Home » [Update] Active and Passive Voice Rules for Competitive Exams | passive active – NATAVIGUIDES

[Update] Active and Passive Voice Rules for Competitive Exams | passive active – NATAVIGUIDES

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Active and Passive Voice Rules of English Grammar

Understanding Active and Passive Voice rules are imperative for candidates preparing for various Government exams as well as other competitive exams.  

In this article, we shall discuss in detail the Active and Passive Voice rules followed by examples, along with the sample questions asked in the examinations, based on the same. Candidates will be explained the concept and active -passive rules in English grammar both in the text and video format.

Active & Passive Voice

Let us first understand the meaning of voice, and what is active voice and passive voice.

What is Voice of a verb?

The voice of a verb expresses whether the subject in the sentence has performed or received the action.


  • The watchman opens the door.

  • The door is opened by the watchman.

Types of Voices of Verb

Verbs have two voices (i) Active Voice (ii) Passive Voice

Active Voice – When an action performed by the subject is expressed by the verb, it is an active voice. Active voice is used when more straightforward relation and clarity is required between the subject and the verb.

Active Voice example:

  • Hens lay eggs.

  • Birds build nests.

Passive Voice –  When the action expressed by the verb is received by the subject, it is passive voice. Passive voice is used when the doer of the action is not known and the focus of the sentence is on the action and not the subject.

Passive Voice Examples:

  • Eggs are laid by hens.

  • Nests are built by birds.

Candidates preparing for any Government exam can check other important topics for the English language section.

Active And Passive Voice Rules For Conversion of Sentence

Below are the active-passive voice rules to follow for changing an active sentence into a passive voice. Before heading to the rules of active-passive voice, let’s check the examples of active and passive voice sentences.

Conversion of Active and Passive voice examples

  • Rita wrote a letter. (Subject + Verb + Object)

  • A letter was written by Rita.  (Object) + (auxiliary verb) + (past participle) + (by subject).

  • She cooks food. (Subject + Verb + Object)

  • The food is cooked by her. (Object) + (auxiliary verb) + (past participle) + (by subject)

Candidates can watch the video on Active-Passive voice rules and concept in English. This will help them gain conceptual knowledge and understand the variety of questions asked in the exams even better.

Rules of Active – Passive Voice in English Grammar – Part 1

Rules for Active – Passive Voice Conversions

Rule 1. Identify the (S+V+O) Subject, Verb and object in the active sentence to convert to passive voice 


He drives car. (Subject – He, verb – Drives, object – Car)

Rule 2. Interchange the object and subject with each other, i.e. object of the active sentence become the subject of the passive sentence.

Example : 

Active voice : She knits sweater. (Subject – She, Verb – Knits, Object – Sweater)

Passive Voice : The sweater is knitted by her. (Object sweater is interchanged with the subject She).

Rule 3. In passive voice sometimes the subject is not used, i.e. the subject in passive voice can be omitted if the sentence without it gives enough meaning.

 Example : 

Milk is sold in litres

Rule 4. Change the base verb in the active sentence into the past participle ie. third form verb in a passive sentence i.e. preceded by (By, With, to, etc). Base verbs are never used in passive voice sentences.


  • Active voice: She prepares dinner.

  • Passive voice: The dinner is prepared



  • Active voice: She knows him.

  • Passive voice: He is known



  • Active voice: Juice fills the jar.

  • Passive voice: The jar is filled



Rule 5. While conversion of Active voice sentence to Passive voice sentence, the pronoun used in the sentence also changes in the following manner.

Active Voice Pronoun
Passive Voice Pronoun















Rule 6. Use the suitable helping or auxiliary verb (is/am/are/was, etc.). The rules for using auxiliary verbs in passive voice sentences are different for each tense.


  • The letter


    written by her

  •  A book


    not bought by her

  • Chocolates

    are being

    eaten by them.

