Voice Change rules | Active and passive voice rules and examples

Voice change is a most important part of English grammar. Many students are still not able to make sentences from Active Voice to Passive Voice and they often make mistakes while making it. Here we want to inform you that before learning voice change, you need to learn Tense. If you have learned Tense then it will help you to understand Voice Change easily. However, today we'll discuss the rules of voice change and their examples in a very simple way so, the students who are not able to make sentences through voice change, we hope they'll understand it easily.

Active and passive voice rules and examples

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What is Voice Change in English grammar

Definition : Voice change or voice is the form of the verb or action which points out whether the subjects does the work or any other else does. For an example "Rahul beats Pritam". Here the subject "Rahul" does the work of "beating". Another example "Pritam is beaten by Rahul". Here the subject "Pritam", does not do the work of  "beating" but receives the result of beating. 

Types of Voice Change 

There are three types of Voice change in English grammar such as (i) Active Voice, (ii) Passive Voice and (iii) Quasi-Passive Voice. 

(i) Active Voice : 

When the subject of a sentence itself does the work or when the subject is actor or doer, then it is called Active Voice. Examples; "He is reading the book", "'She does this work", etc.

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(ii) Passive Voice : 

When the subject of a sentence does not do the work or act and when the subject of a sentence is not the actor or doer but the subject is the receiver of the result of the action, then it is called Passive Voice. Examples; "The book is being read by him", "This work is done by her", etc

(iii) Quasi-Passive Voice : 

Quasi-Passive voice is Active in structure but Passive in terms of meaning. For example; In Active Voice : "Rosogolla tastes sweet". In Passive Voice : "Rosogolla is sweet when it is tasted".


Active Voice Passive Voice
They made him king He was made king by them
I dreamt a dream A dream was dreamt by me
He ran a race A race was run by him
I know him He is known to me

Voice Change rules : Active Voice to Passive Voice

Rule No. 1 : 

The Object of a sentence in Active voice becomes Subject of that sentence in Passive voice. Similarly the The Object of a sentence in Active voice becomes Subject of that sentence in Passive voice. For an example;

  • Active Voice : I do the work
  • Passive Voice : The work is done by me.

Here "I" is a Subject in Active voice and it becomes Object, "me" in Passive voice. And "the work" is a Object in Active voice and it becomes Subject in Passive voice. 

Rules No. 2 : 

The Main Verb of the active voice is changed into Past Participle form in the passive voice and before that the necessary form ("to be" verb) of the verb is used. 

Rule No. 3 : 

If there are two objects in a sentence, one object can be used as subject and the other remains the same (as an object). 

Rules No. 4 : 

The pronouns changes when subject becomes objects or object becomes subject. Example, I< >Me, We< >Us, He< >Him, You< >You, They< >Them, She< >Her, etc.

Tenses in Active and Passive Voice 

Simple Present or Present Indefinite 

Rule : In the voice change of simple present tense, the subject of Active voice becomes object in passive voice. Similarly the object of Active voice becomes subject in passive voice. And then the helping verb (am/is/are) is used before the main verb and then the past participle form of the main verb is used. 

Short Rule : Subject < > Object + am/is/are + 3rd form of main verb + by or other preposition + Object< >Subject

Example : 

  • Active Voice : We do the work 
  • Passive Voice : The work is done by us

Present Continuous 

Rule : In the voice change of present continues tense, the subject of Active voice becomes object in passive voice. Similarly the object of Active voice becomes subject in passive voice. And then the helping verb (am/is/are) and the word, "Being" is used before the main verb and then the past participle form of the main verb is used. 

Short Rule : Subject < > Object + am/is/are +  being + 3rd form of main verb + by or other preposition + Object< >Subject

Example :

  • Active Voice : We are doing the work
  • Passive Voice : The work is being done by us

Present Perfect 

Rule : In the voice change of present perfect tense, the subject of Active voice becomes object in passive voice. Similarly the object of Active voice becomes subject in passive voice. And then the helping verb (have/has) and the word, "Been" is used before the main verb and then the past participle form of the main verb is used. 

Short Rule : Subject < > Object + have/has +  been + 3rd form of main verb + by or other preposition + Object< >Subject

Example :

  • Active Voice : We have done the work 
  • Passive Voice : The work has been done by us

Present Perfect Continuous 

*Note : There is no passive voice for Past/Present/ Future perfect continuous tense.  

Simple Past or Past Indefinite  

Rule : In the voice change of simple past tense, the subject of Active voice becomes object in passive voice. Similarly the object of Active voice becomes subject in passive voice. And then the helping verb (was/were) is used before the main verb and then the past participle form of the main verb is used. 

Short Rule : Subject < > Object + was/were + 3rd form of main verb + by or other preposition + Object< >Subject

Example :

  • Active Voice : Raju helped him
  • Passive Voice : He was helped by Raju

Present Continuous 

Rule : In the voice change of past continues tense, the subject of Active voice becomes object in passive voice. Similarly the object of Active voice becomes subject in passive voice. And then the helping verb (was/were) and the word, "Being" is used before the main verb and then the past participle form of the main verb is used. 

