Active and Passive Voice

The Active Voice is used to indicate that the grammatical subject of the verb is performing the action or causing the phenomenon denoted by the verb. The passive voice is the voice used to indicate that the subject of the verb is the recipient of the action denoted by the verb. In the passive voice, the subject receives the action with the use of a passive verb. TRANSFORMATION FROM ACTIVE TO PASSIVE VOICE The normal structure of an active voice sentence is subject + verb + object but in passive, the normal structure of the sentence is reversed and becomes like object + verb + subject. To convert a sentence from active to passive voice, do the following: Move the direct object of the active sentence into the position of the subject of the passive sentence. Place the subject of the active sentence into a phrase starting with the preposition ‘by’ Usually the word “by” is used before subject in sentences in passive voice. Sometimes subject of sentence is not used in passive voice. Subject of sentence can be omitted in passive voice The tense structure of the sentence also is changed when a sentence is changed from active to passive voice. Changes should also be made in the personal pronouns when you convert a sentence from active voice to passive voice. (I - me, we - us, etc.) To change sentences having present/future modal into passive voice, auxiliary verb “be” is added after modal in sentence. To change sentences having perfect modal into passive voice, auxiliary verb “been” is added after the modal in the sentence. In case the sentence contains double objects, two passive sentences can be made using one object in each case. For changing imperative sentences into passive voice, auxiliary verb “be” is used. The word “let” is added before sentence in passive voice. If the verbs are used with prepositions, the prepositions should not be omitted in the passive voice. In sentences where we use a clause as the object of a verb, we may either substitute the clause with the pronoun, ‘it’ or make the clause itself, the subject in the passive voice. When a negative sentence is changed into the passive, the negative word, ‘not’ is inserted between is/am/are and being. If the active sentence begins with a question word, the passive sentence will also begin with a question word. The question words ‘when’, ‘where’, ‘why’, ‘how’ and ‘what’ do not change their beginning position when we change the sentence into passive voice. TRANSFORMATION FROM PASSIVE TO ACTIVE VOICE To change a passive voice sentence into an active voice sentence, simply reverse the steps which we have learnt to form the passive voice. USES OF PASSIVE VOICE We may make use of passive voice only in special circumstances such as while intentionally hiding the subject of sentence, the doer of the action is unknown, unwanted, or unneeded in the sentence, etc.

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