Active Voice to Passive Voice – All Tenses, Definition, Exercises

Learning to transform sentences from active voice to passive voice is an essential skill in English grammar. In the active voice sentences, the subject of the sentence performs the action, while in the passive voice, the subject receives the action.

This transformation allows us to shift the focus from the doer of the action to the receiver or the object of the action. It is important to note that each tense has its own rules and patterns for converting active voice sentences to passive voice.

Understanding these rules and practicing their application enables us to effectively communicate and vary our sentence structures, adding depth and complexity to our writing and speech.

Let us learn tense by tense in detail:

Present Indefinite Tense to Passive Voice

In the present indefinite tense, also known as the simple present tense, the passive voice is formed using the auxiliary verb “is” or “are” (depending on the subject) followed by the past participle of the main verb. The object of the active sentence becomes the subject in the passive sentence.

Here are a few examples of transforming sentences from the present indefinite tense in active voice to passive voice:

Active Voice:

They deliver the mail every day.
Passive Voice:
The mail is delivered by them every day.
Active Voice:

  1. He writes interesting articles for the newspaper.
    Passive Voice:
    Interesting articles are written by him for the newspaper.

>> read complete lesson here

Past Indefinite Tense to Passive Voice

To change a sentence from the past indefinite tense (also known as the simple past tense) to the passive voice, you need to follow a specific structure.

The passive voice structure in English is formed with the auxiliary verb “be” (in the past tense) + the past participle of the main verb.

Here’s the structure for converting a past indefinite tense sentence to the passive voice:

Active Voice: Subject + Verb (past tense) + Object

Passive Voice: Object + was/were + past participle (by Subject)

For example, let’s convert the following active voice sentence to the passive voice:

Active: They repaired my car.

Step 1: Identify the subject, verb, and object.

Subject: They

Verb: repaired

Object: my car

Step 2: Place the object at the beginning of the passive sentence.

Object: My car

Step 3: Use the appropriate form of the auxiliary verb “be” (in the past tense).

Auxiliary Verb: was (since “they” is the subject, and it is plural, we use “were” for plural subjects)

Step 4: Use the past participle of the main verb “repair.”

Past Participle: repaired

Putting it all together, we get the passive voice sentence:

Passive: My car was repaired by them.

>> read complete lesson here

Future Indefinite Tense to Passive Voice

To change a sentence from the future indefinite tense (also known as the simple future tense) to the passive voice, you need to follow a specific structure. The passive voice structure in English is formed with the auxiliary verb “will be” + the past participle of the main verb.

Here’s the structure for converting a future indefinite tense sentence to the passive voice:

Active Voice: Subject + will + verb (base form) + object

Passive Voice: Object + will be + past participle (by Subject)

For example, let’s convert the following active voice sentence to the passive voice:

Active: They will deliver the package tomorrow.

Step 1: Identifying the subject, verb, and object from activevoicesentence.

Subject: They

Verb: will deliver

Object: the package

Step 2: Place the object at the beginning of the passive sentence.

Object: The package

Step 3: Use the auxiliary verb “will be” in the passive voice.

Auxiliary Verb: will be

Step 4: Use the past participle of the main verb “deliver.”

Past Participle: delivered

Putting it all together, we get the passive voice sentence:

Passive: The package will be delivered by them tomorrow.

>> read complete lesson here

Present Continuous Tense to Passive Voice

To change a sentence from the present continuous tense to the passive voice, you need to follow a specific structure.

The passive voice structure in English is formed with the appropriate form of the auxiliary verb “be” (in the present continuous tense) + the past participle of the main verb.

Here’s the structure for converting a present continuous tense sentence to the passive voice:

Active Voice: Subject + am/is/are + verb (present participle) + object

Passive Voice: Object + am/is/are being + past participle (by Subject)

For example, let’s convert the following active voice sentence to the passive voice:

Active: They are building a new house.

Step 1: Identifying the subject, verb, and object from activevoicesentence.

Subject: They

Verb: are building

Object: a new house

Step 2: Place the object at the beginning of the passive sentence.

Object: A new house

Step 3: Use the appropriate form of the auxiliary verb “be” in the present continuous tense.

Auxiliary Verb: is being (since “they” is the subject and it is plural, we use “are being” for plural subjects)

Step 4: Use the past participle of the main verb “build.”

Past Participle: built

Putting it all together, we get the passive voice sentence:

Passive: A new house is being built by them.

Please note that the subject in the active voice sentence (“they”) becomes the agent in the passive voice sentence (“by them”).

>> read complete lesson here

Past Continuous Tense to Passive Voice

The passive voice structure in English is formed with the appropriate form of the auxiliary verb “be” (in the past continuous tense) + the past participle of the main verb.

