Thursday, October 15, 2015



Active voice is used in a clause whose subject expresses the agent of the main verb. That is, the subject does the action designated by the verb. A sentence whose agent is marked as grammatical subject is called an active sentence. Active voice is the unmarked voice for clauses featuring a transitive verb in nominative–accusative languages, including English and most other Indo-European languages.

When to Use Active Voice :

We can use it whenever it possible

Example :
Budi changed the flat tire.
Budi (subject) performs the action denoted by the verb (change).


Passive voice is a grammatical voice common in many languages. In a clause with passive voice, the grammatical subject expresses the theme or patient of the main verb – that is, the person or thing that undergoes the action or has its state changed. This contrasts withactive voice, in which the subject has the agent role.

When to Use Passive Voice :

1. When we know or it is important to know who performs an action.
2. When we are interested only in what happens rather than who or what did it.
3. When it is not important to know who does, or did the action

Example :
This painting was done by my grandmother.
In the example above, the focus is who performs the action. We know who does the painting.

The giant snake was killed in that village.
 In the example above, the focus is what happens rather that who did it. In the sentence above we only focusing on the giant snake that was killed.


Simple Present Tense

Active: Subject + infinitive + object
They buy a book everyday

Passive: S + to be + past participle + by object
A book is bought buy them

Simple Past Tense

Active: Subject + past participle + object
I swept the floor yesterday

Passive: Subject + was/were + past participle + by object
The floor was swept by me

Present Continious Tense

Active: Subject + to be (is/am/are) being + present participle + object
She is drinking a glass of milk

Passive: S + to be (is/am/are) + being + past participle + by object
A glass of milk is being drunk by her

Past Continuous Tense

Active: Subject + was/were + being + past participle + object
We were typing a letter

Passive: Subject + was/were + being + past participle +by object
A letter was been typed by us

Present Perfect Tense

Active: Subject + has/have + past participle + object
We have done our homework

Passive: Subject + have/has been + past participle + by object
Our homework have been done by us

Past Perfect Tense

Active: Subject + had + past participle + object
He had done his homework

Passive: Subject + had been + past participle + by object
His homework had been done by him



The places of subject and object in sentence are inter-changed in passive voice.3rd form of verb (past participle) will be used only (as main verb) in passive voice. To change sentences having present/future modal into passive voice, auxiliary verb “be” is added after modal in sentence.

Active voice: CAN
he can play a piano.
he cannot play a piano.
Can he play a piano?

Passive voice: CAN BE
A piano can be played by him.
A piano cannot be played by him.
Can a piano be played by him?

Active voice: MAY
I may buy the phone.
I may not buy the phone.
May I buy the phone?

Passive voice: MAY BE
The phone may be bought by me.
The phone may not be bought by me.
May the phone be bought by me?

Active voice: MIGHT
Guests might play the playstation.
Guests might not play the playstation.

Passive voice: MIGHT BE
The playstasion might be played by guests.
The playstasion might not be played guests.

Active voice: SHOULD
Students should study all subjects.
Students should not study all subjects.
Should students study all subjects?

Passive voice: SHOULD BE
All subjects should be studied by students.
All subjects should not be studied by students.
Should all subjects be studied by students?

Active voice: MUST
You must learn how to drive properly.
You must not learn how to drive properly.

Passive voice: MUST BE
How to drive properly must be learnt by you.
How to drive properly must not be learned by you.

Active voice: OUGHT TO
They ought to take the final test.

Passive voice: OUGHT TO BE
The final test ought to be taken by them.


Transitive verbs are verbs which have subjects and object in one sentences or clauses. Transitive verbs can be in active or passive voice. Transitive verbs in active voice are the verbs which are followed by the direct objects. A transitive verbs needs object to express full meaning.

Example: The girl threw the ball. The subject is the actor who does the action and the direct object is the receiver of the action.

Meanwhile, Transitive passive verbs have the subject receiving the action.
Examples: The ball was threw by the girl. The ball was threw hard. The verbs in the transitive passive voice always have "is, am, are, was, were, be, being, or been" as auxiliaries.

Intransitive verbs don't have receiver of the action. They are classified as intransitive complete or intransitive linking. Intransitive linking are sentences with a predicate nominative or predicate adjective.

Examples: The boy is Johny. (predicate nominative) The boy is handsome. (predicate adjective) Intransitive complete are all the verbs that don't fit one of the other kinds of transitive or intransitive verbs.

Examples: The bell rang suddenly. The girl knitted all evening. (There is no receiver of the action.) They were here. (no action or predicate nominative or predicate adjective).


A. Each sentence given below is in the active voice. Change it into passive voice 

1. He sings a song.
2. The boy killed the spider.
3. Help him.
4. Farmers sow maize in the rainy season.
5. Are you writing a letter?
6. The workers were digging a canal.
7. I will finish the job by the end of this week.
8. Have you finished your job?
9. They have informed him of his mother’s death.
10. They took all the necessary precautions.

B. Each sentence given below is in the passive voice. Change it into active voice 

11. The trees were blown down by the wind.
12. The thieves were caught by the police.
13. The letter was posted by Alice.
14. We were received by the hostess.
15. The snake was killed with a stick.
16. The minister was welcomed by the people.
17. He was found guilty of murder.
18. This house was built by John Mathews in 1991

C. Tell whether the verbs in the following sentences are transitive active, transitive passive, intransitive linking, or intransitive complete.

1. The programs had been printed.
2. Jeff opened the door for his mother.
3. The parade began on time.
4. The weather has been very warm in November.
5. Mr. Johanson is an interesting person.
6. Winter lasts too long for me.
7. The beach was used by the entire town.
8. The apples had a sour taste.
9. Time passes rapidly during our vacation.
10. The jury made the right decision.

  1. A song is sung by him. 
2. The spider was killed by the boy. 
3. Let him be helped. 
4. Maize is sown in the rainy season. 
5. Is a letter being written by you? 
6. A canal was being dug by the workers. 
7. The job will be finished (by me) by the end of this week. 
8. Has your job been finished by you? 
9. He has been informed of his mother’s death. 
10.All the necessary precautions were taken by them. 
11.The wind blew down the trees.
12.The police caught the thieves.
13.Alice posted the letter.
14.The hostess received us.
15.They/somebody killed the snake with a stick.
16.The people welcomed the minister.
17.They found him guilty of murder.
18.John Mathew built this house in 1991.


1. had been printed - transitive passive
2. opened - transitive active
3. began - intransitive complete
4. has been - intransitive linking
5. is - intransitive linking
6. lasts - intransitive linking or intransitive complete
7. was used - transitive passive
8. had - transitive active
9. passes - intransitive complete
10. made - transitive active

SOURCES : built this house in 1991.

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