Forms of Active And Passive Voice For All Tenses

  • Simple Present Tense


Active Sentences
Passive Sentences

He writes an essay

An essay is written by him

Sheena does the housework

The housework is done by Sheena

She cares for the rabbit

The rabbit is being cared for by her

Jacob always plays the guitar 

The guitar is always played by Jacob

  • Present Continuous Tense

Active Sentences
Passive Sentences

They are eating bananas

The bananas are being eaten by them

Bob is drawing a diagram

A diagram is being drawn by Bob

Samta is playing the piano

A piano is being played by Samta

She is waiting for Reema

Reema is being waited for by her

  • Present Perfect Tense


Active Sentences
Passive Sentences

Has he done the work?

Has the work been done by him?

Have they left the apartment?

Has the apartment been left by them?

He created this masterpiece

This masterpiece is created by him

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He read the newspaper

The newspaper is being read by him

Note- [except certain exemptions, no passive Voice formation for the following tenses can be formed, Present Perfect Continuous Tense, Past Perfect Continuous Tense, Future Perfect Continuous Tense and Future Continuous Tense]

  • Simple Past Tense

Active Voice
Passive Voice

Ria paid the bills

The bills were paid by Ria

The teacher called the student

The student was called by the teacher

She did not buy the fruits

The fruits were not bought by her

  • Past Progressive/Continuous Tense

Active Voice 
Passive Voice

They were waiting for him

He was being waited for by them

Astha was learning French

French was being learnt by Astha

She was playing kabaddi

Kabaddi was being played by her

  • Past Perfect Tense

Active Voice 
Passive Voice

She won the match

The match had been won by her

I had finished her work

Her work had been finished by me

He had missed the last metro

The last metro had been missed by him

  • Simple Future Tense


Active Voice 
Passive Voice

He will write a letter

A letter will be written by him

He will repair her cycle

Her cycle will be repaired by him

He shall start the meeting

The meeting will be started by him

  • Future Perfect Tense

Active Voice 
Passive Voice

Meena will not have changed the bedsheet

The bed sheet will not have been changed by Meena

They will have won the match

The match will have been won by them

Reena will have washed the skirt

The skirt will have been washed by Reena

Rules of Active & Passive Voice in English Grammar – Part 2

Also, check the following for English language preparation:

The syllabus of the English language is vast and for convenient preparation of this section, candidates can check English For Competitive exams to get more relevant topics.

Active And Passive Voice – Sample Questions 

The significance of knowing the rules of active and passive voice for the English language section of various competitive exams can only be understood by knowing the type of questions asked in the examination, based on the same.

Hence, given below are sample questions on active and passive voice asked in the English language section of various government examinations:

[Directions] In the following questions, a sentence has been given in either Active or Passive Voice. From the four options select the one which best expresses the same sentence in the opposite voice than mentioned in the question.

Q.1. Never disobey your elders

  1. You are asked not to disobey your elders.

  2. You are ordered not to disobey your elders.

  3. Do not disobey your elders.

  4. You are not to disobey your elders.

Answer (1) You are asked not to disobey your elders

Q.2. The students were listening to the teacher.

  1. The teacher is listened to by the students.

  2. The teacher listened to students.

  3. The teacher was listening to by the students

  4. The teacher was listened to by the students.

Answer (4) The teacher was listened to by the students.

Q.3. I have to do it.

  1. It is be done by me.

  2. It should to be done by me.

  3. It has to be done by me.

  4. It would to be done by me.

Answer (3) It has to be done by me.

Q.4.  Tell the maid to prepare tea.

  1. You are ordered to tell the maid to prepare tea.

  2. You are said to tell the maid to prepare tea.

  3. You are advised to tell the maid to prepare tea.

  4. You are asked to tell the maid to prepare tea.

Answer (4) You are asked to tell the maid to prepare tea.

Q.5. Who stole your bike?

  1. Your bike was stolen by him?

  2. By whom was your bike stolen?

  3. Your bike was stolen by whom?

  4. By whom your bike stolen?

Answer (2) By whom was your bike stolen?

Apart from the MCQ type questions given above, active-passive voice questions appear in reading comprehension and error spotting as well. Candidates to practice well for the exam can check out a few important Sentence correction questions asked in various competitive exams in the link provided.

