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Active & Passive Voice | CBSE | ICSE | State Boards | English Grammar

Updated: Jun 7, 2020

Voice- Active and Passive

What is Voice?
Voice is the property of a verb which show whether the subject is acting or is being acted upon.
Voice is of two types- Active Voice & Passive voice
Active Voice
When the subject or doer itself does the work, the verb I the sentence is in the ‘Active Voice.’
e.g. I am doing the work.
Passive Voice:
When the subject or doer does not do the work itself but receives the result of the action or something has been to it, the verb in the sentence is in the ‘Passive Voice’.
e.g. The work is being done by me.

Rules of Changing the Voice:

1. Object of the active voice takes the position of the subject in passive.

e.g I do the work ( Active Voice)

Object: the work ( Object in Active Voice)

Passive Voice:

The work is done by me (Now ‘The work’ is subject in passive voice)

2. In Passive voice am, is, are, was, were etc is followed by the third form of the verb ( V3)

3. ‘By’ is placed after the V3.


1. We cannot make passive voice of the following four tenses.

a) Present Perfect Continuous Tense

b) Past Perfect Continuous Tense

c) Future Continuous Tense

d) Future Perfect Continuous Tense.

2. Intransitive Verb(i.e. verb without object) cannot be changed into passive Voice.

e.g. She sang very well. (This sentence cannot be made passive voice)

3. Reflexive Pronoun cannot be put into passive.

e.g. They enjoyed themselves. (Cannot be converted into passive voice)

4. Revise the Tenses and Learn the passive structure of different tenses from the following table.

1. How to Convert an interrogative Sentence into Passive Voice?

a) If an interrogative sentence begins with ‘who’ in active voice, it is replaced by ‘whom’ in passive voice.

e.g. Who teaches you English? ( Active)

By whom are you taught English? ( Passive)

b) If an interrogative sentence begins with ‘wh’ words, these are retained in passive voice.


a) How did you do this work? ( active)

How was this work done by you? ( Passive)

b) Why did you do it? ( Active)

Why was it done by you? ( Passive)

c) If the active voice begins with ‘do/does/did’, they are replaced by am/is/are/was/were in passive voice according to singular or plural subject.

i) Do you like Maths?

Is Maths liked by you?

ii) Do they watch films?

Are films watched by them?

iii) Does he watch film?

Is film watched by him?

iv) Did he watch the movie?

Was the movie watched by him?

d) We use ‘let’ to convert the active into passive voice of imperative sentences.

e.g. Do the work now.

Let the work be done now.

Sing a song now.

Let a song be sung now.

e) ‘Please’ in active voice is replaced by ‘you are requested’ in passive voice.

e.g. Please sing a song.

You are requested to sing a song.

f) If the active voice starts with ‘it is time’, the following pattern is used in passive voice.

e.g. It is time to read a book.

It is time for a book to be read.

g) Remember the following pattern of conversion from the following table

h) Refer to the following table for some more examples from imperative sentences.

Use of the Passive Voice

1. To Describe a process

  • Clothes are first kept inside the washing machine.

  • Detergent is then kept inside the box.

2. For Reporting Incident in Newspapers.

  • The boy was immediately taken to the hospital.

  • A school student was run over by a lorry.

  • The driver of the lorry was arrested.

3. For making a request, invitation or announcement

  • You are requested to use the dustbin.

  • You are cordially invited to preside over the meeting.

  • The Rajdhani Express will be delayed by an hour.

4. For Writing Notice

  • A cricket coaching camp will be held from 16th May.

  • The students are hereby informed that...

  • An inter-house cricket match will be conducted

5. For giving warning

  • Smoking is prohibited on the premises.

  • Trespassers will be prohibited.

6. For Describing social and Historical Significance

  • M.K. Gandhi was assassinated.

  • A great fight was fought in Kargil.

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