Active and Passive Voice Rules and Examples

Active and Passive Voice Rules and Examples

Active and Passive Voice Rules and Examples

When the form of the verb that shows the “Subject doing an Action” or “an action is done on the subject” is called Voice.

Active Voice:- When the verb expresses the action of the subject upon the object is called Active Voice.

Rules:- Sub + Verb + Object

Passive Voice:- When the verb expresses the object being acted upon is called Passive Voice.

Rules:- Object + Helping Verb + V3 + by +Sub

In which cases, Passive Voices are used to express sentences properly?

I) When the subject cannot do an action.

II) When the subject of the action is either unknown or irrelevant and action is important.

Different Tenses in its Active and Passive Rules

Indefinite TenseActivePassive
Simple PresentSub + V1 + ObjectObject + Is/are/am +V3 + by + subject
Simple PastSubject + V2 +ObjectObject + was / were + V3 +Subject
Simple FutureSubject + shall /will + V1 +objectObject + shall/will + be + V3 + by + subject


Active VoicePassive Voice
He writes a letterA letter is written by him
He teaches us grammarGrammar is taught to us by him
Police arrested himHe was arrested by police
Rahul wrote this poetryThis poetry was written by Rahul
I will not tolerate this nonsenseThis nonsense will not be tolerated by me
He will write a letter A letter will be written by him.

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Continuous TenseActive Passive
Present ContinuousSub + is/am/are + V1 + ing + objObj +is/are/am +being + V3 +by +sub
Past ContinuousSub + was/were + V1 + ing + objObj + was/were +being + V3 +by + sub
Future ContinuousSub + shall /will +be + V1 +ing + objNot Possible


Active voice Passive voice
He is writing a letterA letter is being written by him
They are laughing at youYou are being laughed at by them
The boys are digging a hole in the groundA hole is being dug in the ground by them
Rahul was cleaning the roomThe room was being cleaned by Rahul
The boys were playing the cricketCricket was being played by the boys
She was reading a novelA novel was being read by her.

Perfect Tense Active Passive
Present perfectSub + have/has + V3 + objobj + have/has + been + V3 + by + sub
Past perfectSub + had + V3 + objObj + had + been + V3 + by + sub
Future PerfectSub + shall/will + have + been + V3 + objObj + shall/will + have + been + V3 + by +sub


Active VoicePassive Voice
He has written this letterThis letter has been written by him
The news has surprised usWe have been surprised at the news.
Rahul had taken this bicycleThis bicycle had been taken by Rahul
He had not slept in his bedHis bed had not been slept in
Ajay will have taken your booksYour book will have been taken by Ajay.
The chairman shall have been called off the meetingThe meeting shall have been called off by the chairman

In some special cases of voice

In Simple Infinitive sentence:-

Active:- To +V1Passive:- To + be + V3
I am to do itIt is to be done by me
You are to write it in InkIt is to be written in ink
We were to buy a motorbikeA motorbike was to be bought by us.

In Perfect Infinitive sentence:-

Active (Sub + has/have/had + to +v1 + obj)Passive (Obj + has/have/had + to + be+ V3 + by + sub)
I have to finish the dinnerThe dinner has to be finished by me
Sheetal has to choose a dressA dress has to be chosen by Sheetal
She has to help the poor peopleThe poor people have to be helped by her.
Ajay had to complete this workThis work had to be completed by Ajay.

In verbs followed by adjectives:-

Rose smells sweetRose is sweet when it is smelt.
Quinine tastes bitterQuinine is bitter when it is tasted.

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Different examples of active and passive voice are given here for revision.

Active Passive
Someone give her a bulldogA bulldog was given to her
My uncle promised me a presentI was promised a present by my uncle
Please help meYou are requested to help me
I know himHe is known to me
One should keep one’s promiseA promise should be kept
Who is creating this mess?By whom is this mess being created?
The noise of the traffic kept me awakeI was kept awake by the noise of the traffic
Why do you waste your time?Why is time wasted by you?
People claim to have seen the suspect in several cities.The suspect is claimed to have been seen in several cities
Those mangoes smell sweetThose mangoes are sweet when they are smelt
Do not make noiseyou are forbidden to make a noise
Shut the doorLet the door be shut
We expect good newsGood news is expected by us
It is impossible to do thisThis is impossible to be done
Can we send the parcel tomorrowCan the parcel be sent by us tomorrow
Please enter by the left doorYou are requested to enter by the left door
Someone is following usWe are being followed by someone
Must we cut this treeMust this tree be cut
Don’t touch this switchThis switch must not be touched
Dogs always chase catsCats are always chased by dogs

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