

 

7.3 Rules for Changing the Voice:

General Form of Active Voice-Subject + Verb

General Form of Passive Voice-Object + ‘Be’ form + P.P (past participle)                                                    

Rule 1: The Object of the Active Voice is changed into Subject in the passive.

Rule 2: The Subject of the Active Voice is changed into Object in the passive preceding ‘by’. Note that the Object is often omitted in the passive.

Rule 3:  After the subject, use proper form of ‘Be’ according to the tense and number of the subject.

‘Be’ forms-am/is/are/was/were

 

7.4 Transformation of Sentences-Voice Change

 Present Tense

1. Simple Present Tense - He + writes + a letter. (A.V)

A letter + is + written + by him (P.V)

Form -Subject + am/is/are + Past Participle.(P.V)

 

2. Present Continuous Tense –He + is+ writing + a letter. (A.V)

A letter + is + being + written + by him. (P.V)

Form -S + has/have +been + Past Participle. (P.V)

Note: Present Perfect Continuous tense has No Passive Voice.

 Past Tense

1. Simple Past- He + wrote + a letter. (A.V)

A letter + was + written + by him (P.V)

Form-S + was/were + Past Participle. (P.V)

 

2. Past Continuous – He + was + writing + a letter. (A.V)

A letter + was + being + written + by him. (P.V)

Form-S + was/were + being + Past Participle. (P.V)

 

3. Past Perfect- He + had + written + a letter. (A.V)

A letter + had + been + written + by him (P.V)

Form-S + had + been + P.P. (P.V)

 

Note: Past Perfect Continuous tense has No Passive Voice

 Future Tense

 1. Simple Future Tense- He + will + write + a letter. (A.V)

  A letter+ will be+ written+ by him. (P.V)

  Form-S +will/shall +be +Past Participle. (P.V)

 

 2.  Future Perfect- He + will + have + been + written + a letter (A.V)

 A letter +will have+ been+ written +by him. (P.V)

 Form-S+ will/shall +have +been +Past Participle. (P.V)

Note: The future continuous and future perfect continuous have No Passive Voice.

Rule:  When an imperative ‘command’ is to be transformed, the form will be:

Form- Let + S + Be + Past Participle.

Hang him. (A.V)

Rule: When interrogative sentence is to be formed, the form will be:

Form- Q. word + auxiliary verb + S + P.P

Who killed the snake? (A.V)

By whom +was +the +snake +killed? (P.V)

 

7.5 Summary of Rules with Examples in Tabular Form:

 

 

Tense

 

Simple

 

Continuous

 

Perfect

 

Perfect Continuous

 

A.V.

Present

 

S+V in the Present

He+reads+ a book.

 

 

S+am/is/are+ing

He+is+reading+ a book.

 

 

S+has/have+P.P

He+has+read+a book. 

 

S+has/have+been

+ing

He+has+been+reading

+a book.

 

P.V.

 

 

S+am/is/are

+PP

A book+is+

read+by him.

 

S+am/is/are+being

+PP

A book+is+being

+read+by him.

 

S+has/have+been + PP

 A book+has+been

+read by him.

 

NO PASSIVE

 

 

A.V.

Past

 

S+V in the past

He+read+a book.

 

 

S+was/were+ing

He+was+reading+a book.

 

S+had+PP

He+had+read+a book.

 

S+had+been+ing

He+had+been+

reading+a book.

 

P.V

 

S+was/were+PP

A book+was+

read+by him

 

S+was/were+being

+PP

A book+was+being

+read+by him

 

S+had+been+PP

A book+had+been

+read+by him

 

NO PASSIVE

 

A.V.

Future

 

S+will/shall+root

of the verb

He+will+read+

a book

 

S+will/shall+be+

ing

He+will+be+reading+a book

 

S+will/shall+

have+PP

He+will+have+

read+a book

 

S+will/shall+have+

been+ing

He+will+have+been+

reading+a book

 

P.V.

 

S+will/shall+be

+PP

A letter+will+be

read+by him

 

NO PASSIVE

 

S+will/shall+have

+been+PP

A letter+will+have

+been+read+by him

 

NO PASSIVE

 

EXERCISE FOR PRACTICE

1.  The teacher punished the boys who had not done their home work.

      (a) The boys who had not done their home work were punished by the teacher.

      (b) The buys who had not done their homework were being punished by the teacher

      (c) The boys who had not done their homework had been punished by their teacher

      (d) The boys were punished by the teacher who had not done their homework

         

2.  People claim to have seen the suspect in several cities.

     (a) The suspect is claimed to have been seen by people in several cities

     (b) The suspect was seen by people in several cities

     (c) The suspect is being seen in several cities.

     (d) The suspect has been seen by the people in several

 

3.  After driving professor kumar  to the museum she dropped him at his hotel.

     (a) professor Kumar was being driven to the museum   first, then he was being dropped at his hotel.

     (b) After being driven to the museum, professor Kumar was dropped at his hotel

     (c) After she was driving professor Kumar to the museum she was dropping him at his hotel

     (d) After she had driven professor Kumar to the museum she had dropped him at his hotel.

 

4.  Some body told me that there had been an explosion in the town hall.

     (a) I was informed that there was an explosion in the town hall.

     (b) I was told by some body that there had been an explosion in the town hall.

     (c) I was told by some body about the explosion in the town hall.

     (d) I was told about the explosion in the town hall.

 

5.  Why do you waste time?

     (a) Why has time been wasted by you?

     (b) Why is time being wasted by you?

     (c) Why is time wasted by you?

     (d) Why is time been wasted by you?

         

 6. The doctor advised the patient not to eat rice.

      (a) The patient was advised by the doctor not to eat rice.

      (b) The patient was advised by the doctor that he should not eat rice.

      (c) The patient was being advised that he should not eat rice by the doctor.

      (d) The patient has been advised not to eat rice by the doctor.

 

 7. You should open the wine about three hours before you use it.

      (a) Wine should be opened about three hours before use.

      (b) Wine should be opened by you three hours before use.

      (c) Wine should be opened about three hours before you use it.

      (d) Wine should be opened about three hours before it is used

 

  8.  After driving Professor Kumar to the museum she dropped him at his hotel.

      (a) After being driven to the museum, professor Kumar was dropped at his hotel

      (b) Professor Kumar was being driven dropped at his hotel

      (c) After she had driven Professor Kumar to the museum she had dropped him at his hotel

      (d) After she was driving Professor Kumar to the museum she was dropping him at his hotel.

 

 9. They greet me cheerfully every morning.

      (a) Every morning I was greeted cheerfully.

      (b) I am greeted cheerfully by them every morning.

      (c) I am being greeted cheerfully by them every morning.

      (d) Cheerful greeting is done by them every morning to me.

 

10.  James Watt discovered the energy of steam.

       (a) The energy of steam discovered James Watt.

       (b) The energy of steam was discovered by James Watt.

       (c) James Watt was discovered by the energy of steam.

       (d) James Watt was discovered energy by the steam.

 

ANSWERS: -

1. (a)       2.(a)       3. (b)        4.(b)       5.(c)         6.(a)         7.(d)         8.(a)        9.(b)         10(b)