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Active and Passive Voice
by Dagny Taggart - Friday, 12 October 2007, 10:06 AM
 

cat 2007 cat 2008 verbal xat 2008 active and passive voice mba 2008An intimate knowledge of active and passive forms of verbs is a handy tool for not only authors who need to make complex sentences but also our CAT 2007/2008 aspirants who need to identify subtle errors in usage. Knowing the correct forms of many irregular verbs and the structure of formation of passive verbs can prevent much confusion while reading sentences. Presented in the article below, is a comprehensive collection of usage notes for active and passive voice.



The Verbs can be categorised into two forms:
Active- Eva is eating food.
Passive- the food is eaten by Eva.

In active voice, the subject is a be-er or a do-er and the verb moves the sentence along.
In the passive voice, the subject of the sentence is neither a do-er or a be-er, but is acted upon by some other agent or by something unnamed – the food is eaten. The active voice takes the form of "A does B"; the passive takes the form of "B is done [by A]."

The passive forms of a verb are created by combining a form of the "to be verb" with the past participle of the main verb. Other helping verbs are also sometimes present: "The food has been eaten by Eva" The passive can be used, also, in various tenses.

The passive voice is formed with the suitable tense of the verb ‘be’ followed by the past participle.

active and passive voice

Usage

As a general rule, Active voice is used to when the do-er of the action is to be made prominent and Passive voice is used used  when Person/ thing acted upon is made prominent.

Active voice- Toby drank the milk.
In the above sentence the stress is laid upon Toby.

Passive Voice- The milk has been drunk by Toby.
In the sentence the stress is laid upon the milk.

Verbs that can be followed by either object + prepositional object or object + object in active forms can have two corresponding active forms.

active and passive voice

All the 4 sentences in the above table are correct. Some other verbs that follow the same rule include – lend, promise, offer, hand, give, sell, teach, throw.

Verbs such as explain, demonstrate, introduce, mention, describe, report and suggest cannot follow the ‘object + object’ rule in active voice and have only one passive form.

active and passive voice 

‘With’ should be used to talk about an instrument/tool used by an agent.

active and passive voice

In the above sentence ‘the pen’ is an instrument/tool used by an agent.

Verbs such as avoid, enjoy, consider, delay, deny, remember, imagine, resent, describe, and deny follow the active pattern of verb + ing + object in active voice.

active and passive voice

Verbs such as bring, catch, hear, keep, find, show, notice, send and see follow the active pattern that is used is Verb + Object + ing

cat

Put the main verb into the passive form. Following are the past participle forms of some irregular verbs.

cat

When ‘what is said by people’ is general or is by an unspecified group of people, the pattern used is ‘it + passive verb+ that clause’. The passive verbs used in this pattern are acknowledge, see, suppose, declare, discover, consider, claim, say, recommend, report, allege, mention, announce, estimate, feel, find, expect, understand, think, calculate, decide, propose, assume, know, show and suggest.

It is suggested that you take your medicines on time.
It is assumed that you are well versed with the calculations.

Verbs such as come, start, begin, appear, seem, continue, tend, agree, aim, hope, try, struggle, refuse and attempt follow the active pattern  verb + to infinitive + object.

cat active and passive

Verbs such as allow, advise, believe, consider, fell, instruct, teach, require, tell, understand, expect, mean, report, and order follow the active pattern Verb + Object + to infinitive

cat active passive

Be careful with the dangling modifiers caused by the use of passive voice. 

Incorrect- Reaching Europe at the beginning of the 17th century, they called it “the wine of Arabia” (what was called the wine of Arabia? Europe or the 17th century?).
Correct- Reaching
Europe at the beginning of the 17th century, the coffee was called “the wine of Arabia” by them.

The entire sentence should be in a single form, either active or passive. Avoid starting a sentence in active voice and then shifting to passive or vice versa.

Although he is as gifted, if not more gifted, than many of his colleagues, he is extremely modest and with his poetry remaining unpublished.-- Incorrect

Although he is as gifted as, if not more gifted than, many of his colleagues, he is extremely modest and will not publish his poetry. Correct

Verbs such as wish, love, hate, prefer, want, need, bear and like follow the active forms – object + to- infinitive . They do not have passive forms.

