Rules for Competitive Exams in Active and Passive Voice

Safalta Expert Published by: Saksham Chauhan Updated Mon, 28 Mar 2022 11:37 PM IST

Highlights

The passive voice is a grammatical voice formation that can be found in many languages. The active voice is a grammatical voice found in many languages around the world. The grammatical subject expresses the theme or patient of the main verb in a clause with passive voice—that is, the person or thing that suffers the action or has its condition modified. Active voice, on the other hand, has the subject acting as the agent. The subject of the passive sentence "The tree was torn down," for example, denotes the patient rather than the action's actor. The words "Someone pulled down the tree" and "The tree is down," on the other hand, are active statements.
Six bananas must be eaten by the child. Bananas (subject) are being eaten (verb). 

               
                                        
 

Introduction to Active and Passive Voices

 

Passive voice:

The passive voice is a grammatical voice formation that can be found in many languages. The grammatical subject expresses the theme or patient of the main verb in a clause with passive voice – that is, the person or thing who suffers the action or has its condition modified. Active voice, on the other hand, has the subject acting as the agent. The subject of the passive sentence "The tree was torn down," for example, denotes the patient rather than the action's actor. The words "Someone pulled down the tree" and "The tree is down," on the other hand, are active statements.
 Examples::: Six bananas must be eaten by the child – Bananas (subject) are being eaten (verb)

  1. That toy house was built by Raj – House (subject) is built by Raj (verb)
  2. The letter was mailed by Shama – The letter (subject) was being mailed (verb)     

KEY POINTS TO REMEMBER 

*It's not a grammatical fault to use the passive voice; it's only a matter of taste.
*If it makes your sentence sound clearer and more natural, use the active voice.
*The verb "to be" plus a past participle are required to form passive voice.
*When the entity receiving an action is the most significant aspect of the sentence—especially in scientific and legal situations, when the performer of an action is unknown, or when the subject is distracting or irrelevant—the passive voice is your friend.
*Don't be passive when it comes to good writing, even if your sentences need to be.
 

Active voice:

The active voice is a grammatical voice found in many languages around the world.

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Source: Safalta.com

In nominative–accusative languages, such as English and most other Indo-European languages, it is the unmarked voice for clauses with a transitive verb. When the subject of the verb performs the action indicated, the verb is normally in the active voice.
Examples:  1.He writes an essay
                     2.The kangaroo carried her baby in her pouch.
 
 
                   

At its simplest the distinction between active and passive voice is:

  • The active voice emphasises the person or thing doing the action.
  • The passive voice emphasises the recipient of the action.
 
Active and Passive Voice Comparison
 

               ACTIVE VOICE                       PASSIVE VOICE

 
 
Harry ate six shrimp at dinner. At dinner, six shrimp were eaten by Harry.
Beautiful giraffes roam the savannah. The savannah is roamed by beautiful giraffes.
Sue changed the flat tire. The flat tire was changed by Sue.
We are going to watch a movie tonight. A movie is going to be watched by us tonight.
I ran the obstacle course in record time. The obstacle course was run by me in record time.
The crew paved the entire stretch of highway. The entire stretch of highway was paved by the crew.
Mom read the novel in one day. The novel was read by Mom in one day.
I will clean the house every Saturday. The house will be cleaned by me every Saturday.




The sentences in the following questions are in Active/Passive voice. Choose the option that best expresses the given sentence in the Passive/Active voice from the options provided.
 

Question 1:

Why did you not agree to my proposal ? 
 
Option 1:Why was my proposal not agreed to ?
Option 2:Why was my proposal not agreed by you 
Option 3:Why my proposal was not agreed to by you ?
Option 4:Why was my proposal not agreed to by you ? 

 

Question 2:

He was obliged to resign. 
 
Option 1:He was made to resign. 
Option 2:To resign was his obligation.
Option 3:Circumstances obliged him to resign. 
Option 4:Resignation obliged him.

 

Question 3:

Someone saw him picking up a gun. 
 
Option 1:He was seen pick up a gun by someone. 
Option 2:He was seen picking up a gun by someone. 
Option 3:He was seen when he was picking up a gun.
Option 4:He was seen by someone pick a gun.
 
  




 

Question 4:

A lion does not eat grass, however hungry he may be. 
 
