Verbs are simply said to be either active or passive in voice. In the active voice sentence, the subject is a doer and in the passive voice the subject of the sentence is not a doer or agent but is acted upon by some other agents. For example “she buys a grammar book”. Is an active voice whereas “A grammar book is bought by her’ is passive voice. There are certain rules which are followed to change voice from active to passive voice. See active voice & passive voice. In this article passive voice sentences, important rule of passive and the structure of passive voice will be discuss in details. Also read what active voice is in English grammar.
Passive Voice Examples
A verb is in passive form when the subject receives the action expressed by the verb. For examples
- He sings a song
- A song is sung by him.
- The man opened the door.
- The door was opened by the man.
- He saw the moon.
- The moon was seen by him.
Passive voice important rules
In order to make passive voice one must keep in mind the following point. Five crucial fact of passive voice sentences with examples have given below.
- The object of the active voice sentence becomes the subject in passive voice. In the same way the subject of the active voice sentence become the object in passive voice. For example,
|Passive voice||Active voice|
|A novel is written by him.||He writes a novel.|
|Mangoes are liked by children.||Children likes mangoes.|
|Patients are examined by the doctors.||The doctors examine patients.|
|The moon was seen by him.||He saw the moon.|
|Cricket is played by them everyday.||They play cricket everyday.|
If we see in the above examples, the subject in the active voice (He writes a novel.) He become the object in passive voice i.e. Him.
Object form of some subjects
|John (Noun)||John (Noun)|
- Use be verb (is, am, are, was, were) according to the number and person of the new subject in passive voice.
- In passive voice the main verb is always use d in past participle form. I.e. go-gone, see-see, eat-eaten etc.
- Use ‘by” preposition before the object in passive voice. Sometimes to, at, with etc. preposition is use d. For instance-
- The cat kills a mouse. (Active)
- A mouse is kill ed by the cat. (Passive).
- I know him. (Active).
- He is know n to me. (Passive).
If a sentence contains two objects. The one object is writte n as subject in passive voice and the other one remains the same. The remaining subject is a retained object.
Examples of passive voice with two objects:
- He is telling us a story. ( Active Voice)
- We are being told a story by him. ( passive voice)
- He teaches me French. (Active voice)
- I am taught French by him. (Passive Voice).
Active and Passive Voice Examples for all Tenses
The Passive Voice has constructed as per the tense of the verb be followed by the past participle. The passive voice of different tenses along with suitable examples have given below.
Present Tense Active and Passive Voice
|Tenses||Active Voice Examples||Passive Voice Examples|
|Simple Present Tense||I write a letter.||A letter is written by me.|
|Present continuous Tense||I am writing a letter.||A letter is being written by me.|
|present perfect passive form||I have written a latter.||A letter has been written by me.|
|Present Perfect Continuous Tense||I have been writing a letter.||A letter has been being written by me.|
Past Tense Passive Voice Examples
|Tenses||Active voice||Passive voice|
|Simple past tense||He did it.||It was done by him.|
|Past continuous tense||He was doing it.||It was being done by him.|
|Past perfect Tense||He had done it.||It had been done by him.|
|Past perfect continuous tense||He had been doing it.||It had been being done by him.|
Future Tense Active and Passive Voice Examples
|Different tenses||Active Voice||Passive Voice|
|Simple Future tense||We shall do it.||It will be done by us.|
|Future continuous Tense||He will be doing this.||–|
|Future perfect tense||We shall have done the work.||The work will have been done by us.|
|Future Perfect Continuous tense||He will have been doing the Work.||The work will have been being done by him.|
Note: Passive form of Future continuous tense is no longer use in English grammar. And future perfect continues tense is rarely use.
Passive voice Sentences : Thus A verb is in the passive form when the subject of the sentence is performe d on by the verb. For instance, “The moon was seen by him ,” the Moon (the subject) receives the action of the verb, and was seen is in the passive form. The same applies in case of active voice. For instance., “He saw the moon.”. Also read: Active & Passive voice