How to Form Passive Voice? 2

How to Form Passive Voice?

Dear students, in the previous lesson we learnt about the meaning of voice. Today we will discuss the change of choice, that is, how to form passive voice or vice-versa. Let’s start:

How to Form Passive?

Look at these two sentences:

Ali breaks the glass.
The glass is broken by Ali.

The passive voice is formed with a suitable tense form of the verb’ be‘ followed by the past participle, e.g., is broken, was broken, shall be broken, etc.

Important point: The verb ‘be‘ is a primary auxiliary verb. It is the only verb which has 8 forms. These forms are:
is, am, are ➡ present tense forms
was, were ➡ past tense forms
being ➡ present participle form
been ➡ past participle form
to be ➡ to infinitive
be ➡ bare infinitive

So, in order to form a passive of an active sentence;

➡ Move the action receiver from the position of the direct object of the sentence to the position of the subject of the sentence.

Ali plays THE PIANO.
THE PIANO is played by Ali
➡ Insert the verb ‘be‘ in the corresponding number and tense with the new subject.

Ali plays the piano.
The piano IS played by Ali.

Here IS is a form of BE.

➡ Change the verb to its past participle form. Optionally, place the verb actor (agent) in the position of the object after preparation ‘by’.

Ali plays the piano.
The piano is PLAYED by Ali

Here PLAYED is the past participle of PLAY.

➡ The personal pronouns ( nominative case) are changed to ( accusative case), as per the following table :

How To Form Passives

Changing Person Pronouns

Now, study the following examples to systemize your knowledge.

Positive Statements

1. I break the glass.
The glass is broken by me.
2. I am breaking the glass.
The glass is being broken by me.
3. I have broken the glass.
The glass has been broken by me.
4. I broke the glass yesterday.
The glass was broken by me yesterday.
5. I was breaking the glass.
The glass was being broken by me.
6. I had broken the glass.
The glass had been broken by me.
7. I will break the glass.
The glass will be broken by me.
8. I will have broken the glass.
The glass will have been broken by me.
9. I am going to break the glass.
The glass is going to be broken by me.
10. Break the glass.
Let the glass be broken.
Please, break the glass.
You are requested to break the glass.

11. Sugar tastes sweet.
Sugar is sweet when tasted.

Negative Statements

1. I do not break the glass.
The glass is not broken by me.
2. I am not breaking the glass.
The glass is not being broken by me.
3. I have not broken the glass.
The glass has not been broken by me.
4. I did not break the glass yesterday.
The glass was not broken by me yesterday.
5. I was not breaking the glass.
The glass was not being broken by me.
6. I had not broken the glass.
The glass had not been broken by me.
7. I will not break the glass.
The glass will not be broken by me.
8. I will have not broken the glass.
The glass will have not been broken by me.
9. I am not going to break the glass.
The glass is not going to be broken by me.

10. Don’ t break the glass.
You should not break the glass.

Please, break the glass.
You are requested to break the glass.

11. Sugar does not taste bitter.
Sugar is not bitter when tasted.

QUESTIONS

1. Do I break the glass?
Is the glass was broken by me?
2. Am I breaking the glass?
Is the glass is being broken by me?
3. Have I broken the glass?
Has the grass been broken by me?
4. Did I break the glass yesterday?
Was the glass broken by me yesterday?
5. Was I breaking the glass?
Was the glass being broken by me?
6. Had I broken the glass?
Had the glass been broken by me?
7. Will I break the glass?
Will the glass be broken by me?
8. Will I have broken the glass.
Will the glass has been broken by me?
9. Am I going to break the glass?
Is the glass going to be broken by me?

From the above examples, we find the verb structure of passive sentences as;

Be+ Past Participle

1. Simple Present

break, breaks (Active) ——–am/is /are + broken( Passive)

Some Examples:

He teaches me. (Active)
I am taught by him. (Passive)
He plays the piano. (Active)
The piano is played by him. ( Passive)
She makes the toys. (Active)
The toys are made by her. (Passive)

2. Present Progressive

am/is/are + breaking (Active)——- am/is/are+being+ broken( Passive)

Some Examples:

He teaches me.
I am being taught by him.
He is playing the piano.
The piano is being played by him.
She is making the toys.
The toys are being made by her.

3. Present Perfect

has/have + broken(Active) ——- has/have + been+ broken(Passive)

Some examples:

He has taught me.
I have been taught by me.
He has played the piano.
The piano has been played by him.

