Changing Voices


16.1 Voice: Voice is the term used to clarify whether a verb is active or passive. That means it tells us whether the subject of the verb is acting or is acted upon.

16.2 Classification of Voice: Voice is of two kinds. 1. Active    2. Passive

Voice 1 Active
2 Passive (to be verb + verb3)


16.3 To be verb (8) :  am, is, are, was, were, be, being, been
am/is/are Simple Present
was/were Simple Past
am/is/are + being Present continuous tense
was/were+ being Past continuous tense
have/has + been Present Perfect tense
had + been Past Perfect tense
be Modal auxiliary/Imperative sentence


16.4 Find out active and passive voice.
Hannan ate six shrimp at dinner. He can be questioned for six hours. Sume changed the channel. A movie is going to be watched tonight. Mom read the novel in one day. A book was written by him. I will clean the house. A safety video will be watched by the staff every year. Tom has painted the entire house. The two kings are signing the treaty. Money was donated to the homeless. He ought to be forgiven. The video was posted on Facebook. Seat belts must be worn. The victory could be celebrated with the team tomorrow. Sara is being helped by Atik. They were interrogating him. They hadn’t told me. They will hang him at dawn. They won’t be beating him. I will have repaired your car. I don’t disturb her. It seems to have been taken. It could have badly hurt you. It might be bought. Passengers must wear seat belts. You should have told me. She should have been told. They ought to forgive him. Dinner has been served. She hadn’t been invited in the party. He will be hanged for murder at dawn. Your house will have been painted by 7pm. It used to be taken care of by Rana. Rima insisted on being paid. I saw the cat eating it. I saw the cat. I insisted on them paying me. Ram used to take care of everything. They can question him for six hours. The police have been watching that house for weeks. Kid has served dinner. They didn’t hide my phone yesterday. You could have been badly hurt. Somebody might buy it.


16.5 Process of identifying subject and object                                                                      

Real process Make a question to verb with who= answer will be subject

Make a question to verb with whom(person) = answer will be object

Make a question to verb with what (thing) = answer will be object

Shortcut process Adverb Subject+ verb +object adverb
Adverb Subject+ verb +object + object adverb
Adverb Subject+ verb +object + preposition + extension adverb


16.6 Process of Active to Passive
Subject (from object)                                        to be verb + verb3 (ext.)                              by + object (from Subject)


16.7 Process of  Passive to Active
1.       Omit to be verb and by (preposition)

       If there is no object, assume/imagine an object according to sentence.

2.       Identify Tense (using to be verb)

N.B.: Active voice follows the structures of tense.

         Passive voice follows the structures of voice.


16.8 Exercises on Voice

16.8.1 Active to Passive
Sub + to be verb + verb3 + by + obj.
a.       I write a letter. He does the sum. I commit mistakes. Ali opens the window. Sabina sings a song. We celebrate our national days. They plough the field. The teacher forbids the students.  The cat kills mice. The man buys a shirt. Samina writes a letter. We learn English. I find him reading a book. A stranger wonder fill him. It takes time. It worries him. We need a teacher. I do not take tea. She buys everything. She plays chess every week. We hate drinking Coca Cola. We eat rice every day. You drink milk every day. They lock the gate every night. Fortune favours the brave.

b.       They are building a house. They are disturbing the class. She is singing a song. They are breaking the pitcher. The fishermen were catching fishes. They were doing sums. They were flying kites. The Teacher is explaining the lesson. The Students are writing a story. They are looking at you. The men are cutting down the trees.

c.       He has bought a pen. Rahat has written a letter. He has repaired his watch now. He has lost his umbrella. I had done this. You have told the truth. Nobody had seen her smile. Jamal has returned the book. They have finished the work. We have finished the work. John has sent the letter.

d.       Nila dropped the letter. He wrote music. They hated the brave. Rina told a story. I saw a bird. He liked the bird. He picked it up. They laughed at the old man. He bought the house last year. I took the hammer yesterday.  Someone established the school in 1850.


