Change of Voice Rules, Exercise


Voice shows the relationship between the doer of an action (subject) and the receiver of that action (object).

In the English Language, there are two voices.

A. Active Voice: A verb is said to be in active voice when the subject performs the verb. (Example – I write a letter)

B. Passive Voice: When the action of the verb is done to the subject. The verb is said to be in the passive voice. (Example – A letter is written by me)

Tense Changes

TenseVerb (active)Verb (Passive)
Simple PresentWrite/writesAm/is/are written
Simple PastWroteWas/were written
Simple FutureShall/will writeShall/will be written
Present ContinuousIs/am/are writingIs/are/am being written
Past Continuouswas/were writingWas/were being written
Present PerfectHas/have writtenHas/have been written
Past PerfectHad writtenHad been written
Future PerfectWill/shall have writtenWill/shall have been written

Note1. In Passive Voice always use the past participle third form of the verb.    

            2. Active to Passive is not possible in these Tenses

  • Present Perfect
  • Continuous
  • Past Perfect Continuous
  • Future Perfect Continuous
  • Future Continuous

Change of Pronoun (Objective form)

Active VoicePassive VoiceActive VoicePassive Voice

Exercises on Active to Passive Voice

Active VoicePassive Voice
He opens the door.The door is opened by him
We set the tableThe table is set by us
She pays a lot of money.A lot of money is paid by her.
I draw a picture.A picture is drawn by me.
They wear blue shoes.Blue shoes are worn by them.
They don’t help youYou are not helped by them.
He doesn’t open the book.The book is not opened by him.
You do not write the letter.The letter is not written by you.
Does your mum pick you up?Are you picked up by your mum?
Does the police officer catch the thief?Is the thief caught by the police officer?

Some Special cases on VOICE

1. When the active sentence contains a modal verb, the passive sentence typically follows the structure

“modal verb + be + past participle (V3).”

(Modal verbs – can, may, must, shall, will, should, would, could, and might)

Active voicePassive voice
Ram can win the prize.the prize can be won by Ram.

2. passive of commands: Let, please, Kindly

a) When the sense of order is expressed through an imperative sentence, the passive form does indeed use

“let” followed by “be + past participle (V3)” after the subject.

Active VoicePassive Voice
close the door.Let the door be closed.
switch off the fanlet the fan be switched off.

b) When the sense of advice is expressed through an imperative sentence, the passive form does not typically use “let.” Instead, the structure

“should + be + past participle (V3)” is employed in the passive form after the subject.

Active VoicePassive Voice
help the poorthe poor should be helped.
close the doorthe door should be closed.

c) When the active sentence includes “please” or “kindly” to convey a sense of request, and you want to transform it into the passive voice, you can start the passive sentence with

“You are requested to.” The phrase “please kindly” is dropped from the passive sentence.

Active VoicePassive Voice
close the door, are requested to close the door.
Please kindly submit your report by Friday.You are requested to submit your report by Friday.
kindly read this letter.  you are requested to read this letter.

3. active to passive in question

a) when a question in the active voice starts with “Do,” “Does,” or “Did,” the corresponding passive voice verb form is

“am/is/are/was/were + past participle (V3)”

Active VoicePassive Voice
does Sita write this story?is this story written by Sita?
did you see him?was he seen by you?

b) When a question in the active voice starts with “has,” “have,” or “had,” the corresponding passive voice verb form is

“has/have/had + been + past participle (V3).”

Active voicePassive voice
has Tom invited you?have you been invited by Tom?
had Tom done the task?had the task done by Tom?

c) When a question in active voice starts with a modal auxiliary verb, the corresponding passive voice verb format is

“modal auxiliary + be + past participle (V3).”

Active VoicePassive Voice
can we cut the tree?can the tree be cut?

d) To transform a Wh- question from active voice to passive voice, you can follow these steps:

  • Identify the Wh- word in the active voice question.
  • Change the active verb to its passive form.
  • Move the subject of the active voice question to the end of the passive voice question, preceded by the preposition “by.”
  • Place the Wh- word at the beginning of the passive voice question.
Active VoicePassive voice
Where did you find this book?* was this book found?
* What was this book found?

4. passive of infinitives

When an active infinitive (to + base verb) is changed to a passive voice, it becomes

“to be” + past participle (V3) of the base verb.

Active voicePassive voice
there is no time to lose.there is no time to be lost.

5. passive of verb + prepositions

When an active sentence includes a verb followed by a preposition or adverb particle, that preposition or adverb particle is generally not removed in its passive form. The particle remains intact in the passive construction.

Active VoicePassive Voice
with verb + preposition: “She turned on the lights.”    “The lights were turned on by her.”  

In the above example, the preposition “on” is retained in the passive sentence in the above example. The verb “turned” is transformed into its passive form “were turned,” and the subject “she” becomes “by her” at the end of the sentence. The preposition “on” is necessary to maintain the correct meaning and phrasal verb structure.

6. Another word in place of by

When active sentences use verbs like “pleased,” “surprises,” “know,” “interested,” or “satisfied,” the corresponding passive voice construction may not include the preposition “by.” This is because these verbs express states or conditions rather than actions performed by an agent.

Instead, other prepositions may be used in the passive voice to indicate the source or cause of the state.

Active VoicePassive Voice
with “pleased”: “He pleased his boss.”    “His boss was pleased with him.”  

7. Double passive

In a sentence with two clauses, one is typically referred to as the main clause or independent clause, while the other is called a subordinate clause or dependent clause.

If an active sentence consists of a main clause and a coordinate clause, each containing a transitive verb, the passive form can be constructed for each clause separately.

Active VoicePassive Voice
they looted the house and took away the things.the house was looted and things were taken away.
the police arrested the thief and sent him to jail.the thief was arrested and sent to the jail.

Exercise on Change of Voice

Active voicePassive voice
Ram opened the gate.The gate was opened by Ram.
Sita will write a letter.A letter will be written by Sita.
Sima brings the newspaper.The newspaper is brought by Sima.
Gopi broke the mirror.The mirror was broken by Gopi.
Moti has kicked the ball.The ball has been kicked by Moti.
Reeta can doit.It can be done by Reeta.
Amar must finish this work.This work must be finished by Amar.
Reeta is helping Manju.Manju is being helped by Reeta.
They were repairing the road.The road was being repaired by them.
Please forgive him.You are requested to forgive him.
Let him do it.Let it be done by him.
Does the noise disturb you?Are you disturbed by the noise?
How did Sita write it?How was it written by Sita?
We must write to him.He must be written to by us.
It is time to take tea.It is time for tea to be taken.
Tell him to leave the room at once.Let him be told to leave the room at once.
People always praise this man.This man is always praised.
Who broke the window?By whom was the window broken?  
Have you shut the door?Has the door been shut by you?
God will bless good men.Good men will be blessed by God.  
Give the order.Let the order be given.
Will she do this work?Will this work be done by her?

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