In this article, we will learn about active sentences, passive sentences and how to change from active to passive sentences. This is a very important basic grammar part that appears a lot in English exercises and exams.

I. The concept of active and passive sentences

In this part we will learn about the concept of active and passive sentences.

1. What is an active sentence?

Active sentence is a type of sentence where the subject of the sentence is a person or thing that performs an action on its own, causing an impact on another person or thing. In other words, an active sentence is a sentence in which the subject plays the active role/subject.

Formula:

S(subject) + V (verb) ) + O (object)

Example:

Nam did his homework yesterday

Nam did his homework yesterday

She bought a book

She bought a book

We see that the subject mentioned in these two sentences is Nam and “she“, this subject itself. can do “do their homework” and “go buy a book”. So we use active sentences for these two sentences

2. Passive sentences

Passive sentences are sentences used when the subject in the sentence cannot perform the action by himself. In other words, a passive sentence is a sentence in which the subject is in the passive role.

Formula:

S + tobe + V- Past Participle + by + O

My bike was stolen yesterday

My bicycle was stolen yesterday

We see that the subject of this sentence is“ my bike” cannot self “< em>steal” but someone “robbed” so this sentence we need to use the passive voice.

——–

< p>A book was bought by her

The book was bought by her

In this sentence the subject is “the book” that cannot be “buy” but bought by a For other people, this sentence should also be used in the passive voice

Note:

In the passive sentence, the verb “tobe em>” will be divided by tense and by subject.

The meal has been cooked

The meal has just been cooked

In this sentence we see that “meal” cannot do the “cook >” which was cooked by someone, so we use the passive voice. The verb “tobe” in this sentence will be conjugated to the present perfect with the subject being 3rd person singular, so the form is “has been + cooked” (two participle verb)has been + cooked /p>

II How to change from active to passive voice

To change from active to passive we need to follow these steps:

*

Step 1: Change the object of the active sentence into the subject of the passive sentence.

Step 2 : Determine what tense the verb is conjugated in the active sentence, we will conjugate the verb tobe of that tense form for the passive sentence and then continue to change the verb in the active sentence to the V-3 or V-ed form. .

Step 3: Change the subject of the active sentence into the object of the passive sentence and add “by” in front as shown above.

They planted a tree in the garden

They planted a tree in the garden

Looking at this sentence we can identify the subject is “they“, the object is “< em>a tree“, so we change “a tree” to the subject of the passive sentence and “they” to the object of “them“. Next we see that the verb “planted” is conjugated in the simple past tense, the verb tobe will be ” was/were” + the verb conjugation in the V3 form of ” plant” is “planted“. Specifically as follows:

-> A tree was planted in the garden (by them)

A tree planted in the garden (by them)

Note: “By them” can be omitted in the sentence

Note:

If the subject in the active sentence is: “they”, “people”, “everyone”, “someone”, “anyone” “, …

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when we change to the passive voice, we can omit it.

Someone stole my money last night

Someone stole my money last night

In this sentence, the verb “stole” is conjugated in the past simple, so when changing The passive sentence will be “was stolen” and the object of the passive sentence will be “someone“, then we can omit it, like this:

< p>>> My money was stolen last night

My money was stolen last night

In passive sentences, if it is a person or thing directly that causes the action, use “< strong>by“, but indirect causes action, use “with“< /p>

The bird was shot by the hunter

The bird was shot with a gun

The bird was shot with a gun

The bird was shot by a gun

Here is the division formula tenses in active and passive sentences, please refer.

