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Important Rules of Voices

Published on Monday, October 24, 2016
Good knowledge of rules of grammar and their correct usage in right perspective,
Is the only way of attempting the questions relating to the spotting errors.

How to Change Active Voice into passive Voice?

1. Make the object of the active sentence—Subject of the passive sentence.
Example : I write a letter. (Active Voice)

Object of active sentence is ‘a letter’. It becomes subject of the passive sentence. (A letter..)

2. Make the subject of the active sentence---Agent of the passive sentence. The agent will be in objective form. Use ‘by’ before it. ‘By’ is used when the subject of active sentence is important to mention.
Subject of active sentence is ‘I’ Its objective form is ‘me’. So … me.

3. Always use third form of the verh (Past participle) in passive structures.
The past participle (V-III) will be preceded by ‘to be’ form of verb, as per the tense of the sentence.

4. Please take care that the ‘to be’ form of verb is governed by the new subject (subject of the passive sentence).
Examples - a. I write a letter. (Active)
A letter is written by me. (Passive)
b. She is helping the students. (Active)
The students are being helped by her(Passive)
Here in sentence (b), plural verb ____are is used as per the new subject __students.

5. Change of the subject of the active sentence into the object of the passive is done as per the following table.

Active Voice Passive Voice Active Voice Passive Voice
I Me She Her
He Him They Them
You You It It
We Us Who Whom

6. Only transitive verbs (those that take objects) can be transformed into passive construction. Furthermore, active sentences containing certain verbs cannot be transformed into passive structures. To have is the most important of these verbs.
We can say “He has a new cycle” but we cannot any “A new cycle is had by him”. Here is a brief list of such verbs resemble, look like, equal, agree with, mean, contain, hold, comprise, lack, suit, fit, become. These verbs are intransitive in nature .

7. Sentences in ‘Present Perfect Continuous’ Past Perfect Continuous’ . Future Perfect Continuous’. Past Perfect Continuous’. Can’t be transformed into passive.
The change of verbs (tense wise) take place as per following table.

Tense Verb
To be form +V-3
Simple present Write/writes Am/is/are Written
Simple past Wrote Was/were Written
Simple future Shall / will write Shall/will be Written
Present continuous Is/am/are writing Is/am/are Being written
Past continuous Was/were writing Was/were being Written
Present perfect Has/have written Has/have been Written
Past perfect Had written Had been Written
Future perfect Will/shall have written Will/shall have been written
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