Active Passive Voice Rules Examples Exercises

In this article, we will explore the rules of active and passive voice, along with numerous examples and exercises that will help you to switch between active and passive constructions with ease.

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Understanding how to use both active and passive voice rules is crucial for effective communication and crafting engaging content.

Whether you are a student, a professional writer, or someone looking to improve your English language skills, this guide to active passive voice rules is for you!

Active and Passive Voice: English Grammar

Voice is the form of the verb that shows whether the subject (person or thing) of the sentence is active (does something) or passive (something is done to him or her or it) at the action.

Examples:

(1) The teacher rebuked me.

(2) I was rebuked by the teacher.

The form of the verb of the first sentence shows that the subject (the teacher) is active i.e. he/ she does something (rebuked).

When the subject is the doer of an action, it is the active subject. And the form of the verb is in Active Voice.

The form of the verb in the second sentence shows that the subject (I) is passive i.e. something is done to him/her (was rebuked).

When the subject inactively receives an action (was rebuked), it is in the passive voice. And the verb form is in Passive voice.

What is Active Voice?

When the verb form indicates that the subject of the sentence does something or is in action, we can say the sentence is in Active Voice.

Examples,

(a) I eat rice.

(b) They play football

(c) He made the doll.

(d) You are driving the car.

What is Passive Voice?

When the verb form indicates that the subject of the sentence remains inactive or is in inaction, we can say the sentence is in Passive Voice. For

Examples,

(a) Rice is eaten by me.

(b) Football is played by them.

(c) The doll was made by him

(d) The car is being driven by you.

Active And Passive Voice Rules: All Tenses.

Explore the active and passive voice rules for all tenses, providing examples and exercises to master the art of active passive voice conversion for English language skills.

Present Tense Rules

 Active Voice ExamplesPassive Voice StructurePassive Voice Examples
IndefiniteI play football.S+ am/is/are+ V(P-P)+ by + OFootball is played by me.
ContinuousWe are playing football.S+ am/is/are+ being +V(P-P)+ by+ OFootball is being played by me.
PerfectHe has played football.S+ has/have+ been +V(P-P)+ by+ OFootball has been played by me.
Perfect ContinuousThey have been playing football.S+ has/have+ been + being + V(P-P)+ by +   OFootball has been being played by me.

Examples:

Active: I eat rice.
Passive: Rice is eaten by me.

Active: He beats you.
Passive: You are beaten by him.

Active: I am eating rice.
Passive: Rice is being eaten by me.

Active: He is writing a letter.
Passive: A letter is written by him.

Active: I have eaten rice.
Passive: Rice has been eaten by me.

Active: He has written a letter.
Passive: A letter has been written by him.

Active: I have been eating rice.
Passive: Rice has been being eaten by me.

Active: He has been writing a letter.
Passive: A letter has been being written by him.

People also ask

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Voice Change Class 10Voice Change Class 9
Voice Change Class 8Voice Change Class 7
Voice Change Class 6Voice Change Class 5
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Past Tense Rules

 Active Voice ExamplesPassive Voice StructurePassive Voice Examples
IndefiniteI played football.S+ was/were+ V(P-P)+ by + OFootball was played by me.
ContinuousWe were playing football.S+ was/were+ being +V(P-P)+ by+ OFootball was being played by me.
PerfectHe had played football.S+ had+ been +V(P-P)+ by+ OFootball had been played by me.
Perfect ContinuousThey had been playing football.S+ had + been + being + V(P-P)+ by +   OFootball had been being played by me.

Examples:

Active: I ate rice.
Passive: Rice was eaten by me.

Active: He rebuked you.
Passive: You were rebuked by him.

Active: I was eating rice.
Passive: Rice was being eaten by me.

Active: We were making noise.
Passive: Noise was being made by us.

Active: I had eaten rice.
Passive: Rice had been eaten by me.

Active: We had made mistakes.
Passive: Mistakes had been made by us.

Active: I had been eating rice.
Passive: Rice had been being eaten by me.

Active: He had been writing a letter.
Passive: A letter had been being written by him.

Future Tense Rules

 Active Voice ExamplesPassive Voice StructurePassive Voice Examples
IndefiniteI shall play football.S+ shall be / will be+ V(P-P)+ by + OFootball will be played by me.
ContinuousWe will be playing football.S+ shall be / will be+ being  V(P-P)+ by + OFootball will be being played by me.
PerfectHe will have played football.S+ shall have/will have+ been +V(P-P)+ by+ OFootball will have been played by me.
Perfect ContinuousThey will have been playing football.S+ shall have / will have + been + being + V(P-P)+ by +   OFootball will have been being played by me.

Examples:

Active: I shall eat rice.
Passive: Rice will be eaten by me.

Active: He will rebuke you.
Passive: You will be rebuked by him.

