Hello Dear Aspirants,
Active and Passive Voice: As you are already aware, there are many rules that are followed in the English Language, especially grammar. Right from the sentence structure, tenses, voice, usage of prepositions, nouns, etc., there are many rules that have to be followed. These rules are quite simple, even though at first they may appear complicated. When you follow these rules properly, you can master the English Grammar tricks with ease.
In IBPS exams and many competitive exams, you will come across many questions about English Grammar. Among these, there are questions related to active and passive voice. Let us look at this topic in detail.
An action of a subject, in relation to an object, is expressed in two ways. These two ways of expressing the action of a subject are known as Voices.
1. Active Voice
2. Passive Voice
Examples of Active and Passive Voice
- I write a letter. (Active Voice)
- A letter is written by me. (Passive Voice)
The structure of the same sentence changes when expressed as Active Voice or Passive Voice. The meaning of a sentence either expressed as Active Voice or Passive Voice, remains the same.
Active and Passive Voice Question PDF
ACTIVE and PASSIVE VOICE
In most English sentences with an action verb, the subject performs the action denoted by the verb.
These examples show that the subject is doing the verb’s action.
Because the subject does or “acts upon” the verb in such sentences, the sentences are said to be in the active voice.
One can change the normal word order of many active sentences (those with a direct object) so that the subject is no longer active, but is, instead, being acted upon by the verb – or passive.
Note in these examples how the subject-verb relationship has changed.
Because the subject is being “acted upon” (or is passive), such sentences are said to be in the passive voice.
NOTE: Colorful parrots live in the rainforests cannot be changed to passive voice because the sentence does not have a direct object.
To change a sentence from active to passive voice, do the following:
1. Move the active sentence’s direct object into the sentence’s subject slot
2. Place the active sentence’s subject into a phrase beginning with the preposition by
3. Add a form of the auxiliary verb be to the main verb and change the main verb’s form
Because passive voice sentences necessarily add words and change the normal doer-action-receiver of action direction, they may make the reader work harder to understand the intended meaning.
As the examples below illustrate, a sentence in active voice flows more smoothly and is easier to understand than the same sentence in passive voice.
It is generally preferable to use the ACTIVE voice.
To change a passive voice sentence into an active voice sentence, simply reverse the steps shown above.
1. Move the passive sentence’s subject into the active sentence’s direct object slot
2. Remove the auxiliary verb be from the main verb and change the main verb’s form if needed
3. Place the passive sentence’s object of the preposition by into the subject slot.
Because it is more direct, most writers prefer to use the active voice whenever possible.
The passive voice may be a better choice, however, when
- the doer of the action is unknown, unwanted, or unneeded in the sentence
- the writer wishes to emphasize the action of the sentence rather than the doer of the action
- the writer wishes to use passive voice for sentence variety.
Active and Passive Voice Rule
Rule No. 1. As mentioned earlier, the structure of the sentence will be reversed in Passive Voice. The places of the Subject and the object will interchange. The subject will shift to the place of Object and the object will take the place of Subject in Passive Voice.
Active Voice: He buys a camera.
Passive Voice: A camera is bought by him.
Rule No. 2. Only Past Participle Form or 3rd form of a verb (e.g. eaten etc) will always be used as the main verb in Passive voices for all tenses. No other form of the verb will be used as the main verb. It can be seen in all the examples given on this page.
Rule No. 3. The word “by” will be used before the subject in the Passive voice.
Active Voice: She drinks water.
Passive Voice: Water is drunk by her.
Rule No. 4. Other words such as ‘with’ or ‘to’ may also be used instead of the word ‘by’ depending upon the subject of the sentence. These words are used in very few cases. The word ‘by’ is used in most cases.
Active Voice:: I know him.
Passive Voice: He is known to me.
Active Voice: Water fills a tub.
Passive Voice: A tub is filled with water.
Rule No. 5. The auxiliary verb will be changed in Passive Voice depending upon the tense of the sentence in its Active Voice. There are rules for changing the auxiliary for each tense which can also be studied on this website.
Rule No. 6. The subject may not be always mentioned in Passive Voice. A passive voice for some sentences can also be written without having a subject if it gives a clear idea about the subject. Read the following examples.
Passive Voice: Women are not treated as equals.
Passive Voice: Sugar is sold in kilograms.
Note: The above rules, except rule No. 5, are the basic rules for changing Active Voices into Passive Voice and apply to all types of sentences. Rule No. 5 is about the usage of auxiliary verbs in Passive Voices which differs for each tense of the sentence. These rules for each tense have also been explained on this website.