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English Communication Skills

by Anurag SegekarAnurag Segekar
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Anurag Segekar
Anurag Segekar
ACTIVE AND PASSIVE VOICE Active Voice: When the subject of a verb performs an action the verb is said to be in the active voice. The effect of the action may or may not fall on an object, that is, the verb may or may not have an object. Examples: The boy kicked the ball. The girl cries. In the first sentence, ‘kicked’ is the verb or the action; the ‘boy’ is the subject or the ‘doer’ who performs that action; and the ‘ball’ is the object on whom the effect of that action is directed. In the second sentence, ‘cries’ is the verb or the action; and the ‘girl’ is the subject or the doer of that action. There is no object because the effect of the girl’s crying cannot be directed at another object. Passive Voice: When the object of a verb appears to perform an action so that the effect of that action appears to fall on the subject the verb is said to be in the passive voice. Examples: The work was completed on time. The song was sung beautifully by the singer. [ A sentence in the active voice can be converted to form a sentence in the passive voice. Examples: A film was watched by us. A kite was flown by me. Rules for changing voice: • Only sentences containing transitive verbs can be changed from the active voice to the passive voice. A subject—that is, a ‘doer’ of the action—is required to change a sentence from the passive to the active voice. Examples: My mother cut the fruit. The fruit was cut by my mother. Here, the object ‘fruit’ is acted upon by the doer ‘mother’. 1
• For the simple present tense use am, is or are with a past participle to form the passive voice. Active voice • The caretaker locks the door. The doors are locked by the caretaker. The waiter carries the trays. The trays are carried by the waiter. For the simple past tense, use was or were with a past participle to form the passive voice. Active voice • We were driven home by Dad. He caught the ball. The ball was caught by him. For the present continuous tense, use am, is or are with being followed by a past participle, to form the passive voice. Passive voice The waves are washing away the sandcastle. The sandcastle is being washed away by the waves. She is working on the computer. The computer is being worked upon by her. For the past continuous tense, use was or were with being, followed by a past participle, to form the passive voice. Active voice • Passive voice Dad drove us home. Active voice • Passive voice Passive voice Jimmy was making our costumes. Our costumes were being made by Jimmy. She was reading a book. The book was being read by her. For the future tense, use shall or will with be, followed by a past participle, to form the passive voice. Active voice Passive voice The choir will sing the next hymn. The next hymn will be sung by the choir. We will celebrate her birthday. • Her birthday will be celebrated by us. For the present perfect tense, use have or has with been, followed by a past participle, to form the passive voice. Active voice Passive voice Ali has scored two goals. Two goals have been scored by Ali. I have seen that movie. That movie has been seen by me. 2
• For the past tense, use had with been, followed by a part participle, to form the passive voice. Active voice Passive voice The hunter had caught a fox. A fox had been caught by the hunter. Sheila had given a gift to Rina. A gift had been given to Rina by Sheila. 3
WORKSHEET 16 I. The following sentences are in the active voice. Change them into the passive voice. a) My mother will punish me. b) The children are studying grammar. c) I had finished my homework. d) They called off the match. e) Mrs Bajaj teaches us English. f) You must switch off the lights. g) I must finish this assignment. h) The children ate the food. i) The painter created a beautiful painting. j) Mr Kumar has filed the papers properly. II. Change the following sentences into the active or the passive voice as appropriate. a) The poet wrote a nice poem. b) My camera has been stolen. c) My dress is ruined! d) Trespassers will be prosecuted. e) No smoking. f) Keep your city clean. g) The milk has soured. h) Please switch on the lights. III. Put the verb in the brackets in a suitable passive form. a) The car ____________ (park) in the drive. b) The illegal immigrants ____________ (take) to the police station. c) We ____________ (teach) ballet by Mr Harry. d) The school play ____________ (produce) by me this year. e) Snow white ____________ (poison) by her stepmother. 4

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