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English - Active & Passive Voice

The most famous sentence, most of us are familiar is:

Ram killed Ravana. - Active Voice
Ravana was killed by Ram. - Passive Voice

Here the first sentence is said to be in Active Voice and the second sentence in Passive Voice.

A sentence is said to be in Active Voice when the subject does something. Similarly, a sentence is said to be in Passive Voice when something is done to the subject.

In the above sentence Ram is the ‘subject’ and Ravana is the ‘object’. In the active voice sentence Ram i.e., the subject has killed the object Ravana. In the second sentence Ravana is the subject but he allowed himself to be killed by subject Ram. Here the subject is Passive. Therefore, it is called Passive voice.

Eg. :

Raghu kicked the ball.

In this sentence Raghu is the ‘subject’ and ball is the ' object'. The word kicked is the verb.

Here it must be noted that:

‘I’ becomes ‘me’ in Passive voice
‘We’ becomes ‘us’
‘You’ remains ‘you’
‘He’ becomes ‘him’
‘She’ becomes ‘her’
‘It’ remains ‘it’
‘They’ becomes ‘them.’

Here also the active voice and passive voice are expressed in different tenses.

I) Present Tense

a) Simple Present

I watch movies every week. - Active Voice
Movies are watched by me every week. - Passive Voice

We watch movies every week.
Movies are watched by us every week.

You watch movies every week.
Movies are watched by you every week.

He watches movies every week.
Movies are watched by him every week.

She watches movies every week.
Movies are watched by her every week.

It watches movies every week.
Movies are watched by it every week.

They watch movies every week.
Movies are watched by them every week.

b) Present Continuous

I am watching a movie now.
A movie is being watched by me now.

We are watching a movie now.
A movie is being watched by us now.

You are watching a movie now.
A movie is being watched by you now.

He is watching a movie now.
A movie is being watched by him now.

She is watching a movie now.
A movie is being watched by her now.

It is watching a movie now.
A movie is being watched by it now.

They are watching a movie now.
A movie is being watched by them now.

c) Present Perfect

I have watched a movie today.
A movie has been watched by me today.

We have watched a movie today.
A movie has been watched by us today.

You have watched a movie today.
A movie has been watched by you today.

He has watched a movie today.
A movie has been watched by him today.

She has watched a movie today.
A movie has been watched by her today.

It has watched a movie today.
A movie has been watched by it today.

They have watched a movie today.
A movie has been watched by them today.

d) Present Perfect Continuous

Normally ideas are not expressed in Passive Voice in this tense. Therefore it is better to avoid attempting a Passive Voice in any Perfect Continuous Tense.

II) Past Tense

a) Simple Past

I watched a movie yesterday.
A movie was watched by me yesterday.

We watched a movie yesterday.
A movie was watched by us yesterday.

You watched a movie yesterday.
A movie was watched by you yesterday.

He watched a movie yesterday.
A movie was watched by him yesterday.

She watched a movie yesterday.
A movie was watched by you yesterday.

It watched a movie yesterday.
A movie was watched by it yesterday.

They watched a movie yesterday.
A movie was watched by them yesterday.

b) Past Continuous

I was watching a movie yesterday.
A movie was being watched by me yesterday.

We were watching a movie yesterday.
A movie was being watched by me yesterday.

You were watching a movie yesterday.
A movie was being watched by you yesterday.

He was watching a movie yesterday.
A movie was being watched by him yesterday.

She was watching a movie yesterday.
A movie was being watched by her yesterday.

It was watching a movie yesterday.
A movie was being watched by it yesterday.

They were watching a movie yesterday.
A movie was being watched by them yesterday.

c) Past Perfect

I had watched a movie three years ago.
A movie had been watched by me three years ago.

We had watched a movie three years ago.
A movie had been watched by us three years ago.

You had watched a movie three years ago.
A movie had been watched by me three years ago.

He had watched a movie three years ago.
A movie had been watched by him three years ago.

She had watched a movie three years ago.
A movie had been watched by her three years ago.

It had watched a movie three years ago.
A movie had been watched by it three years ago.

They had watched a movie three years ago.
A movie had been watched by them three years ago.

d) Past Perfect Continuous

As we indicated earlier, ideas are normally not expressed in Passive Voice in this tense. Therefore it is better to avoid attempting a Passive Voice in any Perfect Continuous Tense.

III) Future Tense

a) Simple Future

I will watch a movie tomorrow.
A movie will be watched by me tomorrow.

We will watch a movie tomorrow.
A movie will be watched by us tomorrow.

You will watch a movie tomorrow.
A movie will be watched by you tomorrow.

He will watch a movie tomorrow.
A movie will be watched by him tomorrow.

She will watch a movie tomorrow.
A movie will be watched by her tomorrow.

It will watch a movie tomorrow.
A movie will be watched by it tomorrow.

They will watch a movie tomorrow.
A movie will be watched by them tomorrow.

b) Future Continuous

I will be watching a movie at this time tomorrow.
A movie will be being watched by me at this time tomorrow.

We will be watching a movie at this time tomorrow.
A movie will be being watched by us at this time tomorrow.

You will be watching a movie at this time tomorrow.
A movie will be being watched by you at this time tomorrow.

He will be watching a movie at this time tomorrow.
A movie will be being watched by him at this time tomorrow.

She will be watching a movie at this time tomorrow.
A movie will be being watched by her at this time tomorrow.

It will be watching a movie at this time tomorrow.
A movie will be being watched by it at this time tomorrow.

They will be watching a movie at this time tomorrow.
A movie will be being watched by them at this time tomorrow.

c) Future Perfect

I will have watched a movie by 6 pm tomorrow.
A movie will have been watched by me by 6 pm tomorrow.

We will have watched a movie by 6 pm tomorrow.
A movie will have been watched by us by 6 pm tomorrow.

You will have watched a movie by 6 pm tomorrow.
A movie will have been watched by you by 6 pm tomorrow.

He will have watched a movie by 6 pm tomorrow.
A movie will have been watched by him by 6 pm tomorrow.

She will have watched a movie by 6 pm tomorrow.
A movie will have been watched by her by 6 pm tomorrow.

It will have watched a movie by 6 pm tomorrow.
A movie will have been watched by it by 6 pm tomorrow.

They will have watched a movie by 6 pm tomorrow.
A movie will have been watched by them by 6 pm tomorrow.

d) Future Perfect Continuous

Normally ideas are not expressed in Passive Voice in this tense. Therefore it is better to avoid attempting a Passive Voice in any Perfect Continuous Tense.

All sentences cannot be made into Passive Voice. Only the sentences with an object in them can be made into Passive Voice. All verbs are not transitive. A verb which takes an object is said to be a Transitive Verb and a Verb which does not take an object is said to be Intransitive.

For Example, the following sentence cannot be converted into Passive Voice for the simple reason that the verb ‘go’ does not take an object.

I go for a walk everyday.

In the above sentence the verb ‘go’ is an Intransitive Verb. Such sentences which do not have an object cannot be converted into Passive Voice.

More examples of sentences with Intransitive Verbs:

Raju jumped 10 feet.
David ran fast.
Sita drove rashly.

A case of double object.

Certain sentences contain two objects. In such a case two passive sentences can be made using one object in each case.

The principal sent a telegram to Gopi.
A telegram was sent by the Principal to Gopi.