Short Rule : Subject < > Object + was/were +  being + 3rd form of main verb + by or other preposition + Object< >Subject

Example : 

  • Active Voice : Raju was helping him
  • Passive Voice : He was being helped by Raju

Past Perfect :

Rule : In the voice change of past perfect tense, the subject of Active voice becomes object in passive voice. Similarly the object of Active voice becomes subject in passive voice. And then the helping verb (had) and the word, "Been" is used before the main verb and then the past participle form of the main verb is used.

Short Rule : Subject < > Object + had +  been + 3rd form of main verb + by or other preposition + Object< >Subject

Example :

  • Active Voice : Raju had helped him
  • Passive Voice : He had been helped by Raju

Simple Future or Future Indefinite 

Rule : In the voice change of simple future tense, the subject of Active voice becomes object in passive voice. Similarly the object of Active voice becomes subject in passive voice. And then the helping verb (shall/will) and the word, "Be" is used before the main verb and then the past participle form of the main verb is used.

Short Rule : Subject < > Object + shall/will +  be + 3rd form of main verb + by or other preposition + Object< >Subject

Example :

  • Active Voice : You will play cricket
  • Passive Voice : Cricket will be played by you

Future Continuous 

*Note : Future continuous tense is not used for voice change. 

Future Perfect 

Rule : In the voice change of future perfect tense, the subject of Active voice becomes object in passive voice. Similarly the object of Active voice becomes subject in passive voice. And then the helping verb (shall/will) and the words, "have" + "Been" is used before the main verb and then the past participle form of the main verb is used.

Short Rule : Subject < > Object + shall/will + have + been + 3rd form of main verb + by or other preposition + Object< >Subject

Example :

  • Active Voice : I shall have finished the work 
  • Passive Voice : The work will have been finished by me

Passive Voice Rules for Modals

Modals Rule : 

In the voice change for modals, the subject of Active voice becomes object in passive voice. Similarly the object of Active voice becomes subject in passive voice. And then the modal verb (can/could/will/would/may/might, etc) and the word,"Be" is used before the main verb and then the past participle form of the main verb is used.

Short Rule : Subject < > Object + modal verb +  be + 3rd form of main verb + by or other preposition + Object< >Subject

Example :

  • Active Voice : She can do the work
  • Passive Voice : The can be done by her

Imperative Sentences 

Imperative Sentences Definition : 

If the verb of the Active Voice indicates or expresses Request, Advice, Order, etc, then it is called Imperative sentence. 

Imperative Sentences Rule : 

The word, "Let" is used before the Object or it is placed or used at the beginning of the Passive Voice and then the verb or word, "Be" is used before the main verb and then  the past participle form of the main verb is placed or used.

Short Rule : Let + Object + Be + 3rd form of main verb 

Example : 

  • Active Voice : Do the work
  • Passive Voice : Let the work be done

*Note : "Let" may be used in both Active and Passive Voice.

Example : 

  • Active Voice : Let him buy a phone
  • Passive Voice : Let a phone be brought by him

Interrogative Sentences

Rule : An interrogative sentence in Active Voice maintains its interrogative form also in Passive Voice. An interrogative sentence can starts with "Do Verb", "Be Verb", "Have Verb", "Wh Word", etc.   

Yes-No Questions

Short Rule : Helping verb + Subject < > Object +  3rd form of main verb + by or other preposition + Object< >Subject + Interrogative sign (?). 

Example :

  • Active Voice : Do you see the girl?
  • Passive Voice : Is the girl seen by you?

Wh Questions

Short Rule : Wh words (Who/Whom/What/Which/etc) + Helping verb + Subject < > Object +  3rd form of main verb + by or other preposition + Object< >Subject + Interrogative sign (?). 

Example : 

  • Active Voice : How did you do it?
  • Passive Voice : How was it done by you?

*Note : In some interrogative sentences you'll see only one subject or object. 

For example 

  • Active Voice : Whom did you call?
  • Passive Voice : Who was called by you?

Negative Sentences into Passive Voice

Short Rule : Subject < > Object + helping verb + not + 3rd form of main verb + by or other preposition + Object< >Subject

Example :

  • Active Voice : I do not like the boy
  • Passive Voice : The boy is not liked by me 


We hope we have covered all the important rules of Voice Change. And we also hope that it'll help you to understand the Voice Change. Make sure you Subscribe our website and Allow notification. Follow us on Quora and Instagram. And you can join our Telegram Channel for daily The Hindu newspaper pdf, competitive exam materials, etc. Share this post with your friends and families. Thank you

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Hello everyone, I’m Mritunjoy Biswas and I did masters degree in English literature. Now I’m a private tutor and I have been teaching for last 5 years.

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