Also, check Previous Year Question Papers PDF with Solutions to understand the scope and difficulty level of question in the exams.

Candidates must be well aware of the rules of Active and Passive Voices in English, so as to use them correctly without making any errors in the exam. Knowledge of active and passive voice will help score good marks in the exam as well as improve their understanding of English. 

Being well acquainted with the rules of the active and passive voice will not only enhance the vocabulary skills for descriptive sections in the examination, but it will also improve candidates usage of English in day to day communication as well.

Almost all the exams, such as SSC exam, Bank exam, RRB exam, Insurance exam or any other Government exams have a separate section for the English Language in both objective and descriptive paper. Candidates can go through the English Question and Answers on important topics given below-

For more practice exercise and question and answers on different English topics, candidates can check the Verbal Ability page linked here.

Candidates preparing for the various government exams can refer to the detailed exam syllabus in the links given below:

For a better understanding of the formation of words in English and to know the English words that are asked in most of the competitive exams, visit the links provided below

Aspirants preparing for the upcoming government exams must carefully go through the concept and rules of active and passive voice in English grammar, as they tend to score the least in the English Language section.

To ace this section, it is important that candidates have a clear concept of mistaken words or the confusing words in the English language. Given below are a few such words that they can check for reference-

Similarly, 100 Difference between Articles on various topics, subjects, concepts etc are given on the link provided for your revision.
For further questions or information regarding competitive exams, study material or best books for preparation, candidates can turn to BYJU’S. 
Bank Exams 2020

Frequently Asked Question – Active – Passive Voice Rules & Examples

Q.1. When do we use passive voice?


Passive voice is used when the doer of the action is not known and the focus of the sentence is on the action and not the subject.

Q.2. How do we identify the passive voice sentence?

Ans. To identify the passive voice in a sentence, look at the thing happened and the subject responsible for doing it. If the subject responsible for doing the actions either occurs after the action has happened or is omitted, it is a passive voice sentence.

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Q.3. What is Active Voice Example?

Ans. When an action is done by a subject, the verb of that sentence is in the active voice, there is a

straightforward relation and clarity between the subject and the verb, 

example – Melvin hit the football where Melvin (Subject) acts in relation to the Football.

Q.4. How to write a passive voice sentence as per the active-passive voice rules?

Ans. To write a passive sentence from an active voice sentence, first, interchange the object and subject

i.e. object of the active sentence becomes the subject of the passive sentence

 then change the verb to its past participle form.

Q 5. How to identify active-passive voice sentences?

Ans. If the subject is performing the action, then the sentence is in the active voice. If the subject is simply receiving the action, then the sentence is in the passive voice.

[Update] Active and Passive Voice | Rules for All Tenses | passive active – NATAVIGUIDES

Active and Passive Voice | Rules for All Tenses

Mark Twain was in London when he heard that his obituary news had been published by mistake. He sent a cable to the USA, which read: the reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.

Introduction to Active and Passive Voice

Voice is one of the five basic properties of English grammar. The other four are mood, tense, person, and number. Voice is the connection between the subject and the object, which are linked through a verb. It’s interesting to see how English enables us to play with sentences by changing the word order, and come up with two entirely different structures to form active and passive. While the active voice is undoubtedly the more common of the two, the passive voice is used to serve certain purposes. In this lesson, we are going to take a look at how and when we use active and passive voices.

What Is Active Voice?

The active voice is a style of writing where the subject acts upon its verb. Here, the subject always comes first, followed by the verb and the complements. The active voice is so called because, unlike the passive voice where the subject is passive, the subject here is active.

Example Sentences with Active Voice

Andrew hit the ball.

Students always learn by doing.

People call Orlando the theme park capital of the world.

Catherine doesn’t enjoy visiting malls.

