1. What is Voice and why do we need a Change for it?

Pick up any sentence, an English one, and you will get a verb in the sentence; now, if you notice the verb carefully and you find it as a transitive or action verb, you will further notice that an action transits from one end to the other end of the verb. This transition showing nature of the verb is called Voice. Where there is an action, there is a doer. Now if the doer acts, it is the Active Voice; on the other hand, if the doer is acted upon, it is the Passive Voice.

Now considering the same sentence picked up earlier, there you can observe that the doer and its action are not in an equal weightage. That means, either the doer possesses more importance than its action or the action done by the doer is more important than the doer itself, doesn’t it? Then we bring the important one in the subject position of a sentence. In another scenario, if we want to hide the doer from its action we bring forth Passive Voice. So, now we have some reason to Change a Voice.

2. Kinds of Voice

There are two kinds of voice. I. Active Voice, & II. Passive Voice.

Active Voice

Where the doer is the subject of a sentence and does the action. e.g.,

  • The king mocked at the servant.
  • The tiger caught a fox.
  • We found the lock broken last night.
  • She always cooks delicious food.
  • I shall have written the letter.

Passive Voice

Where the action is done upon the subject in a sentence. e.g.,

  • The servant was mocked at by the king.
  • A fox was caught by the tiger.
  • The lock was found by us broken last night.
  • Delicious food is always cooked by her.
  • The letter will have been written by me.

Direct Object & Indirect Object

In a sentence, if you ask the verb with ‘what?’ the answer shows you a Direct Object and if you ask the verb with ‘whom?’ the answer shows you an Indirect Object. Let’s take an example.

The teacher gave you a present.

Here, GAVE is the verb. So now, if we ask the verb with ‘what?‘ the answer comes -‘a present’; that means in the given sentence ‘a present’ is Direct Object. Similarly, if we question the verb with ‘whom?‘ the answer comes ‘you’; that means ‘you’ is Indirect Object.

3. How to change the Active Voice into Passive

Simple Present

Obj + am/is/are + V3 + by + Sub

Obj + am/is/are + not + V3 + by + Sub

What + am/is/are + Obj + V3 + by + Sub

  • They play cricket.
  • Cricket is played by them.

Present Continuous

Obj + am/is/are + being + V3 + by + Sub

Obj + am/is/are + not + being + V3 + by + Sub

What + am/is/are + Obj + being + V3 + by + Sub

  • We are learning English.
  • English is being learnt by us.

Simple Past

Obj + was/were + V3 + by + Sub

Obj + was/were + not + V3 + by + Sub

What + was/were + Obj + V3 + by + Sub

  • Yesterday I made it.
  • It was made by me yesterday.
  • The great man acknowledged me as a flatter to him.
  • I was acknowledged by a great man to be a flatter.

Past Continuous

Obj + was/were + being + V3 + by + Sub

Obj + was/were + not + being + V3 + by + Sub

What + was/were + Obj + being + V3 + by + Sub

  • The boy was reading this book.
  • This book was being read by the boy.

4. Miscellaneous Types

  • Change the voice.
  • Let the voice be changed.
  • Keep the ball rolling.
  • Let the ball be kept rolling.
  • Please help me with some money.
  • You are requested to help me with some money.
  • Don’t run in the Sun.
  • You are advised not to run in the Sun.
  • You are forbidden to run in the Sun.
  • Work hard to pass in the exam.
  • You are advised to work hard to pass in the exam.
  • Do not insult him.
  • Let him not be insulted.
  • When Ram came home, police arrested him.
  • When Ram came home, he was arrested by police.
  • Darjeeling grows tea.
  • Tea is grown in Darjeeling.

Remember! An indefinite pronoun in the active voice is never repeated in the passive voice. e.g.,

  • One must speak the truth.
  • The truth must be spoken.
  • They objected to my proposal.
  • My proposal was objected to.
  • One should not give unsolicited advice.
  • Unsolicited advice should not be given.

5. Passive of Modal Auxiliary

Obj + modal aux. + be + V3 + by + Sub

Obj + modal aux. + not + be + V3 + by + Sub

Wh- + modal aux. + Obj + be + V3 + by + Sub

  • I can do it.
  • It can be done by me.
  • Why should I obey your orders?
  • Why should your orders be obeyed by me?
  • What can I do for you now?
  • What can be done by me for you now?
  • He may go there tomorrow.
  • Can’t be changed. ( ‘go’ → intransitive verb, no object )
  • You ought to complete the task today.
  • The task ought to be completed by you today.
  • We ought to have saved our environment.
  • Our environment ought to have been saved.
  • Can those happy moments be ever forgotten by me?
  • Can I ever forget those happy moments?

6. Quasi Passive

  • Sugar is sweet.
  • Sugar is sweet when it is tested.
  • Tea is hot.
  • Tea is hot when it is sipped.