Passive Voice and Active Voice

Passive Voice and Active Voice

There are two ways to express an action of a subject in relation to its object.

  • Active voice
  • Passive voice

In “active voice” subject acts upon object, while in “passive voice” object is acted upon by subject. It can also be said, in “active voice” subject does a work on object, while in “passive voice” object is worked on by subject. Let's have a little look on normal condition on active voice as an example, Subject +verb +object but in passive voice this formula reversed like this, object + is, am, are, was, were + 3rd form of the verb. In passive voice the actual doer is not mentioned.

Fundamental Rules for changing from active voice to passive voice 


  1. The places of subject and object are interchanged i.e. the object shifts to the place of subject and subject shifts to the place of object in passive voice. Example:
    Active voice: I write a letter.
    Passive voice: A letter is written by me.
  2. Sometimes subject (actual doer)of sentence is not used in passive voice. Subject of sentence can be ignored in passive voice, if without subject it can give enough meaning in passive voice. Example:
    Passive voice: Eggs are sold in dozen. 
  3. 3rd form of verb (past participle) is always used as main verb in sentences of passive voice for all tenses. Examples:
    Active voice: She sings a song.
    Passive voice: A song is sung by her.
  4. The word “by” (works as an agent) is not always used before subject in passive voice. Sometimes words “with, to, etc” may also be used before subject in passive voice.Examples:
    Active voice: The water fills the tank. 
    Passive voice: The tank is filled with water.
    Active voice:  She knows me.
    Passive voice: I am known to her.

Auxiliary verbs are (is. am, are, was, were) used in passive voice according to the sentence of tense.         

Passive voice rules for all tenses

Passive voice with modal

Passive voice for imperative sentences

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