• English grammar
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  • 1 English alphabet
  • 2 English pronunciation and phonetics [0/3]
  • 3 English articles [0/9]
  • 4 English pronouns [0/39]
  • 4.1 English personal pronouns [0/3]
  • 4.2 English impersonal pronouns (it, there, ...) [0/4]
  • 4.3 English object pronouns [0/3]
  • 4.4 English possessive pronouns [0/5]
  • 4.5 English reflexive pronouns [0/4]
  • 4.6 English reciprocal pronouns [0/4]
  • 4.7 English demonstrative pronouns [0/3]
  • 4.8 English relative pronouns [0/4]
  • 4.9 English indefinite pronouns [0/5]
  • 4.10 English interrogative pronouns [0/4]
  • 5 English nouns [0/16]
  • 6 English adjectives [0/38]
  • 6.1 Adjectives of quality in English [0/4]
  • 6.2 Demonstrative adjectives in English [0/4]
  • 6.3 Possessive adjectives in English [0/4]
  • 6.4 Quantity adjectives in English [0/4]
  • 6.5 Interrogative adjectives in English [0/4]
  • 6.6 Numeral adjectives in English [0/8]
  • 6.7 Comparatives and superlatives [0/10]
  • 7 English adverbs [0/18]
  • 8 English prepositions [0/12]
  • 9 English verbs [0/122]
  • 9.1 Present tenses in English [0/29]
  • Fill in the correct present tense in English (Score -/-)
  • Exercise about all present tenses in English (Score -/-)
  • Mixed present tenses exercise in English (Score -/-)
  • Practice all the English present tenses (Score -/-)
  • 9.1.1 Present simple tense in English [0/5]
  • 9.1.2 Present continuous tense in English [0/4]
  • 9.1.3 Present simple vs present continuous in English [0/4]
  • 9.1.4 Present perfect tense in English [0/4]
  • 9.1.5 Present perfect continuous tense in English [0/4]
  • 9.1.6 Difference past simple and present perfect in English [0/4]
  • 9.2 Past tenses in English [0/20]
  • 9.3 Future tenses in English [0/21]
  • 9.4 Auxiliary verbs in English [0/9]
  • 9.5 Present participle in English [0/3]
  • 9.6 Past participle in English [0/3]
  • 9.7 Modal verbs in English [0/11]
  • 9.8 Phrasal verbs in English [0/3]
  • 9.9 Regular verbs in English [0/3]
  • 9.10 Irregular verbs in English [0/3]
  • 9.11 Gerund (-ing form) in English [0/8]
  • 9.12 Infinitive verbs in English [0/3]
  • 9.13 Imperative in English [0/2]
  • 9.14 Reported speech in English [0/2]
  • 9.15 Active and passive voice in English [0/2]
  • 10 English conditionals [0/20]
  • Active and passive voice in English

    This chapter will discuss the active and passive voice in English, these are not tenses. However, the verbs in the passive and active voice can be conjugated to all the tenses, for example present simple or past perfect. Active and passive voice is about the structure of the sentence and differ in  who is performing the action in the sentence.  

    1) Recap: Active voice in English  

    In the active voice, also known as direct voice, a subject performs an action. 

    Examples:

    • The girl cooks dinner.  
    • He is writing a book 

    Structure: Subject + main verb + receiver of action. 

    2) Passive voice in English  

    The passive voice is used to put more stress on the action and not on the persons that perform the actions. The passive voice is mostly used when it is not important who performed the action.  

    Examples:

    • The dinner was cooked by the girl.  
    • The book was written by the author.  

    Structure of the passive voice  

    The passive voice is formed with the auxiliary verb 'to be' and the past participle of the main verb. 

    Structure: Subject + verb 'to be' + past participle of the main verb

      Subject Main verb Object
    Active voice A car hit  the dog
    Passive voice The dog was hit by a car

    The difference between active and passive voice in different tenses is shown in the table below. 

    Verb tenses Active voice Passive voice
    Simple Present Joe writes a letter. A letter is written by Joe.
    Present Continous My sister is keeping my house tidy. My house is being kept tidy by my sister.
    Simple Past The government built a school. A school was built by the government.
    Past Continous The band was singing my favourite song. My favourite song was being sung by me.
    Present Perfect The earthquake has destroyed the whole city. The whole city has been destroyed by the earthquake.
    Past perfect Michael had published an article. An article had been published by Michael.
    Simple Future My mother will keep our dog. The dog will be kept by my mother.
    Conditional Present If you told me, I would keep your secret. If you told me, your secret would be kept.
    Conditional Past

    I would have repaired your bicycle here if you had left it with me.

    Your bicycle would have been repaired here if you had left it with me.

    How to change the active into passive voice

    To transform an active sentence into a passive one, the steps below have to be followed: 

    1. The object of the active sentence becomes the subject of the passive one.  
    2. The main verb is replaced by the auxiliary verb 'to be'  
    3. The subject of the active sentence becomes the agent of the passive. This is the person that does or causes something in the passive sentence.  
    4. The agent who performs the action will normally get the proposition 'by' in front. 
    Active Explanation Passive
    She wears a blue sweater. 
    1. 'A blue sweater' becomes the subject of the sentence.
    2. 'To be' is added. 
    3. 'She' becomes the agent. 
    4. The preposition 'by' is added. 
    A blue sweater is worn by her. 
    My father is painting the wall.
    1. 'The wall' becomes the subject of the sentence.
    2. 'To be' is added. 
    3. 'My father' becomes the agent. 
    4. The preposition 'by' is added. 
    The wall is being painted by my father. 
    She cooks our dinner. 
    1. 'Our dinner' becomes the subject of the sentence.
    2. 'To be' is added. 
    3. 'She' becomes the agent. 
    4. The preposition 'by' is added. 
    Our dinner is cooked by her. 

    Train your skills by doing the exercises below!

    Exercises

    Exercise change active voice to passive voice

    Exercise change passive voice to active voice