Verbs are either active or passive in voice. When using the active voice, the subjects are the ones performing the action.
God loves all men.
Birds build nests.
Dog eats bones.
In the above three sentences, the subject does an action. Hence they are in the active voice.
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Active and Passive Voice Exercises for Class 9 ICSE With Answers
In the passive voice, the subject receives an action.
All men are loved by God.
Nests are built by birds.
Bones are eaten by dog.
Use of Passive Voice:
Passive voice should be avoided when you want more clarity in writing. However, in some cases, you may need to use the passive voice.
To emphasize the recipient of an action.
- Mother Teresa was awarded the Nobel Prize.
Passive voice can be considered more polite, as it sounds less aggressive or dramatic.
- It is recommended that the billing process be shortened.
To make an impersonal statement
- That building was built in 1990.
To eliminate the mention of an agent.
- She was elected to city council.
Formation of the Passive:
The structure of the passive voice is very simple:
subject + auxiliary verb (be) + main verb (past participle)
The main verb is always in its past participle form.
- If you want to say who does the action of a passive verb, add by + pronoun/noun phrase at the end of the sentence. This is called the agent.
The dinner was eaten by Arjun.
This is useful if you want to emphasise the agent, e.g.
The painting is very valuable. It was painted by Raja Ravi Varma.
Rules for changing from one Voice to another:
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.
- My father cut the ribbon for the inauguration of the store.
- The ribbon for the inauguration of the store was cut by my father.
Here, the object ‘ribbon’ is acted upon by the doer ‘father’.
1. For the simple present tense use am, is or are with a past participle to form the passive voice.
The guard locks the doors.
The boy carries the bags.
The doors are locked by the guard.
The bags are carried by the boy.
2. For the simple past tense, use was or were with a past participle to form the passive voice.
The driver drove us home.
He caught the thief.
We were driven home by the driver.
The thief was caught by him.
3. For the present continuous tense, use am, is or are with being followed by a past participle, to form the passive voice.
The rains are washing away the dirt.
She is working on the computer.
Dirt is being washed away by the rains.
The computer is being worked on by her.
4. For the past continuous tense, use was or were with being, followed by a past participle, to form the passive voice.
The tailor was making our dresses.
She was reading a book.
Our dresses were being made by the tailor.
A book was being read by her.
5. For the future tense, use shall or will with be, followed by a past participle, to form the passive voice.
Jaya will sing the next song.
We will cut a cake on her birthday.
The next song will be sung by Jaya.
On her birthday a cake will be cut by us.
6. For the present perfect tense, use have or has with been, followed by a past participle, to form the passive voice.
Biren has scored fifty runs.
I have seen that movie.
Fifty runs have been scored by Biren.
That movie has been seen by me.
7. For the past tense, use had with been, followed by a past participle, to form the passive voice.
The hunter had caught a tiger cub.
Sam had given a book to Ria.
A tiger cub had been caught by the hunter.
A book had been given to Ria by Sam.
Active and Passive Voice Worksheets:
Rewrite the following sentences so that the verbs will be in the active voice.
1. We are taught grammar by Ms Sheila.
2. He was praised by his mother.
3. The injured were taken to the hospital by the neighbours.
4. The town was destroyed by an earthquake.
5. The teacher was pleased with the boy’s work.
6. The building was damaged by the fire.
7. By whom were you taught swimming?
8. You will be given a ticket by the manager.
9. The streets were thronged with spectators.
10. We will be blamed by everyone.
11. The trees were blown down by the wind.
12. The thieves were caught by the police.
13. The letter was posted by Ajay.
14. We were received by the hostess.
15. The snake was killed with a stick.
Choose whether the verb is active or passive.
1. I ate a piece of chocolate cake.
2. The teacher read the book to the students.
3. The money was stolen.
4. They are paid on Fridays.
5. The movie is being made in Hollywood.
6. I washed my car three weeks ago.
7. His hair was cut by a professional.
8. I will introduce you to my boss this week.
9. It would have been fixed on the weekend.
10. The national anthem is being sung by Jason this time.