Active Voice and Passive Voice | A Complete Guide

Active voice sentences are the sentences where a subject of a sentence that acts upon its verb on the other hand, passive voice sentences are those sentences where a subject of a sentence is a recipient of a verb’s action. 

What’s the difference between active and passive voice?

Active voice

In active voice the subject of a sentence performs the verb’s action and such sentences have a strong, direct, and clear tone. Here are some examples of active voice.

Active voice examples

  • Ali wrote on a wall
  • Girls adore beauty.
  • The cat chased the rat.
  • Ali opened the door.

All above examples have a basic active voice structure: subject, verb, and object. The subject Ali performs the action described by writing. The subject the Girls performs the action described by adore. The subject the cat performs the action described by chased.

Passive voice

The passive voice is a style of writing where what would be the object of a sentence becomes the subject of the sentence. In passive voice sentence the subject is acted on by the verb. The passive voice writings are formed when the object of a sentence becomes the subject of a sentence.

Here are few examples:

  • The writing was completed by Ali.

Even though “Ali” completed the writing, “Ali” is not the grammatical subject of this sentence. The subject of this sentence is “writing.”

In passive sentences, the thing that seems to be doing the action will be ordered chronologically after the verb.

  • The meal was eaten by Ali.

Again, in this example, rather than say, “Ali ate the meal.” the meal becomes the subject of the sentence.

How to change simple tenses active voice to passive voice?

Some following rules that will must be applied either tenses will change or not while changing from active voice to passive voice.

  • First of all, apply first rule “change subject into object”.
  • Secondly “change helping verb” according to table which in mentioned below.
  • Thirdly, we will put “third form of verb” in every sentence and in every tense.
  • The fourth rule: will be applied that we will put “By” after the form of verb.
  • The fifth rule is same like first in which subject changed into object and now we will “replace object to subject”.
  • At the time of changing sentence negative will be negative and interrogative will be interrogative both are not changed.
  • If active voice sentence is starting from “who” then it will change to “by whom”.
  • When the interrogative sentence starts from shall, will, can, and should then we should use be after the new subject and will, shall, can, and should in starting of a sentences.
  • When the interrogative sentence start from when, why and how then we should use them in starting of the sentences and who should replace by By Whom.


Now we will discuss subjective cases and objective cases how to change.

Subjective cases    –     Objective case

  • I                           me
  • We                       us
  • You                      you
  • He                        him
  • She                     her
  • It                          it
  • They                    them


Making Passive Voices in Different Tenses

  • Present

Present indefinite will change to present continues and above all rule will be applied.


  • He eats food.

(Passive voice): Food is eaten by him.

  • Does he sing a song?

(Passive voice): Is a song sung by him?

  • Aslam does not play cricket.
  • aslam do not play (Passive voice):.

Present continues will not change to other tense but after the helping verb “being” increase and above all rule will be applied.

  • Servant is boiling eggs.

(Passive voice): Eggs are being boiled by servant.

  • Is he writing a letter?

(Passive voice): Is a letter being written by him?

  • He is not playing cricket.

(Passive voice): Cricket is not being played by him. 

Present perfect will change to present perfect continues and above all rule will be applied.

  • He has written a letter.

(Passive voice): A letter has been written by him.

  • Has the policeman caught a thief?

(Passive voice): Has a thief been caught by the policeman?

  • I have not stolen your pen.

(Passive voice): Your pen has not been stolen by me.

Not: Present perfect continues tense will not change.

  • Past Tense

Past indefinite will change to past continues and above all rule will be applied.

  • We went to the park.

(Passive voice): The park was gone by us.

  • Did the peon ring the bell?

(Passive voice): Did the bell rung by peon.

  • I did not take tea.

(Passive voice): Tea was not taken by me.

Past continues will not change tense but after the helping verb “being” will increase and above all rule will be applied.

  • The girls were plucking the flowers.

(Passive voice): The flowers were being plucked by the girls.

  • They were not breaking the stone.

(Passive voice): The stone were not being broken by them.

Past perfect will change to Past perfect continues and above all rule will be applied.

  • He had eaten food.

(Passive voice): Food had been eaten by him.

  • He had not bought the book before met me.

(Passive voice): The book had not been bought by him before met me.

  • Had she cooked food?

(Passive voice): Had food been cooked by her?

Note: Past perfect continues will not be changed.

  • Future tense

Future indefinite will be changed into future continues. and above all rule will be applied.

  • He will write a latter.

(Passive voice): A latter will be written by him.

  • Will he cook food?

(Passive voice): Will food be cooked by him?

  • You will not speak the truth.

(Passive voice): The truth will not be spoken by you.

Note: Future continues will not be changed.

Future perfect will change to Future perfect continues. And above all rule will be applied.

  • They will have killed a lion.

(Passive voice): A lion will have been killed by them.

  • She will not have cooked the food.

(Passive voice): The food will not have been cooked by her.

  • Will he have played football?

he has played (Passive voice): Will football?

Future perfect continues will not be changed.

Making Passive Voices of Imperative Sentences

Imperative sentences carry commands, requests, forbiddance and they are changed in a different way from active voice compared to above tenses.

  • Every sentence will start let.
  • Replace object with the subject.
  • Use the third form of a verb in every sentence and in every tense.
  • Put “be” after the form of the verb.
  • Change subject into object.
  • If the active voice sentence carries any order, then we use “you are ordered to…”
  • When there is a request we write “you are requested to…”
  • When there is an advice in a sentence we write “you are advised to…”


  • Polish my shoes.

(Passive voice): Let my shoes be polished.

  • Open the door.

(Passive voice): Let the door be opened.

  • Do it once.

(Passive voice): Let it be done once.

  • Publish my book today.

(Passive voice): Let my book be published today.

  • Help me

(Passive voice)Let me be helped

(Passive voice)You are requested to help me

  • Eat meal slowly

(Passive voice) Let the meal be eaten slowly

(Passive voice) You are advised to eat slowly

Note: Sometime we find agents as someone, one, and nobody, judge, police and people. Then it is not mandatory to use them in passive voice.


  • Someone has beaten me.

(Passive voice) I have been beaten.

Note: In passive voice, sometime we would have to use ‘in, with, to, at’ instead of ‘by’ As per active sentence’s expression. When expressions are astonishing, shocking, disappointment, surprising or alarming we should use at.


  • Her look surprised me

(Passive voice) I was surprised at her look.

Note: Use to after obliged and known while changing active to passive voice.


  • She knows Ali.

(Passive voice) Ali is known to her. 

Note: We should use ‘with’ after annoyed, disgusted, pleased, impressed, satisfied and so on.


  • Your attitude has satisfied me.

(Passive voice) I have been satisfied with your attitude.