Rules of active and passive voice

Here, I’m going to answer — What does voice mean? What is mean by active and passive voice? And, how to form passive voice? First of all, let’s see the rules of active and passive voice:–

  • Michel caught a tuna fish.
  • A tuna fish was caught by Michel.

What do you understand from the above two sentences?

Both the sentences make sense of meaning but importance goes to the subject (Michel) makes difference.

In the first sentence, Michel is a subject or doer of the action. He made (many) attempts to catch the fish. So importance or credit goes with Michel.

But, unlike in the second sentence, it doesn’t mean that Michel is directly responsible for catching the fish. We can say that the fish might come in Michel’s net effortlessly, unintentionally. So importance goes with (the fish Object) and not Michel.

In short, where the subject of the verb does the actual action directly it becomes the active voice and whereas action is done upon the subject of the verb (later which becomes object of the sentence) considered as passive voice. Let’s see these voices in detail.

What is Voice?

A grammatical structure that shows the relationship of subject with verb and vice versa. It also tells whether the subject itself is responsible for action or it is affected by an action. Such a structure called a voice.

What is an Active Voice?

Where the subject is the sole doer of an action in the sentence means action is done by subject. Such sentence structure is called an active voice.

Some simple Examples of active voice:

  • Ocean offers marine resources
  • They are wasting their time
  • He won the match
  • Situation teaches many lessons
  • Technology has changed our lifestyle.
  • Education brings evolutionary change.

What is a Passive Voice?

A sentence structure in which action is done on the subject and object of the sentence replaces the subject while changing voice. Such a structure known as Passive voice.

Some simple examples of passive voice:
  • Marine resources are offered by the ocean.
  • Their time is being wasted by them.
  • The match was won by him.
  • Many lessons are taught by situation.
  • Our lifestyle has been changed by technology.
  • Evolutionary change is brought by education.
  • Newcomers are always supported by them.

Rules of active and passive voice

Major rules for change of voice — Changing from active to passive:

  • While changing to passive voice, the object takes the position of the subject and vice versa.

Ex.  Teacher warns students. (Active voice)

On alternating positions of object to subject and vice versa

Ex.  Students are warned by the teacher (passive voice)

  • Verb changes according to tense of the sentence and third form of verb (V3)

Ex. Students are warned by the teacher (Passive voice; simple present tense)

  • Connect the object of passive voice with “by”
  • Always use objective case of subject noun of active voice in case of personal pronouns.

Ex. They always support new comers. (Active voice)

Ex.  New comers are always supported by them. (Passive voice; them- objective case of pronoun “they”)

These all are about the rules of active and passive voice. In the next, blog you will read more about the different aspects of “voice”.

Adversative coordinating conjunctions

Change of tense in indirect speech