Option 1:Grass is not eaten by a lion, however hungry he may be.
Option 2:Grass is not being eaten by a lion, however hungry he may be. 
Option 3:Grass is eaten not by a lion, however hungry he may be. 
Option 4:Grass is being not eaten by a lion, however hungry he may be.

 

Question 5:

This shirt cannot be worn by me any longer.
 
Option 1:I cannot wear this shirt any longer.
Option 2:Wearing of this shirt any longer is not possible.
Option 3:This shirt is too worn out to be worn any longer
Option 4:This worn out shirt cannot be worn any longer.

 

Question 6:

Someone pulled the bull violently. 
 
Option 1:The bull had been pulled violently by someone.
Option 2:The bull was to be pulled violently by someone.
Option 3:The bull had been pulled violently
Option 4:The bull was pulled violently.




 

Question 7:

I saw him leaving the house.
 
Option 1:Leaving the house he was seen by me
Option 2:He was seen leaving the house by me.
Option 3:He had been seen leaving the house. 
Option 4:He was seen to be leaving the house.




 

Question 8:

Don’t laugh at me.
 
Option 1:Let me be laughed at. 
Option 2:Let me be not laughed at.
Option 3:I am laughed at. 
Option 4:Let me be not laughed.

 

Question 9:

The people elected him Mayor.
 
Option 1:Him was elected Mayor the people. 
Option 2:He was elected Mayor by the people.
Option 3:Mayor is elected by the people. 
Option 4:He is elected by the people Mayor.

 

Question 10:

We all know that there is only one God.
 
Option 1:We are all known that there is only one God.
Option 2:It is known to us all that there is only one God
Option 3:We have all known that there is only one God.
Option 4:Only one God is known by us all






 

Question 11:

The noise of the traffic kept me awake.
 
Option 1:I was kept awake by the noise of the traffic
Option 2:The traffic kept me awake by the noise
Option 3:I kept myself awake due to the noise of the traffic
Option 4:I remained awake by the noise of the traffic 

 

Question 12:

I am doing sums
 
Option 1:Sums are done by me
Option 2:Sums are being done by me
Option 3:I must be doing the sums
Option 4:Sums must be done by me 

 

Question 13:

They say that you did that.
 
Option 1:You are told to do that
Option 2:You are advised to do that
Option 3:You did that said by them
Option 4:You are said to have done that

 

Question 14:

Whom does he look for ?
 
Option 1:He is looked after for whom ?
Option 2:Who is looked after for him?
Option 3:Who is looked for by him ? 
Option 4:He is looked after by whom?


 

Question 15:

Do you understand what I mean ?
 
Option 1:What I mean....is that understood by you 
Option 2:Was what I mean understood by you ?
Option 3:Is what I mean understood by you ?
Option 4:What I mean is understood by you ?

 

Question 16:

He teaches us grammar.
 
Option 1:Grammar was taught to us by him
Option 2:We are taught grammar by him.
Option 3:We were teached grammar by him. 
Option 4:Grammar will be teached to us by him

 

Question 17:

The king gave him a reward.
 
Option 1:He was given by the king a reward. 
Option 2:He was given the reward by a king. 
Option 3:He was given a reward by the king.
Option 4:A reward was given by him to the king.

 

Question 18:

Who taught you grammar ?
 
Option 1:By whom you were taught grammar ? 
Option 2:By whom were you taught grammar ?
Option 3:By whom was grammar you taught ?
Option 4:By whom were grammar taught to you ?


 

Question 19:

The principal kept the staff members waiting 
 
Option 1:The staff members are kept waiting for the principal.
Option 2:The staff members were kept waiting by the principal.
Option 3:The staff members were waiting for the principal.
Option 4:The staff members were being kept waiting by the principal.

 

Question 20:

The smugglers did not realise that their conversation was being recorded.
 
Option1:The smugglers did not realise that someone was recording their 
               conversation.
Option2:Someone did not realise that the smugglers were recording their 
               conversation.
Option 3:Conversation was recorded when the smugglers did not realise .
 
Option 4:The smugglers recorded their conversation without realising.

 








Question1:
Answer:
4.Why was my proposal not agreed to by you ?
 
Explanation: Why was my proposal not agreed to by you ? (Passive) The sentence is in Simple Past Tense. (Active)



Question2:
Answer:
3.Circumstances obliged him to resign.
 