When to Use Active Voice

The active voice is the more preferred of the two voices. Because using active voice helps make writing shorter, more precise, and more straightforward, a lot of people choose to use it in most of their communication. This means unless there is a specific requirement making passive voice an ideal choice, we stick to active voice. Given this fact, there are more rules for when to use passive voice than there are for when to use active voice.

Advantages of Active Voice

  • Since a sentence in active voice has a clear subject, it is easier for the reader to understand the sentence.

    Consider the below sentence, for example:

    I love reading Mark Twain’s witty quotes. (active voice)

    If we wrote the sentence in passive voice, it would sound awkward.

    Reading Mark Twain’s witty quotes is loved by me. (passive voice)

    If we rewrote the sentence “Reading Mark Twain’s witty quotes is a favorite pastime of mine”, it would sound great. But, this is yet again an instance of active voice and not of passive voice.

  • Active voice instantly connects with the reader. This is because it’s free from the tangle of phrases that often accompany the passive voice.

    Read the following example:

    Mr. Miller said the park must introduce an entrance fee in order to facilitate uninterrupted service. (active voice)

    It was said by Mr. Miller that an entrance fee must be introduced by the park in order for uninterrupted service to be facilitated. (passive voice)

    The string of phrases introduced in the passive version of this sentence makes it a little hard for the reader to understand. Hence, we prefer to use the active voice.

What Is Passive Voice?

The passive voice is the style of writing where you change the order of words and make the object of the action the subject of a sentence. In other words, the subject is the recipient of a verb’s action. It’s called passive because, unlike the active voice where the subject is active, the real subject is passive here.

How to Recognize Passive Voice

To recognize if a sentence is in passive voice, look for the following words. This is not an exhaustive list, though.





has been

have been

will be

Example Sentences with Passive Voice

Kim’s wallet was stolen during the fair.

50 volunteers are required to make the campaign a success.

Over 1000 people were killed during the war.

The results will be published later today.

When to Use Passive Voice

There are specific rules for when using the passive voice is better or more appropriate than using active voice.

  • when we don’t know who is responsible for the action


    My pet dog has been stolen. (Someone has stolen the dog; we don’t know who it is.)

    My essay has been corrected. (You gave your essay to the correction service, and one of the teachers corrected it.)

  • when it’s not important who did the action, or we don’t want people to know who did it


    My car was fixed on Monday. (What is important is that the car was fixed; we don’t really care who fixed it.)

    Mistakes were made. (We don’t want to specifically mention who made the mistakes.)

  • when the reader or listener knows who did the action


    Kenneth has been asked to submit the grammar assignment again. (It’s obvious from the context that it’s the English teacher who has asked Kenneth to submit the assignment again.)

  • when people in general are responsible for the action


    The worksheet can be freely downloaded from the website. (Anybody can download a free worksheet, so the passive voice is used.)

  • when we report crimes or write in scientific contexts


    The burglars were arrested as soon as they left the building.

    The animals were kept in a zoo for two years as part of an experiment.

Subjects in Passive Voice

The subject in passive voice is introduced with “by”. That said, not every passive sentence has a by phrase containing the subject. Subjects can sometimes be assumed or remembered from a previous sentence.

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The dish was prepared by Grandma. (The subject is introduced in the by phrase.)

After the party, a lot of food was wasted. (The subject is not mentioned, but it can be assumed from the context.)

There was a gathering at Grandma’s. All family members were invited. (In the second sentence, the subject “Grandma” is remembered from the first sentence.)

How to Convert Active Voice into Passive Voice

The chart below includes all tenses that are used in passive voice. There is no passive voice for perfect progressive tenses (present, past, and future) and future progressive tense.


Active Voice

Passive Voice

Active Sentence

Passive Sentence

present simple


is read

Keith reads the poem.

The poem is read by Keith.

present progressive

is reading

is being read

Keith is reading the poem.

The poem is being read by Keith.

past simple


was read

Keith read the poem.

The poem was read by Keith.

past progressive

was reading

was being read

Keith was reading the poem.

The poem was being read by Keith.

future simple

will read

will be read

Keith will read the poem.

The poem will be read by Keith.

present perfect

has read

has been read

Keith has read the poem.

