Thursday, 20 December 2007




A verb is said to be in the "Active Voice" when its form shows that the person or thing denoted by the "Subject" does something.

A verb is said to be in the "Passive Voice" when its form shows that something is done to the person or thing denoted by the"Subject".


The ‘Passive voice’ of a verb is formed by using the "Past Participle" form of the verb after using suitable " Be" form verbs like "is written", "was written", "will be written" or "is being written", "was being written"," have been written ", "had been written", "will have been written", or " are sent", "were sent","will be sent","are being sent","were being sent", " have been sent", " had been sent" etc

The "Object" of the verb in the ‘Active Voice’ takes the place of the "Subject" in the ‘Passive Voice’ and the "Subject" of the ‘Active Voice’ occupies the position of the "Object" in the ‘Passive Voice’.

If the verb has two "Objects" in the ‘Active Voice’, the sentence can be changed in two ways by using any one of the "Objects" as the "Subject" in the ‘Passive Voice’.

The word "by" (preposition) is mostly used before the "Object" in the ‘Passive Voice’. If the verb is followed by a prepositon in the ‘Active Voice’ itself, the same is used before "by".

Personal pronouns change their forms when they change their position from that of the "Subject" to that of the "Object".
Subject : I -- We -- You -- He -- She -- It -- They
Object : me -- us -- you -- him -- her -- it -- them

The ‘Passive’ forms of the "Present /Past/ Future Perfect Continuous " and "Future Continuous" are more avoided than used.

While transferring sentences from ‘Active’ to ‘Passive ’ or vice versa, the "form" of the sentence and "the tense" never change.

Simple method

At first locate the main verb in the given sentence. Then ask "Who?" ( Who performed the action?) You will get the "Subject". Now read the "Subject and Verb" together and ask "What" or "Whom" to know what is or who is involved in the action and you will get the "Object".
Now, take the "Subject" and place it at the end and bring the "Object" to the first place. Change the verb into "Past Participle". Add suitable "be" form verb to indicate the tense and degree.
If there is no answer for the questions "what / whom" then the verb happens to be an ‘intransitive’ one. The ‘intransitives’ cannot be changed into the ‘Passive Voice’. You need an "Object" to change the ‘Voice’.
Samarth goes to school. ( No object)
Samarth tells a story. (Object) -- Active Voice

A story is told by Samarth. -- Passive Voice

A few examples to help SSLC and PUC Students

ACTIVE VOICE - in blue colour

PASSIVE VOICE - in black colour

I never saw you before.
You were never seen before (by me).

You could give it to me.
It could be given to me by you. (Direct Object)
I could be given it by you. (Indirect Object)

The gentleman paid the four-pence postage.
The four-pence postage was paid by the gentleman.

You have to pay eleven-pence postage.
Eleven-pence postage has to be paid by you.

Sarabhai dreamt of a Research Laboratory for studies on cosmic rays.
A Research Laboratory for studies on cosmic rays was dreamt of by Sarabhai.

You’ll never see me again.
I shall never be seen again (by you) .

Who gave you those directions?
By whom were those directions given to you? (Direct Object)
By whom were you given those directions? (Indirect Object)

Share your views with others.
Let your views be shared with others.

Dr. Sarabhai would solve all their problems easily.
All their problems would easily be solved by Dr. Sarabhai.

A research student burnt up an electric meter.
An electric meter was burnt up by a research student.

How else would you learn it?
How else would it be learnt by you?

Dr. Sarabhai sent many of the employees abroad.
Many of the employees were sent abroad by Dr. Sarabhai.

The women commanded the judge to get back.
The judge was commanded by the women to get back.

Narendra answered all the questions correctly.
All the questions were answered correctly by Narendra.

The teacher did not believe them.
They were not believed by the teacher.

They founded a monastery at Baranagar.
A monastery was founded at Baranagar by them.

Swami Vivekananda established the Ramakrishna Mission.
The Ramakrishna Mission was established by Swami Vivekananda.

Our author interviewed cricketer B.S. Chandrashekhar.
Cricketer B.S. Chandrashekhar was interviewd by our author.

Test criecket has taken a back seat.
A back seat has been taken by test cricket.

ODIs can never replace test cricket.
Test cricket can never be replaced by ODIs.

Germans were killing Englishmen.
Englishmen were being killed by Germans.

They would never forgive us.
we should never be forgiven by them.

Aruna Asaf Ali gave them sleepless nights.
Sleepless nights were given to them by Aruna Asaf Ali. (D.O.)
They were given sleepless nights by Aruna Asaf Ali. (In. O.)

She told me a story.
A story was told to me by her. (Direct Object)
I was told a story by her. (Indirect Object)

The widowed lady of the family, Kashibai had bought a Rolls Royce.
A Rolls Royce had been bought by the widowed lady of the family, Kashibai.

I will use it for drying cow dung cakes.
It will be used by me for drying cow dung cakes.

Her mercurial agility inspired young men and women.
Young men and women were inspired by her mercurial agility.

Shakuntala Dharmankar married Kurtakoti.
Kurtrakoti was married to Shakuntala Dharmankar.

Kamaladevi led many sturggles.
Many struggles were led by Kamaladevi.

They let me in. The King asked me.
I was let in by them. I was asked by the King.

I will give you some boiled beans tomorrow.
Some boiled beans will be given to you tomorrow by me.(D. O.)
You will be given some boiled beans tomorrow by me. (In. O.)

The King of Kashmir has sent the wisest man of his court.
The wisest man of his court has been sent by the King of Kashmir.

Present the problem to the august gathering.
Let the problem be presented to the august gathering.

You have given me a great prize.
A great prize has been given to me by you. (Direct Object)
I have been given a great prize by you. (Indirect Object)

Dr. Sarabhai realised the importance of industries.
The importance of industries was realised by Dr. Sarabhai.

Dr. Sarabhai would reprimand him.
He would be reprimanded by Dr. Sarabhai.

A determined youth would fulfil that dream.
That dream would be fulfilled by a determined youth.

ISRO has since launched a number of satellites and rockets.
A number of satellites and rockets have since been launched by ISRO.

We will have to honour the pandit.
The pandit will have to be honoured by us.


prasad said...

how to write this sentence in passive voice
They have made all the arrangements for the function.
is this correct or not give correct explanation
All the arrangements have been made by them

Raghav said...

Thank u so much......

Unknown said...


Anonymous said...

it was very very helpful to me as my exams are going to begin...... thank you very much.

Unknown said...

Tq so much