Grade 6, English Olympiad (CBSE) - Active/ Passive Voice 

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Grade 6  |   English  |   Active/ Passive Voice, Voices: Active and Passive, Olympiad, CBSE, ICSE, Maths Olympiad, Science Olympiad, English Olympiad



Dictionary meaning:

Voice is a form of a verb showing the relation of the subject to the action, or state.


In Simple words:

Voice has been derived from an old French word ‘VOIS’. Voice is the quality of a verb that describes whether its subject acts (active voice) or is acted upon (passive voice). The two ways of expressing the action of a subject are known as Voices.

We can say Voice is that form of a verb which shows whether what is denoted by the subject that does something or has something done to it.

In grammar, the voice of a verb, and the gender of a verb (rarely), describes the relationship between the action, or state that the verb expresses and participants identified by its arguments, i.e. either subject or object. When the subject is the agent or doer of the action, the verb is in Active Voice. When the subject is the patient, target or under goer of the action, the verb is said to be in Passive voice.


Active VoicePassive Voice

The cat ate the mouse.

The mouse was eaten by the cat.

The hunter killed the bear.

The bear was killed by the hunter.

Ali ate the potatoes.

The potatoes were eaten by Ali

Guru changed the Flat tyre.

The flat tyre was changed by Guru.


Explaining the Two Kinds of Voices:


Active Voice is a form or set of forms of a verb in which the subject is typically the person (the doer) or thing performing the action and which can take a direct object. Example: She loved him.

We can say that Active Voice describes a sentence where the subject performs the action stated by the verb, i.e. subject doing the verb’s action or subject does and acts upon the verb.



A verb in the passive voice takes the object or person affected by the action as its subject. Passive verbs are formed by placing a form of the auxiliary verb ‘Be’ in front of the past participle. Example: He was loved.

We can say that in the Passive Voice sentences, the subject is acted upon by the verb, i.e. he or she receives the action expressed by the verb. The agent performing the action may appear in a by the - phrase or may be omitted if it is not of so much importance.


  • Object to Subject: The object of the Transitive verb in the Active Voice becomes the Subject of the verb in the Passive Voice.
  • Only Transitive verbs: can be used in the Passive Voice, because an Intransitive verb has no object.
  • Use of By: To form sentences in the Passive Voice, the subject becomes the object of the verb and the word ‘by’ is placed before the object.
  • Omissions: If the subject in Active Voice is unknown, or of less importance or is obvious, then the word ‘by’ and the object is omitted from the sentence in the Passive Voice.
  • Changes in the Position of Pronouns: When the sentence is changed from active to passive voice the position of the pronouns do change similarly, from subject to object. Shown as under:

Subject Position

Object Position







He/ She

His/ Her






  • Formation of main verb: Main verb in the Passive Voice is formed as: The To be verb + Past Participle form of the main verb. Past Participle means Main verb + ed or en.
  • Changes in the number: While converting sentences from Active to Passive Voice, the verb changes in number to fit into or suit the new subject. Example: Duck – Ducks, Dog- Dogs.
  • Change in the Modals: While forming a sentence in Passive Voice the Modals are also changed as follows: Modal + be + Past Participle form of the Main verb.

Example: May buy- may be bought.

  • Which voice to be used and when: The Active Voice is used when the agent or the doer is to be brought into notice. The Passive Voice is used when the person or thing acted upon is to be brought into notice.

Formation of sentences in Passive Voice: The following Table explains the rules to be followed while forming the sentences under Passive Voice.

Forms of Tenses

Rules to be followed


Subject (Object of Active Voice) + To be verb + Past Participle (Main verb + ed or en) + by+ Object (Subject of Active Voice).

Simple Present Tense

Subject + am/ is/ are + Past Participle + by + Object.

Simple Past Tense

Subject + was/ were + Past Participle + by + Object.

Simple Future Tense

Subject + shall be/ will be + Past Participle + by + object.



Subject + To be verb + Being + Past Participle + by + Object.


Present Continuous Tense

Subject + am/ is/ are + being + Past participle + by + Object.

Past Continuous Tense

Subject + was/ were + being + Past Participle + by + Object.

Future Continuous Tense

It cannot be changed into Passive Voice.




Subject + To have verb + been + Past Participle + by + Object.


Present Perfect Tense

Subject + have/ has + been + Past Participle + by + Object.

Past Perfect Tense

Subject + had + been + Past Participle + by + Object.

Future Perfect Tense

Subject + Shall have/ will have + been + Past Participle + by + Object.

Perfect Continuous Tense

It also cannot be changed into the Passive Voice.



Changes shown as under in the sentences formed in Active or Passive Voice.

Voices ->

Active Voice

Passive Voice


Simple Present Tense

I eat a mango.

A mango is eaten by me.

Simple Past Tense

I ate a mango.

A mango was eaten by me.

Simple Future Tense

I shall eat a mango.

A mango will be eaten by me.

Present Continuous Tense

I am eating a mango.

A mango is being eaten by me.

Past Continuous Tense

I was eating a mango.

A mango was being eaten by me.

Present Perfect Tense

I have eaten a mango.

A mango has been eaten by me.

Past Perfect Tense

I had eaten a mango.

A mango had been eaten by me.

Future Perfect Tense

I shall have eaten a mango.

A mango will have been eaten by me.


Note: Sentences written in Active Voices are easier to understand than the sentences written in the Passive Voice. Rest do as much practice as you can as Tenses and Voices can only be understood if you practice more of them, read newspapers, magazines, write down the sentences written in different forms of tenses. Identify the sentences written whether in Active or Passive form. This will increase your capabilities and for sure your grammar too.

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