Active: I shall be eating rice.
Passive: Rice will be being eaten by me.

Active: He will be writing a letter.
Passive: A letter will be written by him.

Active: I shall have eaten rice.
Passive: Rice will have been eaten by me.

Active: He will have written a letter.
Passive: A letter will have been written by him.

Active: I shall have eaten rice.
Passive: Rice will have been eaten by me.

Active: He will have written a letter.
Passive: A letter will have been written by him.

Active Passive Voice Rules for Pronouns

Subject PronounObject PronounPossessive Pronoun
Imemy
Weusour
Youyouyour
Hehimhis
Sheherher
Theythemtheir
RaviRaviRavi’s (his)
N.B – There will be no change of 'Nouns' in terms of Subject and Object from Active to Passive Voice.

Active and Passive Voice Basic Conversion Rules

Active and passive voice are two different ways to construct sentences in English. The choice between them depends on the emphasis you want to give to the subject or object of the sentence. Let’s explore the fundamental Active Passive Rules for each:

Rule 1: Find out the Subject, Verb, and Object

In the first step, find out the subject, Verb, and Object of the sentences you have to change from active to passive voice.

Examples

1. She(Subj) was singing (Verb) a song (Obj).

2. John (Subj) eats(Verb) rice(Obj).

Rule 2: Identify the ‘Tense and its form’, and ‘Voice

In the second step, identify the ‘Tense and its form’, and ‘Voice‘ of the given sentences.

Examples

1. She(Subj) was singing (Verb) a song (Obj). – Past Continuous Tense, Active voice

2. John (Subj) eats(Verb) rice(Obj). – Simple Present Tense Tense, Active voice

We can pick out 'Tense and its form', and 'Voice' from the 'Main Verb' of the given sentences.

Rule 3: ‘object’ of the ‘active voice’ becomes subject’ of the ‘passive voice’.

In the third step, to turn the above-given sentences into the passive voice, write the ‘object’ of the ‘active voice’ as the ‘subject’ of the ‘passive voice’ at the beginning.

Examples

1. She(Subj) was singing (Verb) a song (Obj). – Past Continuous Tense, Active voice

Ans: A song …………………

2. John (Subj) eats(Verb) rice(Obj). – Simple Present Tense Tense, Active voice

Ans: Rice …………………

Rule 4: Put Auxiliary Verbs as (am/is/are/has/have/was/were/had/shall be/will be)

In the fourth step, Auxiliary Verbs as (am/is/are/has/have/was/were/had/shall be/will be) with ‘Being’ or ‘Been’ (where necessary) according to ‘Tense and its forms’, and ‘Passive Subjects’ come before the Main Verb in the Passive Sentence. For example,

Examples

1. She(Subj) was singing (Verb) a song (Obj). – Past Continuous Tense, Active voice

Ans: A song was being …………………

2. John (Subj) eats(Verb) rice(Obj). – Simple Present Tense Tense, Active voice

Ans: Rice is …………………

Active Passive Voice Rules Chart: Auxiliary Verbs
Active Voice Passive Voice
eat/eatsam/is/are eaten
am/is/are eatingam being/is being/are being eaten
has/have eatenhas been/have been eaten
has been/have been eatinghas been being/have been being eaten
atewas/were eaten
was/were eatingwas being/were being eaten
had eatenhad been eaten
had been eatinghad been being eaten
shall/will eatshall be/will be eaten
shall be/will be eatingshall be being/will be being eaten
shall have/will have eatenshall have been/will have been eaten
shall have been/will have been eatingshall have been being/will have been being eaten

Rule 5: Apply the past-participle form of the main verb

In the fifth step, write the past-participle form of the main verb of the active sentence immediately after the auxiliary verb in the passive sentence. Study the following infographic description for example.

Examples

1. She(Subj) was singing (Verb) a song (Obj). – Past Continuous Tense, Active voice

Ans: A song was being sung …………………

2. John (Subj) eats(Verb) rice(Obj). – Simple Present Tense Tense, Active voice

Ans: Rice is eaten …………………

Rule 6: Use a preposition after the main verb

In the sixth step, a ‘preposition’ comes after the main verb in the passive sentence. Generally, in most cases, we use the preposition, ‘by’ but there are some exceptions.

Examples

1. She(Subj) was singing (Verb) a song (Obj). – Past Continuous Tense, Active voice

Ans: A song was being sung by …………………

2. John (Subj) eats(Verb) rice(Obj). – Simple Present Tense Tense, Active voice

Ans: Rice is eaten by …………………

Rule 7: ‘Subject’ of the ‘active voice’ becomes ‘Object’ of the ‘passive voice’

In the final step, to turn the above-given sentences into the passive voice, write the ‘Subject’ of the ‘active voice’ as the ‘Object’ of the ‘passive voice’ at the end of the sentence. Study the following infographic description for example.

