Active and Passive Voice

Voice in grammar is a study of the relationship of the verb with its subject and object. So, we learn, Active and Passive Voice:

  • When the subject of a sentence performs the action, the sentence has an Active voice.
  • When the subject of the sentence merely receives the action, the sentence has a Passive voice.
Active and Passive Voice

Examples

  • Peter cut a tree.
    The subject in this sentence is Peter who performs the action of cutting a tree. Hence, the sentence is in the active voice.
  • A tree was cut by Peter.
    The subject in this sentence tree does not seem to perform the action. Instead, it seems to have received the action of โ€˜being cutโ€™. Hence, the sentence is in the passive voice.

Active and Passive Voice


Active Voice

The active voice is widely used in English and is preferred over the passive voice. It is direct and concise in nature and it makes the sentences sound assertive. In the active voice, the subject or doer is in focus and not the object.

Examples of Active Voice

  • The people selected the representative.
  • Helen sang a song.
  • Krishna took a bus to the station.

In the above sentences, the words people, Helen and Krishna are in the focus; the words representative, song, and bus are in the background. Hence, the active voice is used.

Daily Grammar Test - Attempt Now

Passive Voice

The passive voice has a tendency to render the sentences weak, unlike the active voice. Although it is generally considered undesirable in writing, there are instances where the passive voice is desired.

Examples of Passive Voice

  • The representative was selected by the people.
  • A song was sung by Helen.
  • A bus was taken by Krishna to the station.

In the above cases, the words representative, song, and bus are highlighted and the words people, Helen, and Krishna are not given importance. Hence, the sentences are in the passive voice.


Rules for Changing Active Voice into Passive Voice


  • The Object of the Active is Changed into the Subject of the Passive.
  • The Subject of the Active is changed into the Object of the Passive.
  • According to the Subject made in the Passive, there is a usage of the helping verb. If it is not the helping verb ‘to be’, then according to the helping verb present there, a form of ‘to be’ is taken into usage.
  • After ‘to be’ there is the usage of Verb3 ( Verb in the Past Participle)
  • The preposition ‘by’ is used after the Object made in the Passive. This (by + Object) is also known as (by + agent), which is completely optional.

Examples of Active and Passive Voice

Active: Sujata called Soumili.

Passive: Soumili was called by Sujata.


Rules of Passive Voice


Passive Voice Rules for Present Tense

Subject + Verb ‘To be’/’To have’ + Past Participle of the main verb + (by + Object)

Simple Present Tense Subject + am/is/are + Verb in the Past Participle + (by + Object)
Present Continuous Tense Subject + am/is/are + being + Verb in the Past Participle + (by + Object)
Present Perfect Tense Subject + has/have + been + Verb in the Past Participle + (by + Object)

Examples

VOICESIMPLECONTINUOUSPERFECT
ActiveYou do it.You are doing it.You have done it.
PassiveIt is done by you.It is being done by you.It has been done by you.

Passive Voice Rules for Past Tense

Subject + Verb ‘To be’/’To have’ + Past Participle of the main verb + (by + Object)

Simple Past Tense Subject + was/were + Verb in the Past Participle + (by + Object)
Past Continuous Tense Subject + was/were + being + Verb in the Past Participle + (by + Object)
Past Perfect Tense Subject + had + been + Verb in the Past Participle + (by + Object)

Examples

VOICESIMPLECONTINUOUSPERFECT
ActiveYou did it.you was doing it.You had done it.
PassiveIt was done by you.you were doing it.It had been done by you.

Passive Voice Rules for Future Tense

Subject + Verb ‘To be’ + Past Participle of the main verb + (by + Object)

Simple Future Tense Subject + shall/will + be + Verb in the Past Participle + (by + Object)
Future Continuous TenseNot in use
Future Perfect Tense Subject + shall/will +have been + Verb in the Past Participle + (by + Object)

Examples

VOICESIMPLECONTINUOUSPERFECT
ActiveYou shall do it.You shall be doing it.You shall have done it.
PassiveIt will be done by you. ………..It would have been done by you.

Active and Passive Voice of Modal Verbs


* Note that can, could, may, might, shall, should, will, would, must, ought to, used to, need not, dare not, etc are Modal Auxiliary Verbs

Active: Subject + Modal (can/could etc.) + Verb + Object

Passive: Subject + Modal (can/could etc.) +be + Verb in the Past Participle + (by + Object)

CAN

ACTIVEI can help your father.
PASSIVEYour father can be helped by me.

MAY

ACTIVEHe may permit you to go home.
PASSIVEYou may be permitted by him to go home.

COULD

ACTIVEI could do the project.
PASSIVEThe project could be done by me.

SHOULD

ACTIVEWe should obey our parents.
PASSIVEOur parents should be obeyed by us.

NEED

ACTIVEYou needn’t do the homwork.
PASSIVEThe homework needn’t be done by you.

MUST

ACTIVEYou must maintain a healthy life.
PASSIVEA healthy life must be maintained by you.

Pronoun Rules


SUBJECT FORMOBJECT FORMPOSSESSIVE FORM
IMeMy
WeUsOur
YouYouYour
HeHimHis
SheHerHer
TheyThemTheir
ItItIts
OneOneOne’s

More Rules and Examples of Active and Passive Voice Coming Soon……………


You Asked, We Listened – List of All Grammar Chapters Updated ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜


Also, Read


Types of Figures of Speech

Figures of Speech

Subject Verb Agreement

Subject Verb Agreement

Degrees of Comparison

Degrees of Comparison

Time and Tense

Time and Tense

Daily Grammar Test - Attempt Now