Learn How To Change Active Voice And Passive Voice By Using Rules With Examples

Understanding the difference between active voice and passive voice, and knowing how to transform sentences from one form to another, is an important aspect of English grammar. Let’s review the rules and examples for changing active to passive voice.

Voice-Introduction

The term ‘voice’ is a term that is used to denote the form of the verb which shows if the subject in a given sentence is the doer or receiver of the action. The voice of a verb describes the relationship between the action and the participants (subject or object) in a sentence.

Active Voice – Definition, Examples With Examples

Active voice is a grammatical construction in which the subject of a sentence performs or “acts upon” the verb’s action. In other words, the active voice emphasizes the doer of the action. The structure of an active voice sentence is typically Subject + Verb + Object. Using active voice results in clear and straightforward sentences. It is the opposite of passive voice, where the subject receives the action.

Example 1: The chef is preparing a delicious meal.

  • Explanation: Here, “The chef” is the subject, “Is preparing” is the verb, and “a delicious meal” is the object. The active voice communicates that the chef (the subject) is currently engaged in the action of preparing a meal.

Example 2: We planted flowers in the garden.

  • Explanation: In this sentence, “We” is the subject, “planted” is the verb, and “flowers” is the object. The active voice emphasizes that the action of planting was performed by us (the subject).

Example 3: They built a new house in the neighborhood.

  • Explanation: “They” is the subject, “built” is the verb, and “a new house” is the object. The active voice highlights that the action of the building was carried out by them (the subject).

Passive Voice – Definition Examples With Examples

Passive voice is a grammatical construction in which the subject of a sentence receives or undergoes the action expressed by the verb. In passive voice, the emphasis is on the action or the result rather than on the doer of the action. The structure of a passive voice sentence is typically the Object of the active sentence + “to be” verb + Past Participle of the main verb.

Example 1: A delicious meal is being prepared by the chef.

  • Explanation: In this sentence, “A delicious meal” is the subject, “is being prepared” is the passive verb, and “by the chef” indicates the agent. The passive voice focuses on the ongoing preparation of the meal without putting as much emphasis on the chef.

Example 2: Flowers were planted in the garden by us.

  • Explanation: In this sentence, “Flowers” is the subject, “were planted” is the passive verb, and “by us” indicates the agent. The passive voice highlights that flowers were planted without specifying the doer as prominently.

Example 3: A new house was built in the neighborhood by them.

  • Explanation: Here, “A new house” is the subject, “was built” is the passive verb, and “by them” indicates the agent. The passive voice draws attention to the construction of the house rather than focusing on the individuals who built it.

Structure of Active and Passive Voice With Examples

Active voice describes a sentence where the subject is the doer of an action. Its structure goes like this-                     

Subject + Verb+ Object 

Passive voice expresses an action carried out on the sentence’s subject. Its structure is-                    

 Object + verb +subject 

Present Tense:- Use the simple present tense to make a generalization, present a state of being, or indicate a habitual or repeated action. 

Active-She writes a letter. 

Passive–  A letter is written by her. 

Structure- Subject + auxiliary verb + past participle of the main verb+ by + object

Present Continuous:- Use the present progressive to describe an ongoing activity or a temporary action. 

Active- I am eating breakfast. 

Passive- The breakfast is being eaten by me.

 Structure-  Subject + auxiliary verb + being + by + object 

Present Perfect:- Describes an action that has been completed recently or has an effect in the present. 

Active- They have completed the project.

Passive- The project has been completed by them.

Structure- Subject + has/have been + past participle + by + object

Past Tense:- Use the simple past to indicate a general or habitual action occurring in the past or at a specific time in the past (or) Describe an action or state that occurred and was completed in the past.

Active- The team won the championship. 

Passive- The championship was won by the team.

Structure- Subject+be+ past participle+by+ object 

Rules For Converting sentences from active to passive voice

Converting sentences from active to passive voice, or vice versa, involves changing the structure of the sentence while maintaining the meaning. Here are some rules to guide you through the process:

Changing from Active to Passive:

  1. Identify the subject, verb, and object:
    • The subject of the active sentence becomes the object of the passive sentence.
    • The object of the active sentence becomes the subject of the passive sentence.
    • The verb remains the same.
  2. Use the appropriate form of “to be”:
    • Choose the correct form of the verb “to be” (am, is, are, was, were) based on the tense of the active sentence.
  3. Use the past participle of the main verb:
    • The past participle of the main verb in the active sentence is used in the passive construction.
  4. Include the agent (optional):
    • If the doer of the action (agent) is important or needs to be mentioned, include it in the passive sentence using “by.”

Rules For Converting sentences from passive voice to Active Voice

Converting sentences from passive voice to active, or vice versa, involves changing the structure of the sentence while maintaining the meaning. Here are some rules to guide you through the process:

  1. Identify the subject, verb, and object:
    • The subject of the passive sentence becomes the object of the active sentence.
    • The object of the passive sentence becomes the subject of the active sentence.
    • The verb remains the same.
  2. Determine the doer of the action (agent):
    • If the agent is mentioned in the passive sentence, it becomes the subject in the active sentence.
  3. Choose the appropriate form of the main verb:
    • Use the active form of the verb based on the tense of the passive sentence.

Conversion Rules for Active Voice and Passive Voice
TenseVoiceSimple TenseContinuous TensePerfect TensePerfect Continuous Tense
PresentActiveRam plays Football.Ram is playing
Football.
Ram has played Football.Ramhas been playing Football.
PassiveRam has been playing Football.Football is being played by Ram.Football has been played by Ram.No Passive
PastActiveRam played Football.Ram was playing Football.Ram had played Football.Ram had been playing Football.
PassiveFootball was played by Ram.Football was being played by Ram.Football had been played by Ram.No Passive
FutureActiveRam will play Football.Ram will be playing Football.Ram will have played Football.Ram will have been playing Football.
PassiveFootball will be played by Ram.No PassiveFootball will have been played by Ram.No Passive
Change of Pronouns
Active VoicePassive Voice
IMe
WeUs
HeHim
SheHer
TheyThem
ItIt

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