Active and Passive Voice - Dr. Kumar Gautam Anand
Active Voice A sentence is in active voice when the doer of an action is placed before the verb and the object is placed after the verb. Eg. He wrote a letter. Order- Doer(Subject)+Verb + Object
Passive Voice • In passive voice this order of (Doer)subject-verb-object is reversed. The object is placed before the verb and the doer is placed after the verb. eg. A letter was written by him. Order: Object+Verb+Doer(subject)
Use if the Passive Voice • The doer is not known My new cycle has been stolen. Her husband was kidnapped from his office. • When the action is important not the doer. This book will be taught next year. Her husband was kidnapped from his office. All the players have been informed. this road is repaired every year. Swimming is not taught in our school.
Sentences in which the subject (the doer of the action) is important should not be put in passive. • The Prime minister has shown his displeasure. • The speaker adjourned the house for the day. • India have won this match easily. However, some sentences are possible both in active and passive. They say.- It is said.
Sentences with transitive verbs having their objects can be changed into passive. They have arrested him. (Active) He has been arrested. (passive) Sentences with intransitive verbs or incomplete verbs(is, am, are, was,were) can not hav their passive form. Eg. She is sleeping soundly. She is a teacher. Perfect continuous tenses and future continuous tense can not be put in passive. Thus only eight tenses can have their passive forms.
Examples- Assertive Sentences • I clean his room.- His room is cleaned by me.(pre. In. t.) • She is calling you. Your are being called by her.(pre. Cont. tense) • You have made a mistake.- A mistake has been made by you.(pr. Per. T.) • I received this letter yesterday.- This letterwas received by me yesterday. (past. indefinite. Tense) • He was reading a novel.- A novel was being read by him.(pa.cont.t • He had done this work before the sun set.- This work had been done by him before the sun set.(pa.per.t.) • I shall post this letter tomorrow. –This letter will be posted by me tomorrow.(fut. Ind. T.) • He will have taught all these lessons before he goes on leave.- All these lessons will have been taught by him before he goes on leave.
Derived rules- • Present Indefinite Tense in passive is formed by putting –is/am or are before the past participle (3rd form) of the verb. Eg. He is taught.- They are taught. • Present continuous Tense is formed by putting is, an or are being before participle(i.e. 3rd form of the verb) He is being taught. We are being taught. I am being taught. • Present perfect is formed by putting ‘has’ or ‘have’ before the 3rd form of the verb. He has been taught. They have been taught. • Past indefinite Tense is formed by putting ‘was’ or ‘were’ before the V3. He was taught. They were taught.
Past continuous tense is formed by putting has or have before being+ the 3rd form of the verb. He was being taught. They were being taught. 6. Past perfect tense is formed by putting ‘had+been’ before the 3rd form of the verb. He had been taught. They had been taught. 7. Future indefinite tense is formed by putting “shall’ or ‘will’ before 3rd form of the verb He will be taught. They will be taught. 8. Future perfect Tense is formed by putting ‘shall’ or ‘will’ before have been + 3rd form of the verb. He will have been taught. They will have been taught.
If there are 2 objects in a sentence(direct & indirect) there will be two passive forms. He gave me a pen. I was given a pen by him. & A pen was given to me by him.
‘To’ in place of ‘by’ • With ‘know’ ‘to’ is used in place of ‘by’ I know him. –He is known to me. Every body knows it.- It is known to every body. (passive) • ‘With’ in place of ‘by’ With is used for instruments and Weapons. The chord was cut with a knife. He was killed with a dagger.
‘At’ in place of ‘by’ • This surprises me. (A)- I was surprised at this.(P) • Note: All sentences containing by+ agent are unnatural, if we know the doer, the sentence should be put in active voice.
Omission of ‘by+agent’ • When the doer is implied by the action ‘by+agent’ should be omitted. • This lesson was taught(by the teacher) last year. (‘by the teacher’ should not be written) • He was arrested (by the police) (‘by the police’ should be avoided.) 3. He is being treated (by the doctor) for malaria. (‘by the doctor’ should not be written.
Passive of interrogative sentences • Who told you my name?(A) By whom were you told my name? By whom was my name told to you? 2. Why are you teasing the dog?(A) Why is the dog being teased by you?(P) • Do you like this book?(A) is this book liked by you?(P) 4. Does she teach you English?(A) Are you taught English by her?(P) Is English taught to you by her?(P)
How long had you taught music in that school?(A) How long had music been taught by you in that school?(P) 6. How many girls have the teachers caughtusing unfair means today?(A) How many girls have been caught using unfair means today?(P) 7. How much money will they lend you?(A) How much money will be lent to you by them?(P)
Omission of ‘by them’ • ‘By them’ is not written when ‘they’ in the active is used for a group or authority. They say.(A) – It is said.(P) They have transferred him.(A)- He has been transferred.(p) They have nationalized the banks. (A) The banks have been nationalized.(P)
Passive of the imperative sentences • Do this work at once.(A)- Let this work be done at once.(P) • Keep the windows open.(A)- Let the windows be kept open.(P) • Come in, please.(A)- You are requested to come in.(P) • Be careful about your health. (A)- You are advised to be careful about your health.(P) • Get out.(A)- You are ordered to get out.(P)
Passive of the Exclamatory sentences • Alas! I have lost my books.(A)-Alas! my books have been lost.(P) • Hurrah! I have found my pen. (A)- Hurrah! my pen has been found. It is time to open the door.(A)- it is time for the door to be opened.(P) We have to finish this work today. (A)- This work has to be finished today.(P) We have still five lesson to teach.(A)- There are still five lesson to be taught.(P)
Exercise: Change the voice • He teaches me on Sundays. • Some body will receive you there. • He will return your book tomorrow. • Do you teach both English and Hindi? • Has he returned your book? • Which dog bit you? • Where did they arrest him from? • All of them have made good progress. • Know that you are alone here. • Cut this rope with a knife.
Answers • I am taught by him on Sundays. • You will be received there by somebody. • Your book will be returned by him tomorrow. • Do you teach both English and Hindi? • Has your book been returned by him? • By which dog were you bitten? • Where was he arrested from? • Good progress has been made by all of them. • Let it be known to you that you are alone here. • Let this rope be cut with a knife.