RULES OF ACTIVE PASSIVE
We must first understand about subject and object in a sentence
Subject is a person, animal or a thing that does action. We can identify subject in a sentence by asking “who” or ‘what’
Object is a person, place, animal or a thing that receives action. Object will be known by answering the ‘which’, ‘what’ and ‘whom’.
A sentence may have subject and object or may have only subject. Some sentences may have implied subjects and objects.
|Hari threw the ball.||Hari||Ball|
|Ram went to see the Tajmahal.||Ram||Tajmahal|
|Knife can cut vegetables.||Knife||Vegetable|
|Red Fort is in Delhi.||Red Fort||–|
|You should now sleep.||You||–|
|Go to school||–||School|
|I eat apple everyday||I||Apple|
In a sentence if the subject is the doer of an action, the sentence is said to be in Active Voice. Here the subject is performing an action, thus it is active.
In a sentence if the subject is the receiver of an action, the sentence is said to be in Passive Voice. In such sentences the subject is not performing any action rather it is passive.
Rules for changing Active Voice into Passive Voice
- In order to convert a sentence of active voice into passive voice and vice versa, the sentence must have a subject and atleast one object.
- While converting an active voice sentence into passive voice sentence, the subject is made the object and the object is made the subject.
- If the sentence has more than one object, then one of them is made subject and the other object is retained as object. This is explained a little later.
- While changing the subject to an object in passive voice the word ‘by’ is included before it. The exceptions where ‘by’ is not used will be explained a little later.
- Form of verb in the active voice is changed while making passive voice as per following table. The table has been prepared for a verb ‘give’. Three forms of this verb are – give, gave, given.
The pattern of change will become more clear while going through examples and doing exercises.
|Tense in active voice||Verb in active voice||Verb in passive voice|
|Present Continuous||am giving
|am being given
is being given
are being given
|Present Perfect||has given
|has been given
have been given
|Past Simple||gave||was given
|Past Continuous||was giving
|was being given
were being given
|Past Perfect||had given||had been given|
|Future Simple||will give
|will be given
shall be given
|Future Perfect||will have given
shall have given
|will have been given
shall have been given
|can give||can be given|
|must give||must be given|
|used to give||used to be given|
|would always give||would always be given|
|was going to give||was going to be given|
You must take care of singulars and plurals while changing voice of a sentence.
Let us understand above through some examples –
GM Mart sells rice.
Rice is sold by GM Mart
Cats catch mice
Mice are caught by cats
Children eat chocolates
Chocolates are eaten by children.
Rahul is driving a car.
A car is being driven by Rahul.
Children are plucking flowers.
Flowers are being plucked by children.
Sita is singing a song.
A song is being sung by Sita.
Rahul has written this essay.
This essay has been written by Rahul.
Children have broken all the toys.
All the toys have been broken by children.
The child has broken all the toys.
All the toys have been broken by the child.
A specialist doctor has treated Ramesh.
Ramesh has been treated by a specialist doctor.
Rahul gave a speech.
A speech was given by Rahul.
An angry bull hit me.
I was hit by an angry bull.
Suhani cooked food.
The food was cooked by Suhani.
Rahul was carrying heavy load.
A heavy load was being carried by Rahul.
Miscreant were firing at the crowd.
The crowd was being fired at by miscreants.
The gardener was trimming plants.
Plants were being trimmed by the gardener.
The tiger had eaten all rabbits.
All rabbits had been eaten by the tiger.
Sunil had purchased car before price was hiked.
Car had been purchased by Sunil before price was hiked.
I had completed my assignment before holiday.
My assignment had been completed by me before holiday.
Rahul will carrying heavy load.
A heavy load will be carried by Rahul.
Miscreant will fire at the crowd.
The crowd will be fired at by miscreants.
The gardener will mow the lawn today.
Lawn will be mowed by the gardener.
The tiger will have eaten all rabbits.
All rabbits will have been eaten by the tiger.
Sunil will have purchased car before price was hiked.