a.       Tourists from home and abroad visit its shore. Dish antenna creates both good and bad effects on our culture. He has heard many stories about ghosts. They eat these cooked, dried or frozen foods to satisfy their hunger. People all over the world enjoy this game very much. Fishermen catch various kinds of fishes in the river. Almost everyone enjoys the day in his own way. Therefore, everybody loved him very much. One night his thirsty mother asked him for a glass of water. In spite of these difficulties, lots of students from different countries obtain degrees from Bangladesh. Modern science has created wonders. Thus various kinds of waste and filth contaminate water. They find a better shelter in Bangladesh. I passed the day with my new classmates and teachers. People use flowers on different occasion. The college gave her the responsibility. People consider him the greatest physicist after Einstein. The authority has taken some drastic steps against the corruption. He was digging holes in several places. They use the vacant space below their house to keep agricultural tools. Everybody knew him well for his generosity. A dedicated lady named Nawab Faizunnessa established it. Someone established the school in 1850. Houses keep us safe and sound. He did not prescribe any medicine for the king. He delivers letters, money orders, parcels etc to the addresses. The outer show of things and beings concerns them. The roughness and stupidity in these hospitals shocked him. Books introduce us to the kingdom of the knowledge. However, he loves his relatives a great deal. The farmers use water in time of cultivation largely. She obtained her graduation degree from Dhaka University. He began his study with a recitation of the holy Quran. Tragedy has shaped the lives of the people of Bangladesh. During  summer,  it  attracts  thousands  of  visitors  all  over  India  and  also  from other  countries.  One day the old sailor was watching the water snakes swimming round the ship. A self reliant man can decorate his life demonstratively. Fahmida’s college was going to introduce a debating club. In the end, the princess called the young farmer and rewarded him.

b.       His behavior surprised me. The novels of Md. Jafor Iqbal interested me. Newspaper contains daily news. Smoke filled the room. The teacher pleased the students. I came by a pen. His stupidity vexed me. Panic seized me. Circumstance compelled me to do this. He annoyed me. The beauty of the girl marveled me. His behavior surprised me. His performance satisfied the teachers. His father’s death shocked him.

c.       He decided to leave the job. He agreed to sell the shop. He wants you to write a letter. He wants someone to take camera. He wants me to take photographs. He wants me to hang the picture. I don’t want to disturb him. He decided to buy the house. He wanted to play football. It is time to do your duty. He suggested giving up smoking.

d.       We know that Cook discovered Australia. I know that he did the work. We know that the earth is round. He told me that he had done the work. People say that he was a great man. I know that you helped him. I thought that Babul had sung a song. I know that he is a good boy. He ate rice and went to school. We know that two and two are four. I know that he is honest. We know the earth is round. I know what he thinks. We know how to play cricket. They hoped that we should win the match. People say that the lion is the king of beasts. Everybody believes that education is the backbone of a nation. We think that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. I think that you are honest. They thought that I did it. We realized that it was a time capsule. He thought that it was India. People think that Hasan is a great hero. I consider that the man is honest. He knows that he will pass. We believe that the earth is round. We believe that he has that ability. They admitted that they were guilty. They said that the movie was fantastic. He said that he was so disappointed. We think that we can touch the stars. The teacher should know that everything is unacceptable. I believe that he is innocent. I suspect that she eloped with her boyfriend. The children complained that they had nothing to do. She didn’t really think that it would happen.


16.8.2 Sub + modal auxiliary + be + verb3 + by + obj.
Allah can help us. We could see the moon. He may help my brother. You might wear a cap. We should respect an honest man. You should respect your teacher. We should obey our parents. He must perform his duty. You must do the work. We ought to respect our parents. He must take his medicine. I can speak German. You should see this film. He could find his wallet. You can look after other people.  You can borrow my motorbike. You ought to drive the car carefully. You ought to switch off the light. I could lend you my car.  I should build a new computer center. I must carry out this plan. You must obey the law. The law must be obeyed. We must protect wild animals. We must punish criminals. You can practice English every day. We can practiceEnglish every day. Children can see this film. They can arrange a meeting. A meeting can be arranged. We shall invite Simon. They will forget this case. Mother will arrange the books. You can play tennis. She can speak five languages.  You can mend my watch. He will solve it. They will say prayers. You must not leave the baby alone. We can’t cheat them. One should take care of one’s health. He can never help people of the society. The educated can train the uneducated. This admixture may corrupt the nature of the original commodity. The students should answer to the questions briefly to obtain good marks. We ought to preserve this precious wildlife from the extinction by any means.


