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Active and Passive Voice

  • Voice is the form of the verb which shows whether the subject acts or is acted on.
  • A verb is said to be in the active voice when the subject of the verb acts or is the doer of the action. E.g. Moses kills a snake.
  • A verb is said to be in the passive voice when the subject of the verb is acted on or is the receiver of the action done. E.g. A snake is killed by Moses
  • When changing from the active voice to the passive voice, note that:
    1. The object of the verb in the active verb becomes the subject of the verb in the passive voice.
    2. The subject of the verb in the active voice becomes the object of the verb in the passive voice and it is generally preceded by the preposition ‘by’
    3. The pronouns ‘I’, ‘we’, ‘he’, and ‘she’ change to ‘me’, ‘us’, ‘him’, and ‘her’ respectively.
    4. The helping verb is in the same tense. number, and person
    5. The principal verb is changed into perfect tense

     

    • For example:
      • Active Voice: I am writing a letter
      • Passive Voice: A letter is being written by me

       

  • When changing from passive voice to the active voice, note:
    1. The object becomes the subject
    2. The pronouns ‘me’, ‘us’, ‘him’, and ‘her’ change to ‘I’, ‘we’, ‘he’, and ‘she’ respectively.
    3. The verbs agree in tense, number, and person
    4. The verb remains unchanged

     

    • For example:
      • Passive Voice: The cup is broken by Udoh
      • Active Voice: Udoh breaks the cup
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