Active and Passive Voice

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–          Active Form

In active sentences, the thing doing the action is the subject of the sentence and the thing receiving the action is the object. Most sentences are active.

[Thing doing action] + [verb] + [thing receiving action]

Examples:

Tom writes a letter.

Tom is a thing who is doing action.

Writes is a verb.

A letter is a thing which is receiving action.

–          Passive Form

In passive sentences, the thing receiving the action is the subject of the sentence and the thing doing the action is optionally included near the end of the sentence. You can use the passive form if you think that the thing receiving the action is more important or should be emphasized. You can also use the passive form if you do not know who is doing the action or if you do not want to mention who is doing the action.

[Thing receiving action] + [be] + [past participle of verb] + [by] + [thing doing action]

Examples:

A letter is written by Tom.

A letter is a thing which is receiving action.

“Is” is tobe.

Written is past participle of verb.

By is by.

Tom is a thing who is doing action.

Tense Active Passive
Simple Present Once a week, Tom cleans the house. Once a week, the house is cleaned by Tom.
Simple Past Sam repaired the car. The car was repaired by Sam.
Present Continuous Right now, Sarah is writing the letter. Right now, the letter is being written by Sarah.
Past Continuous The salesman was helping the customer when the thief came into the store. The customer was being helped by the salesman when the thief came into the store.
Present Perfect Many tourists have visited that castle. That castle has been visited by many tourists.
Past Perfect George had repaired many cars before he received his mechanic’s license. Many cars had been repaired by George before he received his mechanic’s license.

Source : http://www.englishpage.com/verbpage/activepassive.html

Active and Passive with Modals

Active voice: CAN Passive voice: CAN BE
She can play a violin.
She can not play a violin.
Can she play a violin?
A violin can be played by her.
A violin can not be played by her.
Can a violin be played by her?
Active voice: MAY Passive voice: MAY BE
I may buy the computer.
I may not buy the computer.
May I buy the computer?
The computer may be bought by me.
The computer may not be bought by me.
May the computer be bought by me?
Active voice: MIGHT Passive voice: MIGHT BE
Guests might play chess.
Guests might not play chess.

Might guests play chess?

Chess might be played by guests.
Chess might not be played by guests.

Might Chess be played by guest?

Active voice: SHOULD Passive voice: SHOULD BE
Students should study all lessons.
Students should not study all lessons.
Should students study all lessons?
All lessons should be studied by students.
All lessons should not be studied by students.
Should all lessons be studied by students?
Active voice: MUST Passive voice: MUST BE
You must learn the test-taking strategies.
You must not learn the test-taking strategies.

Must you learn the test-taking strategies?

Test-taking strategies must be learnt by you.
Test-taking strategies must not be learned by you.

Must test-taking strategies be learned by you?

Active voice: OUGHT TO Passive voice: OUGHT TO BE
They ought to take the examination.

They ought not to take the examination.

Ought to they take the examination?

The examination ought to be taken by them.

The examination ought to not be taken by them.

Ought to the examination be taken by them?

Source : http://www.studyandexam.com/passive-voice-for-modal.html

Passive Voice – Exercises

Fill in the correct passive form of the verb in parentheses.

Example :

  1. After the earthquake, aid was sent to the people of Haiti. (sent)
  2. The electricity was cut off because the bill hadn’t been paid. (not pay)
  1. Penicillin ______ by Alexander Fleming in 1928. (discover)
  2. Statements ______ from all the witnesses at this moment. (take)
  3. Whales ______ by an international ban on whaling. (must protect)
  4. Both weddings _______ by Good Taste. (cater)
  5. A Picasso ____ from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.(steal)
  6. ____ this washing machine ______in Germany? (make)
  7. Tea _____ in China. (grow)
  8. When we reached the airport, we found that all the flights____ due to the storm. (cancel)
  9. The fax _____ until tomorrow morning. (not send)
  10. The soundtrack of a movie _____ always _____ after the filming is finished. (is/add)

Answers:

  1. was discovered (Simple Past because “was” refer to tobe of past simple).
  2. are being taken (Present Continous because “are being” refer to pattern of present continous ).
  3. must be protected (Present Simple with modal “Must”)
  4. were catered (Simple Past because “were” refer to tobe of past simple).
  5. was stolen (Simple Past because “was” refer to tobe of past simple).
  6. Was/made (Simple Past because “was” refer to tobe of past simple).
  7. is grown (Simple Present because “is” refer to tobe of present simple).
  8. had been cancelled (Past Perfect because “had been” refer to pattern of past perfect).
  9. won’t be sent (Simple Future because “won’t or will not” refer to pattern of past simple).
  10. is/added (Simple Present because “is” refer to tobe of present simple).

Source : http://www.gingersoftware.com/content/grammar-rules/verbs/passive-voice/

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