Car will have been purchased by Sunil before price was hiked.
I will have completed my assignment before holiday.
My assignment will have been completed before holiday.
The Principal can grant leave to students
Students can be granted leave by the Principal.
I must sell this car.
This car must be sold by me.
Sanjay used to buy fruits every day.
Fruits used to be bought by Sanjay every day.
My mother would always make pineapple cake on Sundays.
Pineapple cake would always be made by my mother on Sundays.
Ramesh was going to buy a new house next month.
A new house was going to be bought by Ramesh next month.
6. When a sentence of Active Voice has two objects, one object in changed to subject while converting the sentence to Passive Voice. The other object is retained as the object itself.
Hari gave a book to Ram
A book was given to Ram by Hari.
Ram was given a book by Hari.
Vinay taught us English
English was taught to us by Vinay.
We were taught English by Vinay.
Father told a story to his kids
A story was told by father to his kids.
Kids were told a story by their father.
7. Imperative sentences
Passive Voice of imperative sentences is started by the word ‘let’. The format is let+object+be+third form of verb
The passive voice can also be started as ‘you are requested to’, ‘you are advised to’, ‘you are ordered to’, ‘it is suggested to’ etc. Selection of a phrase should be according to mood of the sentence.
Shut the door.
Let the doors be shut.
Carry it to the school.
Let it be carried to the school.
Throw your worries.
Let your worries be thrown.
Do not beat the dog.
Let the dog not be beaten.
Help the poor.
Let the poor be helped.
Please help the poor.
You are requested to help the poor.
You are ordered to run fast.
You are requested to go out.
Let me complete it.
Let it be completed by me.
Let us go the market.
It is suggested that we go to the market.
It is suggested that we should go to the market.
May God bless you.
May you be blessed by God.
It is time to prayer.
It is time for prayer to be done.
Never tell a lie.
You are forbidden to tell a lie.
You are advised never to tell a lie.
Start your work now
Let your work be started now
You are advised to start your work now.
8. Interrogative Sentences
Rules of respective tense needs to be followed.
The interrogative word needs to be changed as per the new subject of passive voice. In following examples converting interrogatives for each type of tense has been illustrated.
Do you love animals?
Are animals loved by you?
Does he like cars?
Are cars liked by him?
Who cooks food for you?
By whom food is cooked for you?
Is he buying a new car?
Is a new car being bought by him?
Are they singing songs?
Are songs being sung by them?
Who is bringing food for you?
By whom food is being brought for you?
Has Peter ironed clothes?
Have clothes been ironed by Peter?
Has Sunil purchased new bicycle.
Has a new bicycle been purchased by Sunil?
Did Sunil wear a new dress?
Was a new dress worn by Sunil?
How did you solve this question?
How was this question solved by you?
Why did you scold Ramesh?
Why Ramesh was scolded by you?
Who taught you Chemistry?
By whom were you taught Chemistry?
Was Virat playing cricket?
Was cricket being played by Virat?
Was he spoiling all the books?
Were all the books being spoiled by him?
Why were you beating the dog?
Why the dog was being beaten by you?
Had Rohit solved all questions?
Had all questions been solved by Rohit?
Had he broken his toy?
Had toy been broken by him?
Will Sunita teach her child?
Will her child be taught by Sunita?
Shall we buy all cookies?
Will all cookies be bought by us?
9. Omission of ‘by’ in passive voice
When subject of the Active Voice is not clearly defined, we sometimes omit use of word ‘by’ in passive voice.
They elected him King.
He was elected King.
We know this table as Style.
This table is known as Style.
We call Jaipur Pink City
Jaipur is called Pink City.
They selected Virat as captain of the team.
Virat was selected as captain of the team.
10. Introducing a general subject
Sometimes in a passive voice, subject is not given. While changing such sentences into active voice we would need to introduce a general subject. The choice of ‘general subject’ may vary a bit.
He was elected King.
They elected him King.
His orders were followed.
People followed his orders.