She wanted Shyam to go.- Correct
Shyam was wanted by her to be gone. Incorrect

Rohit preferred to write with a pencil- Correct
Pencil was preferred by Rohit to be written with – Incorrect

When the active voice is in the form that + there’, the passive for should be in the form there+ passive verb + to be

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Re: Active and Passive Voice
by jitendra havaldar - Friday, 12 October 2007, 10:17 AM
 

Hi TG,

smile Nice one... though don't you think the last sentence would be more appropriate in the following manner(construction-wise) :

"There is no site thought to be better than TG for MBA preparation."

what do you think?

thanks,

Jitendra

Re: Active and Passive Voice
by Software Engineer - Friday, 12 October 2007, 11:01 AM
  Thank You Very Much, BOSS. smile
Re: Active and Passive Voice
by Dagny Taggart - Friday, 12 October 2007, 11:16 AM
  Thanks Jitendra, have changed it and you are welcome SEsmile
Re: Active and Passive Voice
by Varun Choudhary - Friday, 12 October 2007, 11:47 AM
  We are lucky to have TG with us.......smilethank u sir
Re: Active and Passive Voice
by raghav dave - Friday, 12 October 2007, 01:03 PM
 

Hi Dagny ,

 Really nice article.....it will help a lot not only in exams but also in real life too.....But i have a doubt....

Are there any specific reasons why these verbs " wish, love, hate, prefer, want, need, bear" cannot be used with passive tones ???...

if in active voice we say ...."everone in India loves cricket"....then can't we say such a statement in passive voice as "Cricket is loved by Indian Crowd" ??....

Thanks in Advance...smile

Re: Active and Passive Voice
by the underdog - Friday, 12 October 2007, 01:21 PM
  awesome! the worm's cute too! big grin
Re: Active and Passive Voice
by sujatha raghunathan - Friday, 12 October 2007, 03:23 PM
  Hi Dagny,

Active
Passive
Jason enjoyed taking the dog outThe dog enjoyed being taken out
I remembered telling my mother about the tripMy mother remembered being told about the trip
 The meaning of the statement shouldn't differ when u convert a sentence from active to passive...I think these two statements in the Passive Voice differ in meaning from the Active Voice...enlighten me...

Sujatha
Re: Active and Passive Voice
by the underdog - Friday, 12 October 2007, 07:09 PM
  Sujatha+1

Re: Active and Passive Voice
by Alpa dedhia - Friday, 12 October 2007, 07:25 PM
  me too ... 1 more ... dagny we need to be rescued from labyrinth concept of grammar ...n u are the savior ... please help ...smile
on a serious note dagny i need help for english section ... i am not doing well in it... my %ile is going down because of this section...i consider  grammar and RC as my weak areas ... can u suggest me something at this stage to improve .. i am really stuck ...
Re: Active and Passive Voice
by Dagny Taggart - Friday, 12 October 2007, 11:26 PM
  Hi Sujatha, Underdog and Alpa,

I am honoured to have students like you on my site who have helped me in making my articles perfect.
My apologies, I forgot to write a note in that rule, will correct it in the chapter as well.
The note is -The verbs belonging to this group do not have corresponding meanings in active and passive sentences.

Dagny
Re: Active and Passive Voice
by Dagny Taggart - Friday, 12 October 2007, 11:30 PM
  Hi Alpa,

I would like to give you the same suggestions as I had given to one of the TGites yesterday. Follow the link and read the post written by me to the student named 'Rishi'. http://totalgadha.com/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=1470

Dagny
Thanks for the article!!!
by Rishi Kapoor - Friday, 12 October 2007, 11:44 PM
 

It seems that you wrote it just for me...

 

Re: Active and Passive Voice
by Alpa dedhia - Saturday, 13 October 2007, 11:22 AM
  Thanks dagny
My hopes are rekindled smile
Re: Active and Passive Voice
by Vinod Paramasivan - Saturday, 13 October 2007, 03:24 PM
  Hi Dagny,

Nice one but got some doubts.

Active
- Eva is eating food.
Passive- the food is eaten by Eva.

Here shudn't d passive be The food is being eaten by Eva.

Also for Rohan caught him stealing the money, the passive form is given as He was caght stealing the money. But here Rohan is not mentioned. The subject of the original sentence is not mentioned.

