This presentation focuses on the
1.Simplified meaning of ‘Voice’ in English Grammar
2.Types of Voice (with easy examples)
3. Reasons to use the Active Voice
4.When to use the Passive Voice
5.Conversion of Active Voice Declarative statements
into the Passive
6.Practice Exercise (With Answers),involving the
conversion of Active Voice statements into Passive
Voice in English Grammar is the form a
transitive verb takes to indicate whether
the subject of the verb performs or receives
Examples: Minu waters the plants.
(The subject Minu performs an action).
The lolly is eaten by Vinu. (The subject
lolly receives the action).
There are Two Types
Active : Shail blows the candles.
Passive: The candles are blown by
Let us understand this better…
These examples show that the
subject performs the action:
The nurse is giving the
The nurse (subject) is
performing the action of
giving (verb) the medicine.
Krishna will read the report
to the class.
Krishna (subject) will carry
out the action of reading
In a passive voice sentence, the
subject and object flip-flop or get
The subject becomes the passive
recipient of the action.
These examples show the
subject being acted upon by the
The medicine is being given by
The medicine (subject) is
being given (verb)
A book report will be given by
Krishna to the class.
A book report (subject) will be
Reasons to Use the
Most writers prefer to use active
it is more direct
propels the reader forward
through the writing avoiding
Reasons to Use the
Active: The young waitress dropped
the tray of food. (concise statement of
fact, with the focus on the waitress)
Passive: The tray of food was dropped
by the young waitress. (lengthy; focus
on the tray of food, less direct)
It is better to say:
The Supervisor has granted your
request for a PE class. (Active)
The same conveyed in Passive appears
to be a weak and lengthy
Your request for a PE class has been
granted by the Supervisor. (Passive)
In general, the passive voice is
less forceful and
less concise than the active
When you do not know or do not want
to reveal the performer of an action.
Example: The kidnappers have been
When you want to emphasize the
receiver of an action.
Example: The brave youngster was
While converting Active to Passive
Voice , the same tense is retained in
the past-participle form.
Active Voice-The children ate
(simple past tense) the cookies.
Passive Voice-The cookies were
eaten (past participle)by the
Often passive voice sentences
will contain a "by" phrase
indicting who or what
performed the action.
Example: The football was
kicked by Rohan.
Look at the conversion here:
Active: My friend gave me a basket of
Passive: I was given a basket of flowers
by my friend.
A basket of flowers was given
to me by my friend.
CLICK ON THE SPEAKER TO
A simple conversion
He throws the apple.
He threw the apple.
He is/was throwing
He has/had thrown
He will/shall throw
The apple is thrown.
The apple was
The apple is/was
The apple has/had
The apple will/shall
be thrown .
REMEMBER TO RETAIN THE
SAME TENSE WHEN VOICE IS
Active(A)-Amina steered the boat.
Passive(P)-The boat was steered by
A- Joey kangaroo is holding a bottle of milk.
P-A bottle of milk is being held by Joey kangaroo.
A-Factories pollute the natural environment.
P-The natural environment is polluted by factories.
A-The size of the Indian Democracy has
always amazed me.
P-I have always been amazed by the size of
the Indian Democracy.
A-Professor Verma will assign each group a
research project . Next, he will discuss the
documentary sources with us.
P-Each group will be assigned a research project
by Professor Verma . Next, the documentary
sources will be discussed with us.
A-Seismologists have examined data
concerning the recent earthquake, and they
will file reports.
P-Data concerning the recent earthquake have
been examined by the seismologists and the
reports will be filed.
(Mixing of Active and Passive constructions in
the same sentence has been thus rightly
CLICK ON THE SPEAKER
TO HEAR VOICE
A-She added the raspberries to the
sweetened cream and served it to
P-The raspberries were added to
the sweetened cream and served
to the guests.
A-The minister discussed problems of famine,
pollution, depleting resources, and child
P-Problems of famine,pollution,depleting
resources and child safety were discussed by
A-Whenever Prof. Ganguly found an error ,
the student had to rewrite the entire
P-Whenever an error was found by
Prof.Ganguly, the entire assignment had to
be rewritten by the student.