Active Voice

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Active Voice

Voice is the segment of English grammar where the active or passive involvement of the subject of the sentence is expressed. Changing active voice to passive or vice versa is referred to as Voice Change. With the practice of voice changing, one can better their expertise in the language.

Active Voice

Where the Action Verbs act directly for the Nouns/Pronouns, the sentence has an Active Voice. In the active form, the Subjects of the sentences perform actions directly. The subject is the performer of the tasks. Active Voice Sentence Structure: 

Subject + Verb + Object
  • He will find something in time.
  • Rina gave me the book I was looking for.
  • I watch all the latest movies.

Subjects are the ones in focus in the sentences in the Active Voice above. They use verbs as per the respective tenses of the sentences. This is how Sentences are naturally constructed in the English language. Without the reference to the Passive Voice, it is rather hard to understand the Active Voice properly. 

Transformation of Sentence: Active to Passive Voice

Being able to transform active sentences to passive and vice versa is taken to be one of the measures of one’s expertise in English. The main reason behind it would be the innate conviction to naturally state everything in the active voice.

Present Simple Tense

In terms of present simple tense, sentences with the base verb will be changed to auxiliary verbs - am/is/are accompanied by the past participle form of the base verb. Verb conjugation in the Passive Voice would be-

 

Am/is/are + Past Participle Verb

Active voice: We play hide and seek.

Passive voice: Hide and seek is played (by us).

 

Active Passive
play is + played

Past Simple Tense

Changing the past indefinite sentences from active to the passive, past indefinite form of the base verb will become was/were + past participle in the passive voice along with the usual subject-object switches. Verb conjugation in the Passive Voice would be-

Was/were + Past Participle Verb

Active voice: They played football in the park.

Passive voice: Football was played in the park (by them).

 

Active Passive
played was + played

Present Continuous Tense

Changing the present continuous sentences from active to passive, is/are + present participle will become is/are + being + past participle in the passive voice along with the usual subject-object switches. Verb conjugation in the Passive Voice would be- 

 

Is/are + being + Past Participle Verb

Active voice: He is playing video games.

Passive voice: Video games are being played by him.

 

Active Passive
is playing are + being + played

*The auxiliary verbs change according to the subject of the sentence.

Past Continuous Tense

Changing the past continuous sentences from active to passive, was/were + present participle will become was/were + being + past participle in the passive voice along with the usual subject-object switches. Verb conjugation in the Passive Voice would be-

 

Was/were + being + Past Participle Verb

Active voice: Paul was playing the guitar.

Passive voice: The guitar was being played by Paul.

 

Active Passive
was playing was + being + played

Present Perfect Tense

Changing the present perfect sentences from active to passive voice, have/has + past participle will become have/has + been + past participle in the passive voice along with the usual subject-object switches. Verb conjugation in the Passive Voice would be-

 

Has/have + been + Past Participle Verb

Active voice: The kitten has rocked a pair of sunglasses.

Passive voice: A pair of sunglasses have been rocked by the kitten.

 

Active Passive
has rocked have + been + rocked

*The auxiliary verb changes according to the subject of the sentence.

Past Perfect Tense

Changing the past perfect sentences from active to passive, had + past participle will become had + been + past participle in the passive voice along with the usual subject-object switches. Verb conjugation in the Passive Voice would be- 

 

Had + been + Past Participle Verb 

Active voice: You had eaten at least a few pounds of meat.

Passive voice: At least a few pounds of meat had been eaten by you.

Active Passive
had + eaten had + been + eaten

Future and Optative Sentence

These two types change in the same way between active and passive voice. The Modal Auxiliaries are carried into the passive sentences and the base verb is replaced by be + Past Participle Verb.

Will/Shall/Can/May/Must

Verb conjugation in the Passive Voice would be- 

 

Will/shall/can/may/must + be + Past Participle Verb 

Active voice: You must clean the office.

Passive voice: The office must be cleaned.

 

Active voice: Someone will repair the air conditioner tomorrow.

Passive voice: The air conditioner will be repaired tomorrow.

Have/has/had to

Verb conjugation in the Passive Voice would be- 

 

Have/has/had to + be + Past Participle Verb 

Active voice: I have to write a letter.

Passive voice: A letter has to be written.

Use of Prepositions

After the passive verb conjugation, the appropriate preposition (mostly -by) is used before the object. Objects are often left out in the passive sentences but when they are important to be mentioned, the correct preposition must be added before it.

Active voice: You must clean the house.

Passive voice: The house must be cleaned by you.

Keeping these few basic voice-changing techniques will help you change active voices into passive ones. Practicing them will make it easier for you to change more complicated sentences in your head.

 

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