English Grammar Rules: Active & Passive voice

English Grammar Rules: Active & Passive voice

Voice is the term used to describe whether a verb is active or passive.

Active & Passive Voice is one of the important topics in the English Language section. Active & Passive voice is a must-know topic for English language. It is important that you know all the rules regarding change of active and passive voice to deal with the questions. Questions from the topic “active / passive voice” has been asked in many government exams like SSC, Railways, SBI, IBPS etc. So, it is very important from the examination point of view to know about List of rules of Active and Passive Voice. Here we are providing you with all the important rules of Active and passive voice.

♦Voice

Voice of a verb tells us whether the subject is acting or being acted upon.

In other words, Voice is the form of verb that shows whether the Subject does some work or some work is done on the Subject itself.

e.g.-

  1. Nikhil writes a poem.

This sentence shows that the subject “Nikhil” does some work.

  1. A poem is written by Nikhil.

This sentence shows that some work is done on the subject “A poem”.

♦Types of Voice

There are two types of voice:

  1. Active Voice
  2. Passive Voice

Active Voice: When the subject of the verb is doing the action of the verb (e.g., “Nikhil writes a poem.”), the verb is said to be in the active voice.

In other words, Active voice is the form of the verb that reflects the importance of the subject.

e.g. He Helped me.

Mumbai won the match.

Passive Voice: When the subject of the verb is being acted upon (e.g., ” A poem is written by Nikhil.”), the verb is said to be in the passive voice.

In other words, Passive voice is the form of the verb that reflects the importance of the object (which is the subject of passive).

e.g.  The letter was written.

The ball was kicked.

♦Structure (simple present tense)

Active Voice Passive Voice
Subject + V1+s/es+ object

 

Object+ is/am/are+ V3+ by + subject

 

Subject + Do/does+ not + V1 + Object

 

Object + is/am/are+ not + V3+ by Subject
Does+ Subject+ V1+Object+?

 

Is/am/are + Object+ V3+ by subject?

♦Some Important Rules

  • Make the “Object” of Active voice the “Subject” of Passive voice.
  • Use the Helping verb according to the “Subject” of Passive voice.
  • 3rd form of the verb (V3) is used after “to be”.
  • Before the Object in Passive voice, the preposition ‘by’ is used.
  • Make the “Subject” of Active voice the “Object” of Passive voice.

E.g.: The Bowler threw the ball out of the park. (Active Voice)

The ball was thrown out of the park by the bowler. (Passive Voice)

Steps:

(A) Object of active voice- ‘Ball’ is made the subject in passive voice.

(B) ‘Threw’ is past tense in active voice, so Helping Verb used in passive voice is ‘was’.

(C) ‘Thrown’ the 3rd form of ‘throw’ is used after helping verb.

(D) Preposition ‘by’ is used.

(E) Subject of the active voice ’The bowler’ is made the object in passive voice.

Rules for Changes of Pronouns:

Conversion of Active to Passive Voice:

(a) Simple Present:

Active Passive
Subject + V1+s/es+ object Object+ is/am/are (to be) +V3+by+Subject
The shopkeeper sells rice. Rice is sold by the shopkeeper.
Does the shopkeeper sell rice? Is rice sold by the shopkeeper?

(b) Present Continuous:

Active Passive
Subject+ to be(is/am/are) +Verb(ing)+Object Object+ is/am/are (to be) +being+V3+by+Subject
The teacher is scolding the student. The student is being scolded by the teacher.
Is the teacher scolding the student? Is the student being scolded by the teacher?

 (c) Present Perfect:

Active Passive
My sister has written this letter.  This letter has been written by my sister.
Has my sister written this letter?  Has this letter been written by my sister?

 (d) Simple Past:

Active Passive
Subject+V3+Object Object+was/were+V3+by+Subject
My sister ate a mango. A mango was eaten by my sister.
Did my sister eat a mango?  Was a mango eaten by my sister?

 (e) Past Continuous:

Active Passive
Subject+ was/were + V(ing) + Object Object+ was/were+ being +V3+by+Subject
His mother was distributing Sweets. Sweets were being distributed by his mother.
Was his mother distributing the Sweets?  Were the sweets being distributed by his mother?

 (f) Past Perfect:

Active Passive
Subject + had + V3 + Object Object + had been + V3 + by + Subject
The potter had made the pots before summer started. The potter had been made by the potter before summer started.
Had the florist sold all the flowers before sunset? Had the flowers been sold by the florist before sunset?

(g) Simple Future:

Active Passive
Subject+ will/shall+V1+Object Object+ will/shall+be+V3+by+Subject
I shall finish the homework by 5 O’clock. The homework will be finished by me by 5 O’clock.
Shall I finish the homework by 5 O’clock? Will the homework be finished by me by 5 O’clock?

 (h) Future Perfect:

Active Passive
I shall have completed the syllabus before February. The syllabus will have been completed by me before February.
Shall I have completed the syllabus before February? Will the syllabus have been completed by me before February?

 (i) When verb take 2 Objects: In changing to passive voice, one of the Object becomes the subject and the other is retained as Object.

Active Passive
I taught them Maths. Maths was taught to them by me. 
Who taught you Maths? Maths was taught to you by whom?

Some of the verbs that take two objects are: teach, give, tell, send, show, bring, write, offer, pay, etc.

(j) Imperative Sentences: For Orders and Command: Let + Object + be V-3

Active Passive
Close the gates. Let the gates be closed.
Do not close the gates? Let not the gates be closed.

(k) For Advice or Request: ‘please’ or ’kindly’ are changed to “You are requested”

Active Passive
Please come on time. You are requested to come on time.
Kindly help the poor. You are requested to help the poor. 

 (l) If Sentence Starts with ‘Let’:

Active Passive
Let him bring some vegetables. Let some vegetables be brought by him.
Let her do the homework. Let the homework be done by her.

Quiz Based on Active and Passive Voice

Q 1 – This house … by my father.

A – Built

B – Was built

C – Was build

D – Has built
Q 2 – I … for five weeks without rest.

A – Have been working

B – Has been working

C – Was working

D – Am working
Q 3 – They are not meeting us.

A – We have not being met by them.

B – We are not being met by them.

C – We are being not met by them.

D – We have being not met by them.

Q 4 – Someone has robbed the bank.

A – The bank is been robbed.

B – The bank has been robbed.

C – The bank is robbed.

D – The bank has robbed.

Q 5 – The cop arrested the robber.

A – The robber were arrested be the cop.

B – The robber was arrested be the cop.

C – The robber arrested be the cop.

D – The robber had arrested be the cop.

Answer 

1. Answer : B
Explanation
The action takes place in the past, and the doer of the action is shown as lesser important than the addressee.

2.Answer : A
Explanation
The action takes place in the present perfect progressive

3. Answer : B
Explanation
The action takes place in the present progressive, and the doer of the action is shown as lesser important than the addressee.

4.Answer : B
Explanation
The action takes place in the present perfect, and the doer of the action is shown as lesser important than the addressee.

5.Answer : B
Explanation
The action takes place in the past, and the doer of the action is shown as lesser important than the addressee.

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