16.8.3 Sub + auxiliary verb + modal auxiliary + be + verb3 + by + obj (ext).
BTV is going to telecast a new serial. He is going to do market. I am going to buy some books. My father is going to start a new business. They are going to build a dam. We are going to celebrate our annual cultural week. They are going to set up a college. Kalim is going to break the door. He is going to take the class. She is going to help the beggar. Our teacher is going to give me a prize. I am going to buy a book. I am going to write the last voice change. I am going to speak English. I am going to study Bangla. I’m going to make a great mistake. Jim is going to draw a boat. We are going to sing a song at the party. I am going to play handball. You are going to meet Jannat. He is going to spend his vacation in Dkaka. I am going to buy a new car. I am going to swimming. He is going to take the exam. We’re not going to paint our bedroom. You’re going to miss your train. Rani is going to found a school. Jony is going to visit Satkrira. They are going to have a party next week. We are going to have dinner together. You are going to take the responsibility. Liza is going to contact Rina. Our government is going to take some steps to make it more attractive.


16.8.4 Imperative sentence: Let (not) + obj + be + verb3 (ext).
Look at the picture. Change the voice. Take care of your health. Finish the game. Open the door. Put up a tent there. Look after your parents. Obey your parents. Punish the liar. Settle the dispute. Empty the glass at once. Take off your things. Make a phone call. Help your friends. Try it again. Budget your time. Leave it. Drive the dog away. Read the book. Put the book on the table. Send a message immediately. Wear the new dress. Help the boy. Give the order.

Don’t waste your time. Don’t insult the poor. Do not shut the door. Do not defer anything for tomorrow. Don’t disturb me. Don’t mention your name in writing a letter. Do not insult the poor. Do not make a mistake. Do not insult the weak. Do not waste your time. Don’t look down upon the poor. Don’t disturb the sleeping dog.


16.8.5 Let + obj + be + verb3 + by/for + obj (ext).
Let us drop the matter. Let us cut jokes. Let us hold a meeting. Let him enjoy the film. Let her keep our environment clean.  Let them feed the hungry. Let him do the work. Let him write a letter. Let the girl sing a song Let the boys play football. Let them call in a doctor. Let me say a few words. Let me solve the problem. Let him do the sum. Let me help you. Let’s do some exercises. Let me do it for you. Let them try it. Let her explain it. Pluck me a flower. Buy me a pen.


16.8.6 You are told/ordered/requested/advised to +verb1+ ext.
Please help me. Come here. Sit down. Get lost. Come on time. Be quiet. Be reasonable. Stop here. Write soon. Please do it. Come on time. Stop here. Write soon.  Go away. Drive slowly. Speak to Sam. Go out. Come in. Hurry up.


16.8.7 Quassi passive: Sub + to be verb+ verb3 + ext.
The places of subject will not be changed.
The pen writes well. Honey tastes sweet. The bed feels soft. The book reads well. The bed feels soft. The school garden looked very beautiful. The pen writes well. The sun shines brightly. The stone feels rough. Iron feels hard. The stone feels tough. The moon looks beautiful. Mangoes taste sour. The green mangoes did taste sweet. The rose smells sweet. The moon looks beautiful. The pill tastes bitter. You look happy. The books look new. Rita looks beautiful. The book reads interesting. The composition reads easy. The stories seem interesting. Stones feel hard. The cushion feels soft. The apple tastes sweet. Mina reads well. The mangoes do not taste sweet. This story does not read funny.


16.8.8 Sub + to be verb+ being + verb3
The places of subject will not be changed.
The cow is milking. The Padma Bridge is building. The book is printing. The flowers are smelling. The house is building. The drums are beating. The road is repairing. The road is building. The moon is smiling. The bon is baking. The mobile is ringing. The house is painting. The followers are smiling.


16.8.9 Reflexive pronoun: Sub + to be verb+ verb3 + by + obj
The places of subject and object will not be changed.
She beautifies herself. They help themselves. He was fanning himself. She hurt herself quite badly. She killed herself. He hates himself. The lady praises herself. They saved themselves. She fans herself. He saved himself. The baby hurt itself. The woman fans herself. The woman fanned herself. He insults himself. He is insulted by himself. We must understand ourselves. She prepared herself for the battle. I washed myself. You drive yourself. We can fix ourselves. You are helping yourselves. He was talking to himself. I see myself in the mirror. I wash myself. You might cut yourself. I am teaching myself to play the piano. The children behave themselves. He found himself lying by the road. I saw myself as a famous actor. She applied herself to the job of mending the lights. He busied himself in the kitchen. They enjoyed themselves. I really enjoyed myself. He dressed himself. Did you hurt yourself?  Badon blames himself. Can you feed yourselves? They cannot help themselves. She poured herself a glass of milk. The young girl was singing herself. I gave myself. You should buy yourself. The men cleaned themselves. Jerin read himself. The students monitor themselves. I looked at myself. He burnt himself. He accidentally cut himself while he was chopping the vegetables. The animal hurt itself. We blamed ourselves. You can help yourselves.  I saw myself.  She saved herself. We blamed ourselves. You have sent yourself.  They looked after themselves. She looked for herself. We helped ourselves. They injured themselves. I enjoyed myself. The dog is scratching itself .The author signed herself. I did it myself. He poisoned himself. The children can look after themselves. She calls herself. They are preparing themselves.


