Read on to learn the Rules for Converting Active Passive Voice, Spotting Errors in passive voice sentences, etc. What’s more, by the end of this article, you will be able to able to write flawless essays and letters too! Download this article as a PDF by clicking above.
Now let us look at the Basics of Active Passive Voice.
Difference Between Active and Passive Voice
Tom chases Jerry’ is a sentence in active voice. Its passive equivalent is ‘Jerry is chased by Tom.’ What are changes made to obtain the passive equivalent?
1. The subject and object are interchanged:
|Passive||Jerry||is chased||by Tom|
2. Change in the form of the main verb:
chases → is chased
present participle → linking verb + perfect participle of chase
2. Addition of ‘by’ in front of the object denoting the presence of an agent which does some action on the subject.
Why do we need active and passive voice?
|Active voice||Passive voice|
|1. Used to say what the subject does
Tom (s) chases (v) Jerry (o).
2. Who or what causes the action is known/important
a. Malgudi Days is interesting.
Who wrote it?
R. K. Narayan wrote it.b. Who invented the telephone?
|1. Used to say what happens
to the subject
Jerry (s) is chased (v) by Tom (o).
2. Who or what causes the action is unknown/unimportant or to be vague about who is responsible
a. The house is kept clean. I don’t know who does that, but the house is clean!
And, that’s what matters.
b. When was the telephone invented?
Changing the verb
|Tense||Verb change||Active voice||Passive voice|
|Simple Present||Present participle||→||is/are + perfect participle||They keeptheir house clean.||Their house is kept clean by them.|
|Present continuous||am/is/are + ‘gerund (ing form)||→||am/is/are + being + perfect participle||Ryan is white-washingthe fence.||The fence is being white-washed by Ryan.|
|Present perfect||has/have + perfect participle||→||has/have + been + perfect participle||The cat has drunkthe milk.||The milk has been drunk by the cat.|
|Present perfect continuous||has/have + been + gerund||→||has/have + been + being + perfect participle||He has been paintingthe house.||The house has been being painted by him.|
|Simple past||past participle||→||was/were + perfect participle||Mozart wrotemore than 600 pieces of music.||More than 600 pieces of music were written by Mozart.|
|Past continuous||was/were + gerund||→||was/were + being + perfect participle||He was playingviolin.||Violin was being played by him|
|Past perfect||had + perfect participle||→||had + been + perfect participle||They had receivedthe parcel.||The parcel had been received by them.|
|Past perfect continuous||had + been + gerund||→||had + been + being + perfect participle||He had been preparingcharts.||Charts had been being preparedby him.|
|Simple future||will||will + present participle||→||will + be + perfect participle||I will keepthe box.||The box will be kept by me.|
|going to||am/is/are going to + present participle||→||am/is/are going to + be + perfect participle||I am going to preparethe dinner.||The dinner is going to be prepared by me.|
|Future continuous||will||will be + gerund||→||will be + being + perfect participle||He will be finishingthe work.||The work will be being finished by him.|
|Future perfect||will have + perfect participle||→||will have + been + perfect participle||I will have finishedthe work.||The work will have been finished by me.|
You must have noticed
- The main verb is always the perfect participle of the root verb.
He had been preparing charts.
Charts had been being prepared by him.
They keep their house clean.
Their house is kept clean by them.
- Gerund (ing form) always changes into ‘being + perfect participle’.
He will be finishing the work.
The work will be being finished by him.
He was playing violin.
Violin was being played by him
- Has/have/had changes into ‘has/have/had + been’.
I will have finished the work.
The work will have been finished by me.
They had received the parcel.
The parcel had been received by them.
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