Examples

1. She(Subj) was singing (Verb) a song (Obj). – Past Continuous Tense, Active voice

Ans: A song was being sung by her. – Passive Voice

2. John (Subj) eats(Verb) rice(Obj). – Simple Present Tense Tense, Active voice

Ans: Rice is eaten by John. – Passive Voice

Passive to Active Voice Conversion Rules

Rule 1: Identify the Subject, Object, and Doer

In a passive voice sentence, the object receives the action, and the doer of the action is optional and may not be explicitly mentioned. To convert it into active voice, identify the subject, object, and doer (if provided) in the sentence.

Example:

Passive Voice: “The book (object) was written (verb) by the author (doer).”

Active Voice: “The author (doer) wrote (verb) the book (object).”

Rule 2: Determine the Appropriate Verb

In active voice, the subject performs the action, so choose an appropriate verb that aligns with the subject’s action.

Example:

Passive Voice: “The presentation (object) was given (past tense of ‘give’) by Sarah (doer).”

Active Voice: “Sarah (subject) gave (past tense of ‘give’) the presentation (object).”

Rule 3: Change the Verb Tense

In passive to active voice transformation, adjust the verb tense according to the context and subject’s action.

Example:

Passive Voice: “The cake (object) will be baked (future tense of ‘bake’) by the baker (doer).”

Active Voice: “The baker (subject) will bake (future tense of ‘bake’) the cake (object).”

Active Passive Voice Rules of Interrogative Sentences

To change the active voice into the passive voice of an interrogative sentence, we must follow the simple rules.

Rules:

1. Auxialary Verb + subject + main verb (past-participle form) + by + object?


2. Wh-word + Auxialary Verb + subject + main verb (past-participle form) + by + object?

Examples:

Active: Do I eat rice?
Passive: Is eaten by me?

Active: Are you eating rice?
Passive: Is rice being eaten by me?

Active: Have you eaten rice?
Passive: Has rice been eaten by you?

Active: Where did Anil find the bag?
Passive: Where was the bag found by Anil?

Active: How did you open the door?
Passive: How was the door opened by you?

Active Passive Voice Rules for Modal Auxilary Verbs

Subject +  Modal Auxilary Verb + be + Main Verb (past-participle form) + by + Object.

Examples

Active: I can do this work.

Passive: This work can be done by me.

Active: You may help your brother.

Passive: Your brother may be helped by you.

Active Passive Voice Rules for Complex Sentences

In case of active to passive voice change of complex sentences, if both the Principal Clause and Subordinate Clause consist of transitive verbs.

  • We have to change The transitive verbs of both the Principal clauses and Subordinate Clauses.
  • Sometimes we need to use Introductory ‘it’.

Examples:

Active Voice: I know that he did the work

Passive Voice: It is known to me that the work was done by him./That the work was done by him is known to me.

Active Voice: Everybody says that you have done it.

Passive Voice: It is said by everybody that it has been done by you./That it has been done by you is said by everybody.

Advantages to know Active Voice Rules

Using active voice in writing offers several advantages:

1. Clarity: Active voice makes sentences clear and concise, leaving no room for ambiguity.

2. Engagement: It creates a sense of directness, engaging readers and keeping them interested.

3. Impact: Active voice can give your writing a more powerful and persuasive tone.

4. Efficiency: It often requires fewer words to convey the same message compared to passive voice.

Advantages Passive Voice Rules

Passive voice also serves specific purposes and offers benefits, such as:

1. Focus on the Action: By omitting the doer of the action, passive voice keeps the focus on what happened, not who did it.

2. Formality: In formal writing, passive voice can be more appropriate and professional.

3. Anonymity: When the doer is unknown or irrelevant, passive voice can be the preferred choice.

Uses of Passive Voice

We use Passive voice in the following situation

1. when we do not know who has done the action:

Example: My pocket has been picked. [who has stolen my purse is not known.]

2. the action done is more important than knowing who has done it.

Example: English is accepted as a global language.

3. In situations of social and historical significance.

Example: America was discovered by Columbus.

4. In Newspaper Report.

Example: Delhi was lashed by a thundershower on Monday evening.

5. To describe a Process.

Example: A mango pickle is prepared with the following steps.

6. In invitation, request, and announcement.

Example: Passengers are requested to keep a safe distance.

Active to Passive Voice Examples with Rules

Active Voice Passive Voice
1.Ram kills a frog.1. A frog is killed by Ram.
2. I am doing the work.2. The work is being done by me.
3. I have drawn the picture.3. The picture has been drawn by me.
4. He has been building a new house in the town.4. A new house has been being built in the town by him.
5. Harris read a book.5. A book was read by Harris.
6. They were playing football.6. Football was being played by them.
7. You had finished the home task.7. Home task had been finished by you.
8. They had been doing the work for 3 hours.8. The work had been being done for 3 hours by them.
9. I shall give you a pen.9. A pen will be given to you by me.
10. They will be carrying loads.10. Loads will be being carried by them.
11. We will have done the work.11. The work will have been done by us.
12. The children will have been playing football for 2 hours tomorrow.12. Football will have been being played by the children for 2 hours tomorrow.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Active Passive Voice Rules

Q: What is active voice?