16.8.10 Interrogative sentences: Auxiliary verb + sub + verb3 + by + obj?
Do you want me? Do you like it? Do you know him? Do you know me? Do you know me? Does he know you? Does he do his duties? Did they make a noise? Did the boy catch a bird? Did he like you? Has he broken the plate? Has he broken the plates? Have you ever seen a play? Have they finished their work? Is he helping you? Is he drawing a picture? Was she not weaving a sari? Are you writing a letter? Is she beating the child? Does James teach at a school? Does Suria buy a beautiful gift? Do you know Simon? Do you like tea or coffee? Have you invited them? Does Peter know the answer? Does Maria play ludu? Did she take a lot of time? Did he tell me a story? Did the boy steal the money? Did she join us? Did Ali make a cake yesterday? Is she enjoying it?  Is Rohan playing basketball at university? Does Prince earn a handsome salary? Has Jui visited me? Will you help him? Will you accept the position?  Shall I help him? Will he help the poor? Will you draw a picture? Can anybody answer all the questions? Can you write a paragraph?


16.8.11 W/h + to be verb + sub + verb3 + by + obj?
How did you solve the problem? How did you do the works? What do you want? What does he want? Whom do you want? Where did you find him? Where did you find him? When did you do it? When will you return any book? Which pen do you like most? Which book do you need? Why are you making a noise? Why did the teacher punish her? What has he done? Where can you hide this box? What are you wearing? Which color do you prefer? Which seat would you like? Where are my keys? Where does John live? What time does the plane leave? What did he say? When do you finish college? Where do you live?  Why are you learning English? When does the train depart from here? Where have you taken him? How many hours do you sleep? How much money do you have? Who washes your cloth? What games do you know?  When does it rain in Bd?  When do the stars shine?  How can I do this work alone? Why do you sleep early? When are you leaving? Where do they live? What has she done now? Why didn’t you call me? What have they decided? Where should I park? Why does he disclose the fact? Why do they take the pen? When will Jibon write it? When will they make the kite? Where did Mamun find you? How have you done this? How does he finish the work?


16.8.12 By whom/who + a/v + sub + to be verb + verb3 (ext)?
Note that who changes to by whom and whom into who.

Who will drive the car? Who will save you now? Who can do the work? Who has broken the chair? Who has broken the plate? Who will drive the car? Who is telling the lies? Who was selling mangoes? Who has made the holes? Who could say the answer? Who knows you? Who did it? Who told you this? Who is calling me? Who has broken the chair? Who knows you here? Who has helped the boy in exam? Who did the crime? Who broke the window? Who was driving the car? Who is going to take out the trash? Who speaks Urdu in her house?  Who made the birthday cake? Who’s been paying the bills? Who made this decision? Who do you think? Who do you wish to speak to? Who talked to you today? Who went to dinner? Who ate the cake? Who wrote the letter? Who taught you Bangla? Who gives the instructions? Who gets the instructions? Who would she stay with? Who wants an ice cream?

Whom do you want? Whom did he help? Whom will she call? Whom does Rana see? Whom can you say? Whom did you see on the road? Whom is he teaching English? Whom has he beaten? Whom did you speak to? Whom do you prefer to vote for? Whom do you live with? Whom did you invite? Whom did you call? Whom are you going to invite? Whom did he blame for the accident? Whom did he hire to do the job? W Who brought the paper inside? Whom do you think we should support? Whom do you wish to speak? Whom did you write the letter?


16.8.13 Process of  Passive to Active

1.      Omit to be verb and by (preposition)

If there is no object, then assume an object.

