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English > Transformation of Sentences > Active and Passive voice
Transformation of Sentences

Active and Passive voice

Active and Passive voice: Words come together to form a sentence and these sentences can be formed in more than one way. The way these sentences are made make a lot of difference in writing and we are going to learn all about that in this chapter. One thing to note here is that no matter what the structure of the sentence is, the meaning of the sentence does not change. That’s actually a very important point to remember throughout this chapter. Keep it in mind. Let’s dive straight into the realm of Active and Passive voice.

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Active and Passive Voice:

You know that every subject has a subject, a verb, and an object. A subject is an agent who performs the verb on the object. Let’s understand this with the help of an example:

  • I swim in the ocean. – is the subject, swim is the verb, and ocean is the object.
  • My mom plays violin. – My mom is the subject, plays is the verb, and violin is the object.

Active voice: When a subject is directly acting on the object, the sentence is written in Active voice.

Passive voice: When the object is acted upon by the subject, the sentence is written in Passive voice.

Learn more about Verb here in detail.

Active and Passive voice

In both the above sentences, the meaning remains the same and only the structure is what that changes. Usually, the structure or sequence of the subject, verb, and object expressed in the active voice sentence gets reversed in the passive voice of the same sentence. To understand the difference, just focus on how the subject and object change the structure of the sentences in the table below:

Active Voice Passive Voice
I ate the strawberry pie The strawberry pie was eaten by me
I bought a Honda car A Honda car was bought by me
The sun rises from the east East is where the sun rises from
Reema can do skydiving Skydiving can be done by Reema

Now you must have gotten some idea of how the active and passive voice sentences look like. Note again how the meaning has stayed the same throughout. You may use some different words in situations where you must. But this conversion from one voice to another voice is really simple when you know a few rules that we will chalk out for you here:

Browse more Topics under Transformation Sentences

Structure of Active and Passive voice:

Active voice: Subject + Verb + Object

Passive voice: Object + Verb + Subject

You must have seen that the verb form changes when you switch from active to passive voice. Now verbs used are of two kinds: the main and the auxiliary verbs. Usually, an auxiliary verb is accompanied by the main verb. The auxiliary verb like be, do or have shows the tense or mood of the verb. For example, in the sentence “I have finished my scuba diving course in the Havelock Islands”, finished is the main verb and have is the auxiliary verb.

As a thumb rule, Passive voice sentences always take the third form of the verb also called the past participle form of the verb (example- eat, ate, eaten- eaten is the third form of a verb). Notice this being used in the sentence above in the table: “The strawberry pie was eaten by me.”

So the usage of the main verb is pretty simple to convert. It’s the auxiliary verb that we need to understand further. Let’s get into it:

Rules for changing Active voice to Passive voice:

  1. Simply exchange the places of the subject and the object. The subject should become the object and vice-e-versa while changing a sentence from Active to Passive voice or reverse.
  • Active voice: She bought a new car. (She is the subject and a new car is an object.)
  • Passive voice: A new car was bought by her. (A new car is a subject and her is the object.)

Learn more about Active Voice and Passive Voice here in detail.

2. Always blindly convert the main verb into its past participle or third form while converting from active to passive voice. To remind you what the third form of a verb looks like, let’s look at a few examples:

First form Second form Third form
Buy Bought Bought
Sing sang sung
Grow grew grown
  • Active voice: Bhaanu wrote a book on gun violence.
  • Passive voice: A book on gun violence was written by Bhaanu.

3. Use the word “by” before the subject in the passive sentence. For example:

  • Active voice: My brother sang a song.
  • Passive voice: A song was sung by my brother.

4. Change of tense of the auxiliary word: Now when you change the verb form of the main verb, the tense of the auxiliary also changes accordingly. Let’s see this with the help of a few examples:

  • Present tense
  • Active voice: Sun rises from the east.
  • Passive voice: East is where the sun rises from.
  • Past tense
  • Active voice: She walked my dog home.
  • Passive voice: My dog was walked home by her.
  • Future tense
  • Active voice: Sheena will do the craft work.
  • Passive voice: Craft work will be done by Sheena.