A: Active voice is a sentence construction in which the subject performs the action expressed by the verb.

Q: When should I use passive voice?

A: Passive voice is useful when the focus should be on the action’s receiver rather than the doer. It is commonly used in formal writing and scientific contexts.

Q: Can I use both active and passive voice in the same text?

A: Yes, using both active and passive voice can add variety and emphasis to your writing. Just ensure that the choice aligns with the intended

Q: How do I convert a sentence from active to passive voice?

A: To convert a sentence from active to passive voice, follow these steps: a) Identify the subject and object in the active sentence. b) Switch the positions of the subject and object to create the passive sentence. c) Use the appropriate form of the auxiliary verb “to be” with the past participle of the main verb. d) (Optional) Include the doer of the action using the preposition “by.”

Q: Which voice is better for persuasive writing?

A: Active voice is generally better for persuasive writing as it adds a sense of energy and urgency to your message. It emphasizes the doer of the action, making your arguments more compelling.

Q: Why is passive voice often used in scientific writing?

A: Passive voice is commonly used in scientific writing because it allows researchers to present their findings objectively without drawing attention to themselves. It focuses on the results rather than the individuals conducting the study.

Q: Is it always better to use active voice?

A: Not necessarily. Active voice is preferred for most writing as it is more direct and engaging, but there are situations where passive voice is more appropriate.

Q: When should I use passive voice?

A: Passive voice is often used when the doer of the action is unknown or when the emphasis is on the action itself rather than the doer.

Q: Can passive voice make sentences ambiguous?

A: Yes, passive voice can sometimes create ambiguity if the doer of the action is not identified.

Q: How can I identify passive voice in a sentence?

A: Look for the “be” verb (am, is, are, was, were) followed by the past participle of the main verb.

Q: Is passive voice grammatically incorrect?

A: No, passive voice is grammatically correct, but it should be used judiciously to maintain clarity in writing.

Q: Can I mix active and passive voice in the same text?

A: Yes, mixing active and passive voice can add variety and rhythm to your writing. However, use them purposefully and avoid overusing passive voice.

Q: When should I use passive voice in my writing?

A: Passive voice is suitable when you want to emphasize the action or the object rather than the doer. It can be used to create a more formal tone or avoid mentioning the doer when it’s not necessary.

Q: Is active voice always better than passive voice?

A: Not necessarily. Both active and passive voice have their merits. Use active voice for directness and engagement, and passive voice when the doer is less relevant or unknown.

Q: Can passive voice make my writing sound weak?

A: It can, if overused. Passive voice may sound less assertive and direct compared to active voice. Strive for a balance between both for effective writing.

Q: How can I improve my active and passive voice usage?

A: Practice regularly, review grammar rules, and read extensively. Identifying different voice constructions in published works can enhance your understanding.

Q: Are there instances where passive voice is preferred?

A: Yes, in scientific, technical, or legal writing, passive voice is commonly used to maintain objectivity and focus on the action itself.

Q: Can I switch between active and passive voice within the same paragraph?

A: Absolutely! Mixing active and passive voice can add variety to your writing and make it more engaging.

Conclusion:

Mastering active and passive voice is essential for effective communication and writing in English. By understanding the rules and practicing with examples and exercises, you can confidently use both forms to enhance the clarity and impact of your writing. So go ahead and incorporate active and passive voice into your linguistic toolkit to elevate your language skills to new heights!

Exercises of Active to Passive Voice

A. Change the following into passive Voice.

1. They play cricket.

2. They are beating the man mercilessly.

3. John has obtained high marks.

4. The worker has been doing work for 3 hours.

5. The girl threw a stone.

6. Children were sucking oranges.

7. Virat Kohli declared the end of the innings after Rohit Sharma had scored his century.

8. The boy had been doing his Homer for half an hour.

9. Shefali will buy a bag.

10. The farmers will be catching fish.

11. Anirban will have retained the Nobel by this time.

12. They will have been finishing the task by that time.

13 . Naveen does not look at the moon.

14. Sonali is not eating an Apple.

15. Tania has not composed a poem.

16. The man has not been driving the car for 2 hours.

17. We did not kill a Tiger.

18. The boy was not throwing stones at the frog.

19. I had not written the letter before he came.

20. They had not been playing football for 3 hours.

21. You will not get the price.

22. Father will not be reading the newspaper in the morning.

23. Mother will not have finished cooking before father comes.

24. They will not have been making noise before the teacher arrives