Here’s the structure for converting a past continuous tense sentence to the passive voice:

Active Voice: Subject + was/were + verb (present participle) + object

Passive Voice: Object + was/were being + past participle (by Subject)

For example, let’s convert the following active voice sentence to the passive voice:

Active: She was preparing dinner when the guests arrived.

Step 1: Identifying the subject, verb, and object fromactivevoicesentence.

Subject: She

Verb: was preparing

Object: dinner

Step 2: Place the object at the beginning of the passive sentence.

Object: Dinner

Step 3: Use the appropriate form of the auxiliary verb “be” in the past continuous tense.

Auxiliary Verb: was being

Step 4: Use the past participle of the main verb “prepare.”

Past Participle: prepared

Putting it all together, we get the passive voice sentence:

Passive: Dinner was being prepared by her when the guests arrived.

>> read complete lesson here

Present Perfect Tense to Passive Voice

The passive voice structure in English is formed with the appropriate form of the auxiliary verb “have” (in the present perfect tense) + “been” + the past participle of the main verb.

Here’s the structure for converting a present perfect tense sentence to the passive voice:

Active Voice: Subject + have/has + verb (past participle) + object

Passive Voice: Object + have/has been + past participle (by Subject)

For example, let’s convert the following active voice sentence to the passive voice:

Active: They have completed the project.

Step 1: Identifying the subject, verb, and object fromactivevoicesentence.

Subject: They

Verb: have completed

Object: the project

Step 2: Place the object at the beginning of the passive sentence.

Object: The project

Step 3: Use the appropriate form of the auxiliary verb “have” in the present perfect tense.

Auxiliary Verb: has been (since “they” is the subject and it is plural, we use “have been” for plural subjects)

Step 4: Use the past participle of the main verb “complete.”

Past Participle: completed

Putting it all together, we get the passive voice sentence:

Passive: The project has been completed by them.

>> read complete lesson here

Past Perfect Tense to Passive Voice

The structure in English is formed with the appropriate form of the auxiliary verb “had” (in the past perfect tense) + “been” + the past participle of the main verb. The structure is:

Active Voice: Subject + had + verb (past participle) + object

Passive Voice: Object + had been + past participle (by Subject)

For example, let’s convert the following active voice sentence to the passive voice:

Active: They had already finished the work.

Step 1: Identifying the subject, verb, and object fromactivevoicesentence.

Subject: They

Verb: had finished

Object: the work

Step 2: Place the object at the beginning of the passive sentence.

Object: The work

Step 3: Use the appropriate form of the auxiliary verb “had” in the past perfect tense.

Auxiliary Verb: had been (since “they” is the subject and it is plural, we use “had been” for plural subjects)

Step 4: Use the past participle of the main verb “finish.”

Past Participle: finished

Putting it all together, we get the passive voice sentence:

Passive: The work had been finished by them.

>> read complete lesson here

Future Perfect Tense to Passive Voice

The concept is formed with the appropriate form of the auxiliary verb “will have” (in the future perfect tense) + “been” + the past participle of the main verb.

Here’s the structure:

Active Voice: Subject + will have + verb (past participle) + object

Passive Voice: Object + will have been + past participle (by Subject)

For example, let’s convert the following active voice sentence to the passive voice:

Active: They will have completed the project by tomorrow.

Step 1: Identifying the subject, verb, and object from active voice sentence.

Subject: They

Verb: will have completed

Object: the project

Step 2: Place the object at the beginning of the passive sentence.

Object: The project

Step 3: Use the appropriate form of the auxiliary verb “will have” in the future perfect tense.

Auxiliary Verb: will have

Step 4: Use the past participle of the main verb “complete.”

Past Participle: completed

Putting it all together, we get the passive voice sentence:

Passive: The project will have been completed by them by tomorrow.

>> read complete lesson here

Optative Sentences to Passive Voice

In English grammar, the optative mood is used to express wishes, desires, or hopes.

Optative sentences are not typically transformed into the passive voice because the passive voice focuses on actions and their recipients rather than expressing wishes or desires.

Here are some examples:

Optative Sentence: May all your dreams come true.

Passive Voice Construction: May your dreams be realized.

Optative Sentence: Let peace be restored in the world.

Passive Voice Construction: May peace be restored in the world. For complete rules, exercise…

>> read complete lesson here

Imperative Sentences to Passive Voice

In English grammar, imperative sentences are used to give commands, instructions, or make requests.

To transform imperative sentences into the passive voice in certain cases. Here are a couple of examples:

Active: Open the door.

Passive: Let the door be opened.

Active: Please turn off the lights.

Passive: The lights are to be turned off, please.

In these examples, the imperative sentences are transformed into passive voice sentences by using the structure “let + object + be + past participle” or “subject (implied) + be + infinitive + adverb/phrase.”

>> read complete lesson here

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