2.      Identify Tense (using to be verb)

N.B.: Active voice follows the structures of tense

a.       He was given a nice book by me. We were taught English by the headmaster. The boy is known to me. Mice are killed by cats. Time is wasted by the boy. A great fight was fought by him. The magazine was read by her. He was seen to go by me. A lot of things were done by him for me. The dog was beaten by the boy. He was made our captain by us. The Story was read by father yesterday. A book was being read by him. Kites were being flown by them. A canal is being dug by us. The works have been done by him. Their garden has been made by the students. The letter had been written by her. The canal had been dug by us. She was killed by him. The orphans are looked after by him. Rice is mainly eaten in Asia. Important materials are contained in the parcel. It is said by them. It was replied by the maid. English is taught by him. Bananas are being eaten by the child. A letter is being written by her. The servant was punished by the master. A book was being written by him. Meal is cooked by someone every day. A blue shirt was worn by him. A house is being built by them. The job has been finished by me. The report was sent yesterday. A diamond necklace was bought by her. My purse had been stolen by somebody. We are taught grammar by Ms Sultana. He was praised by the teacher. The injured were taken to the hospital by the firemen. The town was destroyed by an earthquake. The teacher was pleased with the boy’s work. The building was damaged by the fire. The streets were thronged with spectators. The trees were blown down by the wind. The thieves were caught by the police. The letter was posted by Ali. We were received by the hostess. The snake was killed with a stick. The minister was welcomed by the people. He was found guilty of murder. This house was built by father in 1991. The agreement was signed by them. He had been bitten by a mad dog. He is loved by his parents, teachers and friends. They are organized by Samba Schools.

b.       The day was passed by me with my new classmates & teachers. But the larger share of the mango was given to Raju by him. Once a duck was roasted by a cook for his master. A book has been finished reading about the people of Bangladesh by me. The photographs of the surrounding area are taken by many tourists. Once the poet was asked by the sultan to write an epic. A lot of rice is produced every year by our country. Very often during these voyages the vast sheet of unlimited water was gazed at by Columbus. Financial help was sought to the queen of Spain by him. One day his maid servant was ordered by the king to sweep his bedroom well. The students are helped to prepare good speeches by the English teacher. He was handed over to the police by people. Their study is forgotten and usual duty and work are left by the youths. The light is turned off at bed time. A lot of cars are imported from japan. Many accidents are caused by reckless drivers. Many people are injured in road accidents every day. A truthful person is loved and respected by all.

c.       Our school was established in 1969. Thus many customers are cheated off and on. Collected honey is stored in the hive. It is called the king of fruits. They are taken care of. They are respected all over the world. The bee is known as an industrious creature. A new house is being built in our street. The car is repaired. The letter is written. This shop has been opened. A postcard has been sent to Jill. Millions of books are bought for students each year. Such a present had been given to my mum. The garden was sold to the man. A letter has been shown to his parents. This book is lent to readers very often. Mangoes  of  superior  quality  are grown  in  plenty  in  Rajshahi,  Bogra  and Dinajpur. It is popularly known as complete violation of human rights. Any answer in the examination should not be elaborated. We have not found out many of our freedom fighters. All the important food items are contained in a balanced diet. Various kinds of co-curricular activities are regularly held in the school.  They were very much enchanted at the sight of the market. So his early life was spent in luxury. A patriot is loved and respected everywhere.

d.       You will be helped any way by me. Anything will never be accepted by me other than the previous thing. The work will be done by me for you. Tea will be taken by us. You will be given a ticket by the manager.The work must be done by you. You may be helped by her. Our parents ought to be obeyed by us. A cap must be worn by you. We will be blamed by everyone. Air cannot be seen. Health should be given the topmost priority. A new chance will be given to me. His place will be offered to Alan. This information must be sent to Ann. Higher wages will be promised to workers. New laws should be made to fight against terrorism. The help of other animals should be taken by him. He would be punished more by God for lying more days on the comfortable bed. Some new politics must be adopted to resist the intrusion of foreign culture by us. The poor should be given knowledge on nutrition by the Government. Humanity should be developed for a better world by us. Their son may be pleased by God. The matter is going to be discussed by them. A garden was going to be made by the students.


16.8.14 Exceptional

Active   : Having finished my work, I went home.

Passive: My work having been finished, I went home.

Active   : The papers say they may release him.

Passive: The papers say he may be released.

Active   : What cannot be cured must be endured.

Passive: We must endure what cannot be cured.

Active   : What is lotted cannot be blotted.

Passive: One cannot blot one’s lot.