Active Voice and Passive Voice 

Active and passive voice is really interesting grammars which makes our conversation attractive. as my my concern knowledge active voice is generally used a lot. Indeed, Passive voice is rarely used in specific conditions which are listed below.


A form of verb, which indicates whether the subject does something or something happens to it, is called Voice.
He breaks the glass. {Here the Subject (HE) does something (breaks the glass)}
The glass is broken.   {Here something happened (is broken) to the Subject (Glass)}

There are two forms of Voice:

1. Active Voice

This Voice is the normal one which we mostly use. In active voice Subject performs an action.
He wins the game.    (Here the Subject performs an action)

More sentences

  • They played football.
  • She wrote a letter.
  • I called him.
  • we brought flowers for him.
  • You drive the car. 

2. Passive Voice

Why we change active voice to passive voice
(1)This voice is used when the doer is unknown
(2)when the action is important(when receiver is more important than doer.)
(3)When we hide the doer.

In passive voice Subject receives the action.
The game is won (by him).   (Here Subject of the sentence receives the action)

subject  +   auxiliary verb (be)+main verb (past participle)
                     Game is  won.

Some important rules to take care of in converting an active voice into passive voice:

  • Object of the active voice will be the subject of passive voice.
  • Helping verb will be used according to the tense of active voice in passive voice.
  • Always 3rd form of verb (past participle) is used after the helping verb.
  • By + Noun/Pronoun is used to show the doer of the action, which is optional in passive voice.

Note: Only the sentences with transitive verbs (verbs having direct object/ verbs that are needy of object) can be changed into passive voice.

  •  I played football.
  •  He wrote a letter.
  •  They drove the car.

Some examples with the most possible tenses:

Tense Active Voice Passive Voice
Simple Present TenseShe washes the dishes.The dishes are washed.
Present ContinuousShe is cleaning the room.The room is being cleaned.
Present PerfectThey have watched the movie.The movie has been watched.
Simple Past TenseHe saw the man.The man was seen.
Past ContinuousI was painting the rooms.The rooms were being painted.
Past PerfectWe had done the job.The job had been done.
Future Simple TenseYou will type the article.The article will be typed.
Future PerfectThey will have called her.She will have been called.

Note: The tenses like; Present, Past and Future Perfect Continuous and Future Continuous are not changeable into passive voice.

How to change imperative sentence.

Imperative sentence:    A sentence which expresses command or request or advice is called imperative sentence.

For example:

  1. Open the door.
  2. Turn off the television.
  3. Learn your lesson.

For changing these sentences in to passive voice, auxiliary verb “be” is used. The word “Let” is added before sentence in passive voice. Auxiliary verb “be” is added after object in sentence in passive voice. Main verb (base form) of imperative sentence is changed to 3rd form of verb (past participle) in passive voice.

Try the examples given below:

Active VoicePassive Voice
Open the door.Let the door be opened.
Complete the work.Let the work be completed.
Turn off the television.Let the television be tuned off.
Learn your lesson.Let your lesson be learnt.
Kill the snake.Let the snake be killed.

Changing an interrogative sentence into the passive

Read the following sentences:

Active:                        Do the children play football?
Passive:                      Is football played by the children? (NOT Do football played by the children?)
Active:                       Did Alice invite you?
Passive:                      Were you invited by Alice? (NOT Did you invited by Alice?)

Note: As you may have noticed, the auxiliaries do, does and did are not used in the passive.

Active:              Have you finished the work?
Passive:            Has the work been finished by you?

Notes: The auxiliaries has, have and had are used in the passive, but they change their form according to the number and person of the passive subject.

Active:       Can anyone cure it?
Passive:     Can it be cured?
Active:       Will he accept our invitation?
Passive:     Will our invitation be accepted by him?

Note: The auxiliaries can, may, will and shall do not change their beginning position when active voice is changed into the passive voice.

Active:        Whom did you laugh at?
Passive:       Who was laughed at by you?

Active:         Who killed the snake?
Passive:        By whom was the snake killed?

Note:           Who changes to by whom in the passive; (by) whom changes to who in the passive.

Active:          Why did he punish you?
Passive:        Why were you punished by him?

Notes: The question words when, where, why, how and what do not change their beginning position when the sentence is changed from the active to the passive

 What is direct and indirect speech

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