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.

Sentence Subject Object
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
Exercise daily
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

  1. 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.
  2. While converting an active voice sentence into passive voice sentence, the subject is made the object and the object is made the subject.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 Simple give


am given

is given

are given

Present Continuous am giving

is giving

are giving

am being given

is being given

are being given

Present Perfect has given

have given

has been given

have been given

Past Simple gave was given

were given

Past Continuous was giving

were giving

was being given

were being given

Past Perfect had given had been given
Future Simple will give

shall 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 –

Present Simple

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.


Present Continuous

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.


Present Perfect

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.


Past Simple

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.


Past Continuous

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.


Past Perfect

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.


Future Simple

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.


Future Perfect

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.


Run fast.

You are ordered to run fast.


Get out.

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.

Present Simple

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?


Present Continuous

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?


Present Perfect

Has Peter ironed clothes?

Have clothes been ironed by Peter?


Has Sunil purchased new bicycle.

Has a new bicycle been purchased by Sunil?


Past Simple

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?


Past Continuous

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?


Past Perfect

Had Rohit solved all questions?

Had all questions been solved by Rohit?


Had he broken his toy?

Had toy been broken by him?


Future Simple

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.





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