Active and passive voice rules with examples & exercise

Voice is the structure of the verb by which the subject does something on his own or the work of others falls on him. In this article, we will learn active and passive voice rules. There are two types of voice in English grammar-

  • Active Voice
  • Passive Voice

Active Voice

A verb is an active voice when it tells us something that a person or a thing does. In other words, an active voice expresses an action performed by the subject. Examples-

  • I do the work.
  • They play football.
  • She is reading a book.

Passive Voice

A Verb is a Passive voice when it tells us something that is done to a person or a thing. In other words,  a passive voice expresses an action performed upon the subject. Examples-

  • The work is done by me.
  • Football is played by them.
  • A Book is being read by her.

Active and passive voice rules

Active and Passive voice rules

Rule-01

Tense Active voice Structure Passive voice Structure
 Present Indefinite Tense Subject + Present form of a Verb + object

Example- He sells vegetables.

Sub + am/is/are + past participle verb + by object

For example-  Vegetables are sold by Him.

Present progressive Tense Subject + is/am/are+ being + Verb+ing + object

Example-She is watching TV.

Sub+ is/am/are) + being + past participle + by +object

For example- TV is being watched by her.

Present Perfect Tense Subject + has/have + past participle + object

Example- He has passed the examination.

Sub+ have/has been + past participle + by+ object

Example- The examination has been passed by him.

Past Indefinite Tense Subject + Past form of the verb + object

Example- He ate rice.

Subject + was/were + past participle + by + object

For example- Rice was eaten by him.

Past Continuous Tense Subject+ was/were +verb+ing + object

Example- They were making bread.

Subject + was/were + being + past participle +by +object

Example- Bread was made by them.

Past Perfect Tense Subject + had + past participle + object

Example-She had written the letter.

Subject + had been + past participle + by+ object

Example-the letter had been written by her.

Future Indefinite Tense Subject + will + Present form of Verb+ object

Example- We Shall build a house.

Subject + will + be + past participle + by+ object

Example-  A house will be built by us.

Future Perfect Tense Subject + shall have/Will have+ past participle+Object

Example- They will have completed the work.

Subject + Shall have been/ will have been + past participle + by + object

Example- The work will have been completed by them.

 

Rule-2(active and passive voice rules)

When converting active voice with ‘may, might, can, could, must, ought to, going to’ to passive, they are followed by ‘be’ and the past participle of the main verb.  Examples-

  • Active: I may help you.
  • Passive: You may be helped by me.
  • Active: You must do the work.
  • Passive: The work must be done by you.
  • Active: We ought to obey our parents.
  • Passive: Our parents ought to be obeyed by us.
  • Active: They are going to open a bank.
  • Passive: A bank is going to be opened by them.

Structure: Subject+ Modal auxiliary( may, might, must, etc)+ Be +Past participle +By+Object.

Rule-3(active and passive voice rules)

The rule of passive from the active voice of imperative sentence:

Rules for converting active voice to passive voice, starting with the main verb only-

Structure: Let+Object will be subject.+Be+ main verb will be past participle form. Examples are-

  • Active: Do the work.
  • Passive: Let the work be done.
  • Active: Shut the door.
  • Passive: Let the door be shut.
  • Active: Write the letter without any delay.
  • Passive: Let the letter be written without any delay.

Rules for converting the active voice of imperative sentence starting with “do not” to passive voice

Structure: Let not+ Object will be subject+Be+main verb will be first participle form. Examples are-

  • Active: Do not shut the door.
  • Passive: Let not the door be shut.
  • Active: Do not play football at noon.
  • Passive: Let not football be played at noon.
  • Active: Do not hate the poor.
  • Passive: Let not the poor be hated.

Let + rule to convert the active voice of imperative sentence with the personal object (me, us, you, them, him, her) to passive.

Structure: Let+ Object will be subject+Be+main verb will be past participle form+ By+ Object. Examples are-

  • Active: Let me do the work.
  • Passive: Let the work be done by me.
  • Active: Let him write the letter.
  • Passive: Let the Letter be written by him.
  • Active: Let the girl sing a song.
  • Passive: Let a song be sung by the girl.

The rule to passive imperative sentence with ‘never’

Structure: Let never+ Subject+be+past participle

  • Active: Never tell a lie.
  • Passive: Let never a lie be told. Or let a lie never be told.

Rule-4(active and passive voice rules)

The easiest way is to convert the active voice of an interrogative sentence to a passive voice.

