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Change the Voice: Active Voice & Passive Voice

Muhammad Rafiq is a freelance writer, blogger, and translator with a master's degree in English literature from the University of Malakand.

Passive Voice

Passive Voice

Passive Voice: Introduction & Definition

First of all, it is mandatory to know the definition of the word voice. In traditional grammar, voice shows as to whether the subject of the verb performs the action or it receives the action of the verb. Traditionally, Passive Voice is a kind of a sentence or a clause, wherein the subject of the sentence or the agent receives the action of the verb. In Passive Voice, the subject is passive. That is why; it is called Passive Voice.

Active Voice is opposite to Passive Voice, wherein the subject of the verb or the agent performs the action. Subject is the doer, while object instead of subject receives the action of the verb.

Key Terminology

Transitive Verb: A transitive verb is also called an action verb. It is a verb, which requires direct object to complete the meaning of the sentence. Direct object is an object, which directly receives the action of the verb. For example:

  • She kicks a ball.
  • He plays cricket.
  • You write a book.

The verbs in the above-mentioned sentences are transitive verbs, while the objects i.e., ball, cricket and book are direct objects.

Intransitive Verbs: An intransitive verb is a verb, which does not require any object. They complete the meaning of the sentence without any object. For example:

  • She is sleeping.
  • He is running.
  • It seems he is asleep.

Transitive verbs can be changed into Passive Voice, while intransitive verbs cannot be changed into Passive Voice.

PV: Passive Voice

AV: Active Voice

Basic Rules

Following are the basic rules for converting an active voice sentence into passive voice:

  • Object of the active voice sentence is changed into subject in passive voice.
  • Subject of the active voice sentence is changed into object in passive voice.
  • Verb of the active voice is changed into 3rd form of the verb in passive voice.
  • By is added after every 3rd form of verb in passive voice.

Following changes are occurred in pronouns in Passive Voice:

Changes In Pronouns

Pronouns

Changed Into

He

Him

She

Her

It

It

We

Us

You

You

They

Them

Passive Voice

Passive Voice

Present Simple/Present Indefinite Tense

Every tense consists of five different kinds of sentences:

  • Affirmative Sentences
  • Negative Sentences
  • Interrogative Sentences
  • Negative-Interrogative Sentences
  • WH-Sentences

Converting Present Simple Tense into passive voice is very easy. Look at the following examples:

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  • He writes a letter.
  • She sings a song.

Affirmative Sentences

Basic Rules:

  • Object of the active voice sentence is changed into subject in passive voice.
  • Subject of the active voice sentence is changed into object in passive voice.
  • Verb of the active voice is changed into 3rd form of the verb in passive voice.
  • Auxiliary Verb i.e., is, am or are is added before the verb.
  • By is added after every 3rd form of verb in passive voice.

Passive Voice Formula:

Object of Active Voice+ Auxiliary Verb+ Verb (3rd) +by+ Subject of Active Voice.

Now have a look at the following examples:

Examples:

Active Voice

Passive Voice

He writes a letter.

A letter is written by him.

She sings a song.

A song is sung by her.

I play cricket.

Cricket is played by me.

They buy books in the market.

Books are bought by them in the market.

You eat apples.

Apples are eaten by you.

Passive Voice

Passive Voice

Negative Sentences

I am pretty sure that you might have come to know how to convert Present Simple Affirmative Sentences into Passive Voice. Now, it is very easy to convert negative sentences into Passive Voice.

Basis Rules

  • Object of the AV sentence is changed into subject in PV.
  • Subject of the AV sentence is changed into object in PV.
  • Verb of the active voice is changed into 3rd form of the verb in PV.
  • Auxiliary Verb i.e., is, am or are is added before the verb.
  • Not is added after auxiliary verbs in negative sentences.
  • Does Not and Do Not are omitted in PV.
  • By is added after every 3rd form of verb in PV.

Passive Voice Formula:

Object of Active Voice+ Auxiliary Verb+ Not+ Verb (3rd) +by+ Subject of Active Voice.

Now have a look at the following examples:

Examples:

Active Voice

Passive Voice

He doesn’t write a letter.

A letter is not written by him.

She doesn’t sing a song.

A song is not sung by her.

I don’t play cricket.

Cricket is not played by me.

They don’t buy books in the market.

Books are not bought by them in the market.

You don’t eat apples.

Apples are not eaten by you.

Poll

Interrogative Sentences

To convert interrogative sentences into Passive Voice, just follow the following rules:

Basis Rules

  • Object of the AV sentence is changed into subject in PV.
  • Subject of the AV sentence is changed into object in PV.
  • Verb of the active voice is changed into 3rd form of the verb in PV.
  • Auxiliary Verb i.e., is, am or are is added before the subject of the PV sentence.
  • By is added after every 3rd form of verb in PV.
  • Sign of Interrogation is added at the end of every sentence.
  • Does & Do are omitted in PV.

Passive Voice Formula

Auxiliary Verb + Object of Active Voice+ Verb (3rd) +by+ Subject of Active Voice?


Examples:

Active Voice

Passive Voice

Does he write a letter?

Is a letter written by him?

Does she sing a song?

Is a song sung by her?

Do I play cricket?

Is Cricket played by me?

Do they buy books in the market?

Are books bought by them in the market?

Do you eat apples?

Are apples eaten by you?