4. Past Simple

broke ( Active) —- was/ were broken ( Passive)

Some Examples:

He taught me.
I was taught by him.
He played the piano.
The piano was played by him.
She made the toys.
The toys were made by her.

5. Past Progressive

was/were + broken(Active) ➡ was/were+ being+ broken(Passive)

Some Examples:

He was teaching me.
I am being taught by him.
He was playing the piano.
The piano was being the piano.
She was making the toys. The toys were being made by her.

6. Past Perfect

had broken ( Active) ➡ had been broken ( Passive)

Some Examples:

He had taught me.
I had been taught by her.
She had played the piano.
The piano had been played by her.

7. Future Simple

will/shall + break( Active) ➡ will/shall+ be+ broken

Some Examples:

He will teach me.
I shall be taught by him.
I will play the piano.
The piano shall be played by me.

Point: ‘shall’ is used when the subject is first person pronoun like ‘I’ or ‘we’ and ‘will’ is used when the subject is a second or third person like you, ‘he’, ‘she’, ‘they’.

8. Future Perfect

will/shall + have + broken (Active) ➡ will/shall+ have + been + broken ( Passive)

He will have taught me.
I shall have been taught by him.
I shall have played the piano. The piano will have been played by me.

9. Be Going to Form

am/is/are + going to + break (Active) ➡
am/is/are + going to+ be+ broken( Passive)

He is going to teach me.
I am going to be taught by him.
He is going to play the piano.
The piano is going to be played by him.
She is going to make the piano.
The piano is going to be played by her.

It is also noticed that the object of an active verb ( the transitive verb) in the active voice becomes the subject of the verb in the passive voice. See the following examples also:

They use a spade for digging. ( a spade= object)
A spade is used for digging. ( a spade= subject)

She wrote the article.( the article=object)
The article was written by her. ( the article= subject)

Since the object of a verb in the active voice becomes the subject in the passive sentence, it means only the transitive verbs can be changed to the passive voice. As the intransitive verb has no object, they can not be changed to passive voice. Read the following examples:

She dusted the chair.( dusted = transitive verb)

She sat in the chair. ( sat = intransitive verb)

We can write ;

The chair was dusted by her. ( Passive)

But it is incorrect to say;

The chair was sat on by her.

Verbs which takes a direct object ( like dusted) to complete its meaning can be changed to passive voice.

➡ A verb such as sit, stand, jump, come, smile, laugh, do not take a direct object after them, we generally can not form the passive voice sentences with such intransitive verbs. It is but important to remember that besides the above verbs, other verbs are not transitive or intransitive but can be used transitively or intransitively. At the place where they are used as intransitively the cannot be changed to passives. For example; ‘He runs’ Can not become ‘ He is run’.

➡ There are some transitive verbs which can not be changed to passives in certain of their meanings. These have, fit, resemble, contain, suit etc.

Have ( possession): He has a speaking parrot.
A speaking parrot is had by him. ( incorrect)

Have( experience): I was having a lovely time.
A lovely time was being had by me. ( incorrect)

Fit( suitable): This dress does not fit me.
I am not fitted by this dress. ( incorrect)

➡ Reciprocals ( each other, one another) and reflexives(myself, himself, herself ) cannot be changed to passives.

They stared at each other.
Each other was stared at. ( incorrect)

➡ There are some active verbs which have a passive meaning.
After the verbs need, want and require the present participle form is used with passive meaning, as;
Your head needs examining.
Your nails require cleaning.
Your trouser needs pressing.
Your words demand thinking.

➡ There are a few transitive verbs which even in an active form, are sometimes used in the passive sense, as;
These peaches taste sour. ( i.e., are sour when they are tasted)
You report reads well.
The rose smells sweet.
This shirt doesn’t wash well.
The cakes ate crisp.

➡ When the sentence is an imperative one, then the word “let” is used in the passive voice.

Break the glass.
Let the glass be broken.
Advertise the post.
Let the post be advertised.

Request and should etc can be sometimes used for making appropriate sense, as;

Please do not smoke. (Active)
You are requested/advised not to smoke.
Don’t encourage indiscipline. (Active)
Indiscipline should not be encouraged.

➡ In questions, the helping verbs should always precede the DOER of the action in the active voice and the RECIEVER of the action in the passive voice, as;
Did he break the glass?
Was the glass broken by him?
Do you know him?
Is he known to you?

Read Also: What is active and passive voice?

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1 thought on “How to Form Passive Voice?”

  1. Pingback: What is Active Voice and What is Passive Voice? | Smart Solutions

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