Also in You shouldn't have eaten the food alone.
Food shouldn't have been eaten by you alone.

Here the article is omitted. Is there a rule where the article should be used n where it can/should be omitted.

Thanks,
Vinod
Re: Active and Passive Voice
by jitendra havaldar - Saturday, 13 October 2007, 08:48 PM
 

my pleasure .. Dagny ...

thanks

JItendra

 

Re: Active and Passive Voice
by the underdog - Saturday, 13 October 2007, 10:48 PM
  The honor is all on this side of the table Dagny. smile
Re: Active and Passive Voice
by Dagny Taggart - Monday, 15 October 2007, 01:06 PM
  Hi Vinod,

Corrected ( except for the first one as the editing time is over).Thanks.

Dagny

Re: Active and Passive Voice
by Nitin Jain - Wednesday, 17 October 2007, 02:17 PM
 

Hi One thing to add

What will be the passive voice of

"Birds are flying in the sky".

 

In this case there will be no passive voice as the object is not present in the sentence. So the crux is if we don't have an object in the sentence, we can't have a passive voice.

 

 

Re: Active and Passive Voice
by ganesh ram - Friday, 22 August 2008, 11:30 PM
 

yes, i have also doubt given by NITIN JAIN.

any help me........ for that

thanks..

Re: Active and Passive Voice
by Road 2iim - Monday, 13 October 2008, 06:26 AM
  Would u pl add an exercise on active and passive voice for things to be more clear?
Re: Active and Passive Voice
by Dagny Taggart - Friday, 17 October 2008, 07:52 AM
  Donesmile
Re: Active and Passive Voice
by King Anand - Monday, 10 November 2008, 01:03 AM
 

nice one.

thnx!

Re: Active and Passive Voice
by abhishek tripathi - Tuesday, 18 August 2009, 01:39 PM
  hiiiiiiiiiiiii dagny mam.first of all a very good morning 2 u .actulaay i have a confusion regarding dat question in which there was a paasive voice of the spider.the passive voice should b like dis the spider was being chased by me.as comparing 2 da former passive voice the thief was caught by rohan.and can u tell me where can i find tricks for esaay writing and di section.i dnt find any apt link 4 da above thx
reagrds
abhishek
Re: Active and Passive Voice
by abhishek tripathi - Tuesday, 18 August 2009, 03:23 PM
  hiiiiiiiiiiiii dagny mam.first of all a very good morning 2 u .actulaay i have a confusion regarding dat question in which there was a paasive voice of the spider.the passive voice should b like dis the spider was being chased by me.as comparing 2 da former passive voice the thief was caught by rohan.and can u tell me where can i find tricks for esaay writing and di section.i dnt find any apt link 4 da above thx
reagrds
abhishek
Re: Active and Passive Voice
by abhishek tripathi - Tuesday, 18 August 2009, 03:24 PM
  hiiiiiiiiiiiii dagny mam.first of all a very good morning 2 u .actulaay i have a confusion regarding dat question in which there was a paasive voice of the spider.the passive voice should b like dis the spider was being chased by me.as comparing 2 da former passive voice the thief was caught by rohan.and can u tell me where can i find tricks for esaay writing and di section.i dnt find any apt link 4 da above thx
reagrds
abhishek
Re: Active and Passive Voice
by abhishek tripathi - Tuesday, 18 August 2009, 03:24 PM
  hiiiiiiiiiiiii dagny mam.first of all a very good morning 2 u .actulaay i have a confusion regarding dat question in which there was a paasive voice of the spider.the passive voice should b like dis the spider was being chased by me.as comparing 2 da former passive voice the thief was caught by rohan.and can u tell me where can i find tricks for esaay writing and di section.i dnt find any apt link 4 da above thx
reagrds
abhishek
Re: Active and Passive Voice
by puneet pratap singh - Saturday, 28 November 2009, 10:06 PM
  Can someone please tell me passive voice for today tomorrow and yesterday
Re: Active and Passive Voice
by mohil mittal - Tuesday, 13 September 2011, 01:42 PM
  Please tell the passive formation of following sentence and the rule governing them.

1) Dad allowed me to stay with him?
2) You report to him? (i don't know the correctness of this sentence)