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10 Apr 2022

The basic construction of a sentence in English grammar is:

Subject + Verb + Object

In Active voice subject performs the action of verb and in Passive voice the subject is the recipient of action of the verb.


Active Voice: Subject + Finite verb

Passive Voice: be (verb) + V3 (Past Participle)

Be verbs – is, am, are, was, were, be, been, being.


A: She gave me many gifts.

P1: Many gifts were given to me by her.

P2: I was given many gifts by her.

Note: In this chapter we use:

A: to denote Active Voice

P: to denote Passive Voice

P1 and P2 will be different Passive forms of a sentence.

V1, V2 and V3 are various verb forms.

Verbs and their Active-Passive Form






+ V1



    + be + V3













Would have

+ V3

Would have,


    + been + V3

Should have

Should have

Could have

Could have

Might have

Might have

Be verbs + to + V1

Be Verbs

Active Voice

Passive Voice

  • Is


    + To + V1

  • Is

   + To + be + V3

  • Am

  • Am

  • Are

  • Are

  • Was

   + To + V1

  • Was

 + To + be + V3

  • Were

  • Were

  • Has

   + To + V1

  • Has

 + To + be + V3

  • Have

  • Have

  • Had

   + To + V1

  • Had

 + To + be + V3

Infinitives and Gerund




To + V1

To + be + V3




Verb + ing

Being + V3

Tenses and their Active-Passive Form




  • Simple Present

  • Base form of verb (V1) Verb + s/es
  • Do/does + V1

  • Is/am/are + V3

  • Simple Past

  • V2
  • Did + V1

  • Was/were + V3

  • Simple Future

  • Will/shall + V1

  • Will/shall + be + V3

  • Present Continuous

  • Is/am/are + V + ing

  • Is/am/are + being + V3

  • Past Continuous

  • Was/were + V + ing

  • Was/were + being + V3

  • Present Perfect

  • Has/have + V3

  • Has/have + been + V3

  • Past Perfect

  • Had + V3

  • Had + been + V3

  • Future Perfect

  • Will/shall + have + V3

  • Will/shall + have + been + V3

Note: No ‘do/does/did’ helping verb in Passive Voice.

Sentences types and their Active-Passive Form

In English grammar we have a total of 5 types of sentences, these are:

  • Assertive sentences
  • Interrogative sentences
  • Imperative sentences
  • Exclamatory sentences
  • Optative sentences

We will now see the structure of their active and passive forms and rules to convert active to passive and vice-versa.

Assertive Sentences

Assertive Sentences


A: Subject + Helping verb + Not + Main Verb + Object

P: Object + Helping Verb (be - verb) + Not + Main Verb (V3) + by + Subject


A: The dog bit the man

P: The man was bitten by the dog.

A: No one likes telecasted serials

P: Telecasted serials are not liked by anyone.

A: The channel will not telecast this one-day match.

P: This one-day match will not be telecast by the channel.

A: He has drawn not only this painting but also many other amazing scenery.

P: Not only this painting but also many other amazing scenery have been   composed by him.

A: Teacher has provided the number of different questions.

P: The number of difficult has been provided by the teacher.

Interrogative Sentence

Interrogative Sentences can be formed in 2 ways –

Using a helping word at the beginning or using a - Wh family word at the beginning.

Let’s see both ways and their respected Active and Passive forms.


A: Helping Verb + Subject + Not + Main Verb + Object?

P: Helping Verb + Object + Not + Main Verb (V3) + by + Subject?


A: Do you know Spanish?

P: Is Spanish known by you?

'Wh' Family structure:

A: Wh + Helping Verb + Subject + Not + Main Verb + Object?

P: Wh+ Helping Verb + Object + Not + Main Verb (V3) + Subject?


A: How had they allured the modern world with a piece of poetry?

P: How had the modern world been allured by them with a piece of poetry?


A: who teaches you physics?

P1: By whom is physics taught to you?

P2: By whom are you taught physics?

P3: Who is physics taught to you by?

P4: Who are you taught physics by?

A: Will you donate the money for flood victim?

P: Will the money be donated by you for the flood victim?

A: Who has cleaned the room?

P: By whom has the room been cleaned?

