A verb may tell us about what a person or a thing does. Therefore, a verb is said to be an action on the part of a doer/subject. For example-
(i) They will do the work.
(ii) The teacher has punished the boy.
The verbs do, punish’ are transitive. The actions of the subjects They, The teacher pases over to the objects work, the boy’. Therefore, these verbs are called transitive. The Verb may also tell us what is done to a person or a thing. Now read the following sentences :
(ii) The work will be done by them. (Passive Voice)
(iv) The boy has been punished by the teacher. (Passive Voice)
How to Define a Voice?
(a) In active voice a sentence begins with a subject (They, The teacher) sentence (i) & (ii).
(b) In passive voice a sentence begins with an object (The work, The boy) sentences
(ii) & (iv)
However, sentences only with transitive verbs admit of Passive Expressions.
Now study the following sentences :
(V) Jaya came here.
(VI) Father is going out.
The verbs ‘come, go’ are intransitive because these verbs do not have objects. The effect of the action does not pass over to any object. Therefore, these verbs are called intransitive. Since they are not used with object, they do not admit of Passive Expression.
Therefore, before making a sentence, a student must note carefully whether the sentence is beginning with subject or object.
How to Make a Passive Voice?
(a) The passive voice of an active voice is formed by using the verb ‘to be’. However, the original active verb must be converted into Past Participle.
(b) Object may be placed before the verb in passive expression.
Now study the examples.
Note : The forms of ‘Be’ as used in passive voice are explained in the table below-
In conclusion, the construction of these sentences may be represented as follows-
(a) (i) Subject + Transitive verb + Object (Active)
(ii) Subject + Intransitive verb. (Active)
(b) Object + To be + PP of Transitive verb + Subject Passive Voice
[Passive voice – Sentences (iii) and (iv)]
The Verb “To be’ (Study the following table)
The verb ‘To be’ has following two uses-
1. As an auxiliary verb it is used with other verbs both in active and passive voice.
2. As an ordinary/regular verb it is used in ‘No verb’ sentences.
The use of ‘To be in the passive sentences,
Object + be (be + P.P of Transitive Verb) + by Subject
(A) Infinitive, (B) Modals, (C) Future Indefinite
(i). He doesn’t like to be punished.
(ii) The young persons should be taught good manners.
(iii) He will be punished for his misbehaviour.
(D) Present Indefinite -is, am, are
(i) She is taught English daily by her class teacher.
(ii) I am often invited to attend party by my friends.
(iii) Elections are held every five years.
(E) Past Indefinite—was, were
(i) She was punished for her negligence.
(ii) Both the friends were selected for senior Hockey team.
(F) Perfect (Present, Past, Future)-been
(i) He has just been elected as a member of the Committee.
(ii) She had already been admitted to hospital.
(iii) My friend will have been married by now.
(G) Continuous (Present, Past)-being
(i) The match is being telecast now.
(ii) The match was being telecast yesterday.
(i) Nobody likes being cheated.
(ii) The murderer escaped being hanged.
(iii) I saw her being taken to hospital,
Note : Future continuous and perfect continuous tenses do not admit of passive voice expressions.
Some Hints on Making Passive Voice
(I)The objects used in the following sentences are used with verbs which do not agree with the common rules of verbs. Such nouns are given in chapter on Nouns under Rule (iv) & (v).
Study the following sentences-
(i) He gave me spectacles.
Spectacles were given to me by him.
(ii) They play Billiards.
Billiards is played by them.
In these sentences the noun ‘spectacles’ is followed by plural verb and ‘Billiards’ by singular verb. Students should take note of such misleading nouns.
(II) Study carefully the use of interrogative pronoun while changing active sentences into passive.
Which, what’ etc. are placed as they are
However, when What/Which’ is used as a subject, it is changed into ‘By what.
But Who’ is changed into ‘By whom’ and ‘Whom’ is changed into Who’.
(i) What are you writing?
What is being written by you?
(ii) What makes you angry?
By what are you made angry?
(ii) Who teaches you English?
By whom are you taught English?
Or Who are you taught English by?
(iv) Whom are you teaching?
Who is being taught by you?
(v)Which girl helped you?
By which girl were you helped?
(III) (a) When the subjects are indefinite/vague pronouns or understood nouns, it is not necessary to use them in passive voice as ‘by somebody.
(i) Somebody has picked my pocket.
My pocket has been picked.
i) They will declare the result soon.
The result will be declared soon.
(b) Sentences beginning with negative indefinite pronouns are converted into
negative. For example-
(i) Nobody can change destiny
Destiny cannot be changed.
(ii) None saw her in the parlour.
She was not seen in the parlour.
