Active and Passive Voice

An Action of a Subject, in relation to the Object can be expressed in two ways. These two ways of expressing the action are known as Voices in English Grammar.


  • I write a thesis.
  • A thesis is written by me.

Though, in the above examples, the meaning remains unchanged, the structure undergoes complete transformation.

We know that every sentence has a Subject, a Verb and an Object. Subject is the protagonist who works through the Verb on the Object, who is the recipient of the action.

To understand better the difference between the Active and the Passive Voice, we must pay heed to the sentence structure closely.

Active Voice used when the subject performs an action stated by the Verb.

In such a case, the Subject acts upon the object.

It follows the pattern of

·  Subject + Verb+ Object.

They are often used to lend impact and force to writing.


Passive Voice, on the other hand is used when the Subject is acted upon by the Verb.

 It follows the pattern of

·  Object+Verb+Subject

It is a more obtuse and roundabout way of stating the obvious. The sequence of Subject and Object is reversed in case of Active and Passive Voice.

Writers, across the world prefer the use of Active Voice to make their writing more direct, simple and impactful.

For Example:

Active Voice:     I ate 6 bananas.

Passive Voice:   6 bananas were eaten by me.           


Active Voice:     Weare going to watch a play this week.

Passive Voice:   A play is going to be watched by us this week.


Active Voice:   He bought a house.

Passive Voice: A house was bought by him.


Rules to be borne in mind while converting a sentence from Active to Passive:

Rule No. 1            The structure of sentence shall change. The position of Subject and Object shall reverse in case of Active and Passive Voice.

Active Voice:     He sings a song.

Passive Voice:   A song is sung by him.


Rule No. 2            The Past Participle of third form of Verb shall be sued in Passive Voice sentences for all tenses.

Active Voice:     Rahul eats an egg.

Passive Voice:   An egg is eaten by Rahul.


Rule No. 3            The word ‘by’ will precede the Subject in Passive Voice sentences.

Active Voice:     Ram hits the ball.

Passive Voice:   The ball was hit by Ram.


Rule No. 4           Other words like ‘with’ or ‘to’ may also be used in place of ‘by’ in Passive Voice sentences. However, such cases are rare.

Active Voice: I know him

Passive Voice: He is known to me.


Rule No. 5            The Auxiliary Verb undergoes a change in Passive Voice sentences depending upon the tense used in Active voice sentence, as per specific rules.

1.       Active Voice: The World over speaks English.

        Passive Voice: English is (be) spoken all over the world.

2.       Active Voice: They served the lunch.

        Passive Voice: The lunch was being (be) served.


Rule No. 6           It is not mandatory to have the Subject in the Passive Voice sentences. In many cases, the subject is left out, since it is implied and not stated.


Active Voice:          Someone has cleaned the car.

Paassive Voice:      The car was cleaned.

You might like these

English Grammar and Composition

From Active and Passive Voice to HOME PAGE

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.

Recent Articles

  1. Amphibolic Pathway | Definition | Examples | Pentose Phosphate Pathway

    Jun 06, 24 10:40 AM

    Amphibolic Pathway
    Definition of amphibolic pathway- Amphibolic pathway is a biochemical pathway where anabolism and catabolism are both combined together. Examples of amphibolic pathway- there are different biochemical…

    Read More

  2. Respiratory Balance Sheet | TCA Cycle | ATP Consumption Process

    Feb 18, 24 01:56 PM

    ATP Synthase in Mitochondria
    The major component that produced during the photosynthesis is Glucose which is further metabolised by the different metabolic pathways like glycolysis, Krebs cycle, TCA cycle and produces energy whic…

    Read More

  3. Electron Transport System and Oxidative Phosphorylation | ETC |Diagram

    Feb 04, 24 01:57 PM

    Electron Transport Chains
    It is also called ETC. Electron transfer means the process where one electron relocates from one atom to the other atom. Definition of electron transport chain - The biological process where a chains…

    Read More

  4. Tricarboxylic Acid Cycle | Krebs Cycle | Steps | End Products |Diagram

    Jan 28, 24 12:39 PM

    Aerobic Respiration
    This is a type of process which execute in a cyclical form and final common pathway for oxidation of Carbohydrates fat protein through which acetyl coenzyme a or acetyl CoA is completely oxidised to c…

    Read More

  5. Aerobic Respiration | Definition of Aerobic Respiration | Glycolysis

    Dec 15, 23 08:42 AM

    Aerobic Respiration
    This is a type of respiration where molecular free oxygen is used as the final acceptor and it is observed in cell. Site of Aerobic Respiration - Aerobic respiration is observed in most of the eukaryo…

    Read More