Explanation: Circumstances obliged him to resign. (Active) The sentence is in Simple Past Tense.  (Passive) 



Question3:
Answer: 
2:He was seen picking up a gun by someone. 
 
Explanation: He was seen picking up a gun by someone. (Passive) The sentence is in Simple Past Tense. (Active) 



Question4:
Answer:
1:Grass is not eaten by a lion, however hungry he may be.
 
 Explanation: Grass is not eaten by a lion, however hungry he may be. (Passive) The sentence is in Simple Present Tense. (Active)



Question5:
Answer:
1:I cannot wear this shirt any longer. 
 
Explanation: I cannot wear this shirt any longer. (Active) The sentence is in Simple Present Tense. (Passive)  
Question6:
Answer:
4:The bull was pulled violently.
 
Explanation: The bull was pulled violently. (Passive) The sentence is in Simple Past Tense. (Active)



Question7:
Answer:
2:He was seen leaving the house by me.
 
Explanation: He was seen leaving the house by me. (Passive) The sentence is in Simple Past Tense. (Active)



Question8:
Answer:
2:Let me be not laughed at.
 
Explanation: Let me not be laughed at, (Passive) The sentence is in Simple Present Tense. (Active) In Active Voice, if the sentence expresses command or order or request (Imperative mood), then, in Passive Voice the word let is placed at the beginning of the sentence. e.g. Do it. (Active). Let it be done. (Passive)  



Question9:
Answer:
2:He was elected Mayor by the people.
Explanation: He was elected Mayor by the people. (Passive) The sentence is in Simple Past Tense. (Active)



Question10:
Answer:
2:It is known to us all that there is only one God.
 
Explanation: It is known to us all that there is only one God. (Passive) The sentence is in Simple Present Tense. (Active) It is also a Complex Sentence.  
 
Question 11:
Answer:
1:I was kept awake by the noise of the traffic.
 
Explanation: (1) I was kept awake by the noise of the traffic. (Passive) The sentence is in Simple Past Tense. (Active) 



Question12:
Answer:
2:Sums are being done by me.
 
Explanation: (2) Sums are being done by me. (Passive)



Question13:
Answer:
4:You are said to have done that.
 
Explanation: . (4) You are said to have done that. (Passive) The sentence is in Simple Present Tense. (Active). It is also a Complex sentence. In changing the Voice of Complex Sentences the Voice of both the Principal and Subordinate clauses should be changed. They say that you did that. ¯ ¯ ¯ Subordinate Connector Principal Clause



Question14:
Answer:
3:Who is looked for by him ?
 
Explanation: (3) Who is looked for by him ? (Passive) The sentence is in Simple Present Tense. (Active)



Question15:
Answer:
3:Is what I mean understood by you ?
 
Explanation: (3) Is what I mean understood by you ? (Passive) The sentence is in Simple Present Tense. (Active). It is an Interrogative Sentence. When an Interrogative Sentence begins with the Auxiliary verb-Do it should be changed into first Assertive, then Passive and then an Interrogative one. Sentence ® Do you understand what I mean ? Step 1 (Assertive) You understand what I mean ? Step 2 (Passive) What I mean is understood by you? Step 3 (Interrrogative) Is what I mean understood by you?  



Question16:
Answer:
2:We are taught grammar by him.
 
Explanation: (2) We are taught grammar by him. (Passive) The sentence is in Simple Present Tense. (Active)



Question17:
Answer:
3:He was given a reward by the king.
 
Explanation: (3) He was given a reward by the king. (Passive) The sentence is in Simple Past Tense. (Active)



Question18:
Answer:
2:By whom were you taught grammar ?
 
Explanation: (2) By whom were you taught grammar ? (Passive) The sentence is in Simple Past Tense. (Active) who in Active form becomes by whom in the Passive.



Question19:
Answer:
2:The staff members were kept waiting by the principal.
 
Explanation: 2) The staff members were kept waiting by the principal. (Passive) The sentence is in Simple Past Tense. (Active).  
Question20:
Answer:
1:The smugglers did not realise that someone was recording their conversation. 
 
Explanation: (1) The smugglers did not realise that someone was recording their Conversation. (Active) The sentence is in Past Continuous Tense. (Passive) The smugglers did not realise that their conversation was being recorded



 

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