Structure: Auxiliary verbs + Subject+ past participle+By+Obejec+?. Examples are-

  • Active: Have you eaten rice?
  • Passive: Has rice been eaten by you?
  • Active: Did you play football?
  • Passive: Was football played by You?
  • Active: Is he reading a book?
  • Passive: Is a book being read by him?

Rules for making the active voice of interrogative sentence with ‘Who’ passive voice

Structure: By whom+Auxiliary verb+subject+ past participle+?. Examples are –

  • Active: Who is calling me?
  • Passive: By whom am I being called?
  • Active: Who has broken the glasses?
  • Passive: By whom have the glasses been broken?
  • Active: Who will help you?
  • Passive: By whom will you be helped?

Rules for making the active voice of interrogative sentence with ‘Whom’ passive voice

Structure: Who+ Auxiliary verbs+ past participle + by + object

  • Active: Whom did you see on the road?
  • Passive: Who was seen by you on the road?
  • Active: Whom has he beaten?
  • Passive: Who has been beaten by him?
  • Active: Whom is he teaching English?
  • Passive: Who is being taught English by him?

Rules for making the active voice of interrogative sentence with ‘What’ passive voice

Structure: What + Auxiliary verbs+ past participle +by+ object

  • Active: What do you want?
  • Passive: What is wanted by you?
  • Active: What has he done?
  • Passive: What has been done by him?

Rules-5(active and passive voice rules)

Rules for making the active voice  with ‘Present participle’ passive voice

Structure: Subject+ auxiliary verbs+past participle+ present participle+by+ object.

  • Active: I saw him reading a book.
  • Passive: He was seen reading a book by me.
  • Active: He kept the car running.
  • Passive: The car was kept running by him.
  • Active: He directs me to do the work.
  • Passive: I am directed to do the work by him.

Rules for making the active voice with ‘Double object’ passive voice

Structure: One object will be subject+ Auxiliary verb+ past participle+ Retained object+by + the subject will be object.

  • Active: I gave him a book.
  • Passive: He was given a book by me.
  • Active: The headmaster teaches us English.
  • Passive: We are taught English by the headmaster.

Rules for making the active voice with ‘Intransitive verb’ passive voice

Structure: Subject+ auxiliary verb+ past participle+preposition+by+ object.

  • Active: He looks after the orphans.
  • Passive: The orphans are looked after by him.
  • Active: The track ran over the boy.
  • Passive: The boy was run over by the track.
  • They laughed at the old man.
  • Passive: The old man was laughed at by them.

Rules for making the active voice with ‘Reflexive object’ passive voice

Structure: Subject remaining same+auxiliary verbs+past participle+by+ reflexive pronoun

  • Active: He killed himself.
  • Passive: He was killed by himself.
  • Active: They helped themselves
  • Passive: they were helped by themselves.

Rules for making the active voice with ‘Factitive/Complementary object ‘ passive voice

Structure: Subject+ auxiliary verb+past participle+ Factitive object+by +object.

  • Active: We made him captain.
  • Passive: He was captain by us.
  • Active: He called it laurel.
  • Passive: It was called laurel by him.

Rules-6 (active and passive voice rules)

Rules for making the active voice with ‘Cognate object’ passive voice

Structure: Subject+ auxiliary verbs+past participle+by+object

  • Active: He ran a race.
  • Passive:  A race was run by him.

Rules for making the active voice with ‘Quasi-passive’ passive voice

  • Active: Honey tastes sweet.
  • Passive: Honey is tasted sweet. Or Honey is sweet when it is tasted.
  • Active: Rice sells cheap.
  • Passive: Rice is sold cheap. Or rice is cheap when it is sold.

Rules-7

In many cases, prepositions other than ‘by’ such as ‘to, at, on, with’ etc. are used when objecting to the subject of active voice.

  • Active: He annoyed me.
  • Passive: I was annoyed with him.
  • Active: The beauty of the girl marveled at him.
  • Passive: He was marveled at the beauty of the girl.
  • Active: His behavior surprised me.
  • Passive: I was surprised at his behavior.
  • Active: Panic seized the writer.
  • Passive: The writer was seized with panic.
  • Active: His performance satisfied the teacher.
  • Passive: The teacher was satisfied with his performance.
  • Active:  The parcel contains important materials.
  • Passive: Important Materials are contained in the parcel.
  • Active: The news shocked him.
  • Passive: He was shocked at the news.
  • Active: I know the boy.
  •  Passive: The boy is known to me.

 

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