The poem has been read by Keith.

past perfect

had read

had been read

Keith had read the poem.

The poem had been read by Keith.

future perfect

will have read

will have been read

Keith will have read the poem.

The poem will have been read by Keith.

conditional present

would read

would be read

If Keith had the poem, he would read it.

If Keith had the poem, it would be read by him.

conditional past

would have read

would have been read

Keith would have read the poem if he had had it.

The poem would have been read by Keith if he had had it.

present infinitive

to read

to be read

Keith wants to read the poem.

The poem wants to be read by Keith.

Take an Active and Passive Voice Quiz Now!



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Strengthen your skills using our free printable Active and Passive Voice Worksheets.

Active and Passive Voice – English Grammar – Civil Service Review

What’s the difference between the passive voice form and the active voice form of a sentence? How can you convert them into the other form? Let’s talk about that in this video.
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Active and Passive Voice - English Grammar - Civil Service Review

Active vs Passive English Vocabulary And How You Can Make More Vocabulary Active

In this video, I talk about the difference between passive and active English vocabulary,
The main difference is this: with passive vocabulary, you can’t use it when speaking, but with active vocabulary, you can.
Before you try making more passive vocabulary active, it’s a good idea to concentrate on the type of English that you will need.
For example, if you’re using English for finance, then focus on financial vocabulary.
To make this possible, you need to use it. Additionally, there are some methods that will help you make passive vocab active. And, the more you hear and read a word, the more you will be able to use it.
Thanks for watching. Please share this video if you found it useful.

Active vs Passive English Vocabulary And How You Can Make More Vocabulary Active

How to use the Passive Voice 😅 English Grammar Lesson

Join the mmmEnglish Grammar Challenge \u0026 win cool prizes! 😎
Hooray! Emma has finally made a lesson about the passive voice! (Many of you have been asking for it!)
In this lesson, I’ll teach you WHAT it is, HOW to use it \u0026 WHY you should use it in English…. with lots of examples and practice!
Ready? Let’s do this!
Read the full transcript of this lesson on my blog here: https://www.mmmenglish.com/2018/05/24/whatisthepassivevoice/

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How to use the Passive Voice 😅 English Grammar Lesson

Learn English Grammar: What’s the difference between ACTIVE \u0026 PASSIVE?

What are the active and passive voices in English? We use the active voice in a sentence when the subject performs a verb. For example: “Jim wrote a letter”. We use the passive voice when the subject is acted on by the verb. For example: “The letter was delivered by the postman”. Now, when should you use which voice? That is the question! In this English grammar lesson, I will teach you about using the active and passive voices. I will explain in more detail the difference between the two and give you lots of examples to solidify your understanding. I will also show you how to change a sentence from active to passive, or passive to active. You will learn some reasons why you might choose one or the other. This will help you in everyday speaking, as well as in writing, making your English more varied and interesting. Don’t forget to do the quiz after watching! https://www.engvid.com/learnenglishgrammaractivepassive/

Learn English Grammar: What’s the difference between ACTIVE \u0026 PASSIVE?

How to use the active and passive voice – 6 Minute Grammar

Learn English grammar with Catherine and Finn as they explain how to use the active and passive voice in 6 minutes. For extra activities and study materials on this form visit: http://www.bbc.co.uk/learningenglish/english/course/intermediate/unit12/session2
0:00 Introduction
0:10 What is the active voice?
1:05 What is the passive voice?
1:34 Examples of the active and passive voice
3:15 Review of how to make the passive form
3:44 Quiz

If you enjoyed this video, we’re sure you’ll love these too:
Present perfect and past simple: https://youtu.be/jwmKjgwlMk8
Present Simple and Present Continuous: The Grammar Gameshow: https://youtu.be/OsW5sV3GMDM
Grammar: How to choose the correct tense in English: https://youtu.be/GiI3wjFWSXQ
BBCLearningEnglish Grammar 6MinuteGrammar

How to use the active and passive voice - 6 Minute Grammar

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