(IV) When principle clause is followed by Noun clause as object the passive voice is made as follows-
(i) People consider that he is honest.
It is considered that he is honest.
(ii) We hope that he will pass.
It is hoped that he will pass.
“Study these verbs carefully which are followed by Noun clause as object consider, believe, understand, suspect, report, say, claim, know, expect, allege, find’, learn, require, suppose (appear, seem)”
(V) Verbs with two objects-Sometimes verbs are used with two objects in active voice sentences. Passive Voice can be made with either of the objects.
(i) He gave me a book.
(a) I was given a book by him
(b) A book was given to me by him.
(ii) They made him King. (Complement; King is complement of the verb ‘make)
He was made King.
(VI) By’ is not used with certain verbs when making a passive voice, Instead we use at, with, in, to, etc.
(i) I know him.
He is known to me.
(ii) Her sudden arrival surprised everyone
Everybody was surprised at her sudden arrival.
(i) She is to write a letter.
A letter is to be written by her
(ii) They were to complete the work.
The work was to be completed by them.
(iii) My sister has to buy a new car.
A new car has to be bought by my sister
(iv) There is nothing to lose.
There is nothing to be lost.
(V) I would like someone to help me.
I would like to be helped.
(vi) I am not to blame for the loss. [Passive sense (responsible for)]
(i) I remember my mother taking me to doctor.
I remember being taken to doctor by my mother.
(ii) I found his friends laughing at him.
I found him being laughed at by his friends.
(IX) If a preposition or an adverb is used with a verb to convey specific meaning, it should not be removed while making a passive voice. For example-
(i) Mothers look after their children.
Children are looked after by their mothers.
(ii) You should not look down upon the poor.
The poor should not be looked down upon.
(X) The Verbs, ‘Let, bid, make, help, feel, see, watch, hear’, are used with direct infinitive (without to) in active voice. In passive voice these verbs are used with Infinitive (to + verb)
‘Leť is an exception. ‘Let’ is followed by direct infinitive both in active & passive voice sentences. For example-
(i) I bade him go.
He was bidden to go.
(ii) I have made her sing a song.
She has been made to sing a song.
(iii) She let me go.
I was let go by her.
(XI) Imperative Sentences
(i) Command and order
(ii) Permission, Request, Advice
1. Command and Order
(a) Passive-When object is given, use Let + object + be + Past Participle.
Bring a book
Let a book be brought,
Turn Payal out
Let Payal be turned out.
(6) Passive-When no object is given, begin in the sentence with-
You are ordered/commanded to..
(i)Go out at once
You are ordered to go out at once.
(ii) Don’t stay here
You are ordered not to stay here.
2. Permission, Request, Advice.
(a) Passive-When object is given, make passive with object
Object + Should+past participle
Parents should be obeyed
(ii) Listen to me
I should be listened to
(ii) Prepare for war
You should be prepared for war
Be prepared for war
Note: Use of let is avoided in this type of sentences.
(b) Passive voice-When no object is given, begin the sentence with You are allowed, requested or advised..
(i) Please come soon
You are requested to come soon
(ii) Please don’t talk loudly
You are requested not to talk loudly.
(XII) Sentences Beginning with Let (Permission & Suggestion)
(a) Passive-When object is given make passive voice as follows-
(i) Let me play here (Permission)
I may be allowed to play here.
(ii) Let us help him. (Suggestion)
He should be helped.
(b) Passive-When no object is given, begin, the sentence, with….
It is suggested….
(i) Let us stay here (Suggestion)
It is suggested that we should stay here.
(ii) Let us sleep here.
It is suggested that we should sleep here.
(XII) To be’ is often allowed in the sense of ‘have’ in passive voice sentences of the following verbs-
Fall, rise, come, arrive, go, lose.
(i) Mighty Caeser is fallen. (has fallen)
(ii) Summer is come. (has come)
(iii) The book is lost. (has been)
(iv) The sun is risen. (has risen)
(v) Golden days are gone. (have gone)
(XIV) Miscellaneous Sentences Study these sentences carefully :
1. The police arrested a militant and sent him to jail. (Active)
A militant was arrested by police and (was) sent to jail. (Passive)
2. It is necessary to help the poor. (Active)
The poor are required to be helped. (Passive )
3. It is time to wind up business. (Active)
It is time for the business to be wound up. (Passive )
4. The fruit tastes sweet. (Active )
The fruit is sweet when( it is) tasted. (Passive )
5. I have to stay here. (Active )
I am obliged to stay here. (Passive )
6. It is your duty to help your children.(Active )
You are supposed (bound in duty) to help your children.( Passive)
7. It is impossible to do. (Active )
It is impossible to be done. (Passive)