A: Who has broken this window?

P: By whom has this window been broken?

Imperative Sentences

Imperative sentence in active voice starts with:

Base form of verb

  • Drive slowly.
  • Serve the nation.


  • Don’t break the traffic rules.
  • Don’t shout at public places.


  • Let me play the lead role.
  • Let us kill the fear of failures.

Rule to convert them into Passive voice:

  • You are requested





                        + to + V1


  • You are ordered
  • You are advised
  • You are suggested
  • You are forbidden
  • You are prohibited
  • You are allowed
  • You are asked
  • You are obliged


Imperatives start with V1

A: Switch off the cellphone during class

P: You are requested to switch off your cellphone during class.

A: Drive slowly

P: You are advised to drive slowly

A: Serve the nation

P: You are obliged to serve the nation 

A: Respect the elders

P: You are obliged to respect the elders


Imperatives starts with - Don’t

A: Don’t break the traffic rules

P1: You are advised not to break the traffic rules.

P2: You are prohibited to break the traffic rules.


  • In case of choice between P1 and P2, P2 should be the first choice. (in above example).
  • Prohibited and Forbidden must be the word to change the active voice into passive of Imperatives starting with don’t.

A: Don’t drive fast we are on time.

P1: You are forbidden to drive fast, we are on time.

P2: You are advised not to drive fast, we are on time.

A: Don’t shout at public places.

P: You are forbidden to shout at public places.


Imperatives starts with ‘Let’


  • Let + Object + be + V3
  • Let + Object + Not + be + V3

Note: The object in above construction is necessary.

A: Switch off your cellphone during class

P: Let your cellphone be switched off during the class.

A: Let me play the lead role

P: Let the lead role to be played by me.

A: Don’t break the traffic rules

P: Let the traffic rules not be broken



If there is a sense of duty, we make passive voice with the help of ‘should’.

A: Serve the nation.

P: The nation should be served.


Active Passive forms of Modals Causative and Infinitives


A: You must attend the party

P: The party must be attended by you.

A: You need not write an essay

P: An essay need not be written by you

Causative Verb

Causative verbs: Let, bid, make, watch, notice, see, hear, help, etc.

To + V1 in Passive Form.

A: Teacher has watched all the students do their work.

P: All the students have been watched to do their work by teacher.

A: I will see her dance in the party.

P: She will be seen to dance in the party by me.

A: The teacher let the students write an essay.

P: The students were let write an essay by the teacher.

Note: Never put ‘to’ after ‘let’


  • In active: to + V1
  • In passive: To + be + V3


A: It is high time to open the shops.

P: It is high time for the shops to be opened.

A: It is festive season to decorate the market.

P: It is festive season for the market to be decorated.

Position of the Object in Infinitive

A: I like cricket to play. (Object – cricket, before infinitive – to play)

P: Cricket is liked to play by me. (no passive of infinitive)

A: I like to play cricket. (Object – cricket, after infinitive – to play)

P: Cricket is liked to be played by me. (Passive of infinitive)

Complex Sentences

Quick Recap:

Complex sentence is made up of 2 clauses – Independent and Dependent clause.

Independent clause is also known as Principal Clause.

Note: Make passive of the principal clause only.


A: They say that the war is imminent. (Principal Clause: They say)

P: It is said by them that the war is imminent. (Passive of principal clause only)

A: We believe that India will win in next innings.

P: It is believed by us that India will win in next innings.

A: If you come, I’ll give you some money

P: Some money will be given to you if you come


Some phrasal verbs

  • Pleased with
  • Interested in
  • Astonished at
  • Disgusted with
  • Amazed at
  • Prepared for
  • Compared to
  • Invited to
  • Married to
  • Known to
  • Contained in
  • Annoyed at
  • Knocked at
  • Listened to


A: One of the waiters pleased us.

P: We were pleased with one of the waiters.


  • If the subject is general, we skip mentioning it in passive form.
  • Never make passive of universal truth
  • We never make passive of pure intransitives.

Did You Know

  • Only transitive verbs have both – active and passive forms.
  • Intransitive verbs do not have passive form.
  • If you want to find the type of verb – try to form the passive voice.