What is Active voice & Passive voice? Examples and exercises


Voice is that form of verb which shows whether its subject acts (the active voice) or is acted upon (the passive voice). Look at the following sentences:
i. He reads the book.
ii. I am eating a mango.
iii. The book is read by me.
iv. A mango is being eaten by me.
In the first two sentences, we see that the subjects (He, I ) are acting. They are performing the action stated by the verb (reads, eating). Other two sentences show that the subjects (The book, A mango) are not acting. They do not perform the action stated by the verbs. Rather, they are receiving the action stated by the verbs. They are Passive Voice sentences

.ACTIVE VOICE

A verb is said to be in active voice when its subject acts.
They punished him.

PASSIVE VOICE

A verb is said to be in the passive voice when its subject is acted upon.
He was punished by them.
Turning into Passive Voice
Only Transitive Verbs or Intransitive Verbs with a cognate object or prepositional verbs can be changed into Passive voice.
i. Transitive Verb:
He writes a letter. (Active Voice)
A letter is written by him. (Passive Voice)
ii. Intransitive Verb with cognate Object
She laughed a hearty laugh. (Active Voice)
A hearty laugh was laughed by her. (Passive Voice)
Note: “Cognate” means of same origin; as race from run.
iii. I shall comply with his request. (Active Voice)
His request will be complied with by me. (Passive Voice)

1. Indefinite Tenses

(N.S + is/are/am/was/were/shall be/will be + V3 + by + N.O)
N.S = New Subject
N.O = New Object
We should keep in mind the following points using Indefinite Tenses in the Passive Voice.
i. Only transitive verbs are used in the passive voice.
ii. If a verb in a sentence is in the present indefinite tense, it can be turned into passive voice verb using is, are or am before the third form of the verb.
iii. If a verb in a sentence is in the past indefinite, it can be turned into passive voice by using, was or were, before the third form of the verb.
iv. If a verb in sentence is in Future Indefinite Tense, it can be turned into Passive Voice verb by adding shall be or will be before the third form of the verb.
She sings a song.
A song is sung by her.
She sang a song.
A song was sung by her.
She will sing a song.
A song will be sung by her.

2. Continuous Tense

(N.S + is/are/am/was/were/ + being + V3 + by + N.O)
N.S = New Subject
N.O = New Object
Now, using the passive voice in the continuous tense, following points are to be kept in mind.
i. If the verb of a sentence is in the Present Continuous Tense, it can be it turned into Passive Voice verb by adding “is being or are being” before the third from of the verb.
ii. If the verb of a sentence is in the Past Continuous Tense, it can be it turned into Passive Voice verb by adding “was being or were being” before the third from of the verb.
Future Continuous Tense cannot be turned into passive Voice. She is singing a song.
A song is being sung by her.
She was singing a song.
A song was being sung by her.

3. Perfect Tense

(N.S + has/have/had/shall have/will have + been + V3 + by + N.O)
N.S = New Subject
N.O = New Object
While using the passive voice in the perfect Tense, you should follow these rules:
i. If the verb of a sentence is in the Present Perfect Tense, it can be turned into Passive Voice verb by adding, has been, have been, before the third from of the verb.
ii. If the verb of the sentence is in the Past perfect Tense, it can be turned into Passive Voice verb by adding “had been” before the third from of the verb.