Active and Passive Voice for TNPSC | Download now

TNPSC Group 2 Exam will be conducted on 21st May 2022. Active and Passive voice is an important component of the English section of the TNPSC Group 2 Exam. In this blog, we shall explore Active and Passive Voice for TNPSC in detail.

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Active and Passive Voice for TNPSC | Highlights


The form of a verb that indicates when a grammatical subject performs the action or is the receiver of the action.

Active Voice: The subject of the sentence is the one performing the action.

Passive Voice: The subject is in the position affected by the action in that sentence. If you want to highlight whether the action was done and not the person who did the action in a sentence, or if you don’t want to send it directly to the person.

Active VoicePassive Voice
A sentence starts with a subject, Action is performed by the subject. It follows a clear subject + verb + object construct.A sentence starts with an object. The action expressed by a verb is received by a subject. It follows object + verb + subject construct.
Example: 1. I will clean the house. 2. The kangaroo (Subject) carried her baby (Object)Example: 1. The house will be cleaned by me. 2. The baby (Subject) was carried by the kangaroo (Object)                                                         


Use of Auxiliary verb ‘be’:

The passive voice is formed by using a form of the auxiliary verb “be” (be, am, is, are, was, were, being, been) followed by the past participle of the main verb.

A thief stole my purse. He remembers his grandmother.My money was stolen. His grandmother is remembered.

Note: Only verbs that are followed by an object can be used in the passive. It is not possible to use verbs such as come, exist, happen, seem, and sleep (intransitive verbs) in the passive.

General Rules for Verb Tense:

Indefinite TenseActivePassive
  PresentSubject + verb 1st or 5th form+ object  
Example: Shanaya eats a burger.
Object + is/am/are+ verb 3rd form+ by + subject.  
Example: Burger is eaten by Shanaya
  PastSubject + verb 2nd form+ object  
Example: Sheetal punished her brother.
Object + was/were+ verb 3rd form + by+ subject.  Example: Her brother was punished by Sheetal
FutureSubject + will/shall + verb 1st form + object.
Example: I will not tolerate this behaviour.
Object + will/shall + be + verb 3rd form+ subject. Example: This behaviour will not be tolerated by me


  1. Certain actions are done by a particular subject only. In such cases ‘by subject’ must not be mentioned in the passive voice.

A teacher teaches French there.                           French is taught here.

  • In many cases the subject is unclear, so it is not required to mention it in passive voice. People speak English in the college.               English is spoken in the college.
Continuous TenseActivePassive
  PresentSubject + is/am/are + verb 4th form + object.   Example: We are going to watch a movie tonight.Object + is/am/are + being+ verb 3rd form+ by + subject.   Example: A movie is going to be watched by us tonight.
  PastSubject + was/were+ verb 4th form + object.   Example: The clerk was helping the customer.Object + was/were + being+ verb 3rd form + by+ subject.   Example: The customer was being helped by the clerk.
  FutureSubject + will/shall + be + verb 4th form + object.   Example: We will be dancing tonight.Not possible


Use the preposition in Passive Voice that follows the verb in Active Voice.

They are laughing at you.                                          You are being laughed at by them.

Perfect TenseActivePassive
PresentSubject + has/have + verb 3rd form+ object.  
Example: He has written a letter.
Object + has/have + been + verb 3rd form+ by + subject.  
Example: A Letter has been written by him.
  PastSubject + had + verb 3rd form+ object  
Example: They had already watched the movie.
Object + had + been + verb 3rd form+ by + subject.  
Example: The movie had already been watched by them.
  FutureSubject + will/shall + have + verb 3rd     form + ing+ object  
Example: The children will have seen the show.
Object + will/shall + has/have + been + verb 3rd form + by + subject.  
Example: The show will have been seen by the children.

Passive Voice in Imperative sentences

An imperative sentence in the passive voice has the following form:

  • Let + object + be + past participle.

Do not starve the cow.                    Let the cow not be starved.

  • You are requested/ordered/forbidden/advised +to + verb 1st form + object.

Here the active verb does not have an object. Therefore, the passive form should begin with you.

Don’t touch it.                  You are warned not to touch it.

Passive Voice in Interrogative sentences

The primary auxiliary verbs do, does, or did does not appear in the passive form.

  • Active voice: Did she recognize you?
  • Passive voice: Were you recognized by her?

When the Interrogative Sentence starts from is/are/am/was and were, then we should use being after the subject and is/are/am/was and were at starting of the sentences.

  • Active voice: Are you doing this work?
  • Passive voice: Is this work being done by you?

The verbs have, has had, will, shall, can, may, etc., do not change their position at the beginning of the sentence when the active voice is changed to the passive voice.

  • Active voice: Have you finished work?
  • Passive voice: Has the work been finished by you?

The question words when, why, where, how, or what do not change their position at the beginning of the sentence when the active voice is changed into the passive voice. Note that who changes to by whom and whom into who.

  • Active voice: Who wrote this book?
  • Passive voice: By whom was this book written?
  • Active voice: Have you finished work?
  • Passive voice: Has the work been finished by you?

Conversion of Subject in Passive Voice



Sometimes in the Passive Voice, we would have to use ‘at/with/to/in’ instead of ‘by’ according to the Expression of the Active Sentence.

  1. We should use ‘at’ when there are expressions of ‘surprising, astonishing, shocking, alarming, disappointment’.
  2. We should use ‘to’ after ‘known’ and ‘obliged’ while converting into Passive Voice from Active Voice.
  • Active voice: I know him.
  • Passive voice: He is known to me.

3. We should use ‘with’ after ‘pleased, satisfied, disgusted, impressed, annoyed’.

  • Active: Your honesty has pleased me.
  • Passive: I have been pleased with your honesty.

4. We should use ‘in’ after ‘Interested, and ‘contained’.

  • Active: This Job interests me.
  • Passive: I am interested in this job.


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