5. Sometimes you may completely omit the subject from the passive voice if the idea you are trying to convey is clear. You just have to take a judgement call for that. For example:

  • Active voice: Distance is measured in kilometers.
  • Passive voice: Kilometres is a measurement unit for distance.

6. Words like “with” or “to” are also used in passive voice. You may recall that we use “by” quite frequently in an active voice to passive voice conversion.

  • Active voice: I know her.
  • Passive voice: She is known to me.
  • Active voice: Love fills my heart.
  • Passive voice: My heart is filled with love.

Now test yourself by solving these Problems and Practice Questions on Active and Passive Voice.

That pretty much sums up our chapter of Active and Passive voice. We recommend you pick up a few sentences below, identify whether they are in active or passive voice and convert them to the other form.

  • I love my music teacher.
  • This painting is done by me.
  • She cast a beautiful spell on me.
  • I want to go home after school.

Go ahead and enjoy your sentences and their marvels of structures. Have fun with grammar!

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AkashBikiXolani Innocent NkosiAnushri shuklaNaga Samhitha Recent comment authors
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Swapan Banerjee
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Swapan Banerjee

Simple but very nice explanation and helpfull too.

Rahul Bhosale
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Rahul Bhosale

Yes

Boy
Guest
Boy

Us

Debayan Das
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Debayan Das

What is the voice change of ” I have endeavoured to understand the fundamental truths.”

HASMAT ALI
Guest
HASMAT ALI

ENDEAVOUR HAS BEEN MADE BY ME TO UNDERSTAND THE FUNDAMENTAL TRUTH.

Ammarah
Guest
Ammarah

The fundamental truths has been endeavored to understood by me

Biki
Guest
Biki

The fundamental truths have been endeavoured to be understood by me

R chakraborty
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R chakraborty

How to change the voice for the following sentence – the books will be received by tomorrow

Adrian
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Adrian

By whom? We need a subject. If the subject was for example “The library”, then the sentence in active voice would read “The library will receive the books by tomorrow”.

sneha
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sneha

You will receive the books by tomorrow.

Karthickkathir
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Karthickkathir

Tomorrow you will receive the book

Alshay
Guest
Alshay

You will receive the books (by) tomorrow.

Debasis Paul
Guest
Debasis Paul

Someone will receive the books by tomorrow

Kritika
Guest
Kritika

Tomorrow will be receive the books

HASMAT ALI
Guest
HASMAT ALI

HE WILL RECEIVE THE BOOKS BY TOMORROW.

Xolani Innocent Nkosi
Guest
Xolani Innocent Nkosi

By tomorrow the books will be received.

Madhavan
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Madhavan

Change this “take right and turn left” into passive voice

Debasis Paul
Guest
Debasis Paul

Let the right be taken amd left be turned

Debasis Paul
Guest
Debasis Paul

‘amd’ is “and” 😅

Gaurav
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Gaurav

You are advised to take right and turn left

Kishor
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Kishor

Very helpful information thanks

Shahrukh Malik
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Shahrukh Malik

Very well explained all basics that can lead to gain further knowledge very easily

Ankit
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Ankit

What is in this box change into passive

osei anthony
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osei anthony

what is the voice change of,” some people think nuclear is the best, because it doesnt add to global warming “….

Rani
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Rani

Nuclear is considered the best by some people because it doesn’t add to global warming.

Rishabh
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Rishabh

Brilliant stuff!!
– Rishabh

Priya
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Priya

A kite was made by Ravi . What is the active form of this statement???

Yas
Guest
Yas

Ravi makes a kite

Rani
Guest
Rani

Ravi made the kite.

Naga Samhitha
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Naga Samhitha

how to change into passive this sentence “when they were shifting the patient to the I.C.U.,he died

Naga Samhitha
Guest
Naga Samhitha

change into passive voice this sentence “when they were shifting the patient to I.C.U.,he died .

Anushri shukla
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Anushri shukla

May you tell us tense conversion in voice.

Akash
Guest
Akash

Sentences without action like…. Jim is a doctor . Is it active or passive and if any how would you decide without having a main verb ?

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