Tense Active form V Passive form Simple Present Tense (Simple Present) S + V(s/es) + O S + am/is/are + V3 Past Simple S + V(ed/Ps) ) + O S + was/were + V3 Present Continuous Tense S + am/is/are + V-ing + OS S + am/is/are + being + V3 Past Continuous S + was/were + V-ing + O S + was/were + being + V3 Present Perfect Tense S + have/has + V3 + O S + have/has + been + V3 Past perfect (Past Perfect) S + had + V3 + O S + had + been + V3 Simple Future S + will + V-inf + O S + will + be + V3 Future Continuous S + will + be + V-ing + O S + will + be + being + V3 Future Perfect Tense S + will + have + V3+ O S + will + have been + V3 Future perfect continuous S + will + have been + V-ing + O S + will + have been + being + V3 Be + going to S + am/is/are going to + V-inf + O S + am/is/are going to + be + V3 Model verbs S + model verbs + V-infi + O

S + model verbs + have + V3 S + model verbs + be + V3

S + model verbs + have been + V3

Where:

S is the subject V is the verb V-ing is the verb with the ending ing O is the object V3 is the past participle (the verb adding “ed” or in column 3 of the irregular verbs table) V-inf is the infinitive without “to”

She reads books every day

She reads books every day

We find that this sentence is conjugated in the present simple, based on the table above, we change it to the passive voice as follows:

-> Books are read every day by her

Books read by her every day

——-

He was doing his homework

He has finished his homework

This sentence belongs to the past continuous, based on the table above, we change it to the passive voice as follows:

< p>

-> His homework was being done

His homework is done

——-

I have cooked lunch

I cook lunch

Identify that this sentence belongs to the present perfect tense, based on the table above, we convert it to a passive sentence as follows:

->The lunch has been cooked by me

Lunch cooked by me

III. Special types of passive voice and how to use it

Here are some common passive voice forms in English and how to use them.

1. Passive sentences in question form

Passive sentences in question form have 2 types: Yes/ no questions and wh – questions.

YES / NO QUESTIONS

For yes and no questions, when changing to the passive, we have to follow 3 steps as follows:

Step 1 : Change from question to statement

Did you borrow my book?

Did you borrow my book?

Switch to the affirmative:

You borrowed my book

You borrowed my book

Step 2: Change the above affirmative sentence into the passive voice

My book was borrowed by you

My book was borrowed by you

Step 3: Change the above passive sentence into the interrogative form by moving the auxiliary verb forward. subject.

Was my book borrowed by you?

Has my book been borrowed by you?

If you don’t use it in the above way, you can refer to the table of tenses in active and passive sentences. in the form of yes, no questions below:

Active form Active form Passive form Simple Present Do/does + S + V (bare) + O …? Am/ is/ are + O + V3/-ed + (by S)? Past Simple Did + S + V (bare) + O…? Was/were + S” + V3/-ed + by + …? Modal verbs (Modal verbs) Modal verbs + S + V (bare) + O + …? Modal verbs + S” + be + V3/-ed + by + O”? Other forms Have/has/had + S + V3/-ed + O + …? Have/ has/ had + S” + been + V3/-ed + by + O?

Can you move the table?

Can you move the table?

Based on the table above, we can change the passive voice as follows

>> Can the table be moved ?

Can I move the chair?

——-

Has she done her homework?

Did she finish her homework?

We change to the passive voice as follows:

-> Has her homework been done (by her)?

Has she finished her homework?

WH – QUESTIONS

Wh- questions are question words to begin with. with Wh it’s “what”, “where”, “when”, “who”, “which”, …

To convert from question word to start question Starting with WH into a passive sentence, we change it according to the following formula:

Active sentence: WH-question + do/does/did + S + V(bare) + O + …? Passive sentence: WH-question + tobe + S’+ V3/-ed + by + O’?

Where did you buy this book?

Where did you buy this book?

This question has the auxiliary verb “did” which means this is a simple past tense. so when we change to the passive sentence, we will add the verb “tobe” in the past simple as “was” and the verb “buy” will be converted to V3 form as “bought” will come after the object “this cake“, specifically as follows:

-> Where was this book bought?

Where can I buy this book?

Note:

All sentences Questions starting with WH when changing to passive sentences are converted according to the above formula, except “WHO”.

Passive sentences with question words are “ who” is converted to the following formula:

Active: Who + V-s/-es or V2/-ed + O + …? Passive: By whom + S’ + be + V3/-ed?

Who took Lan to school?

Who brought Lan to school?

-> By whom was Lan taken to school?

Who is taking Lan to school?

2. An active sentence has two objects

If there are two objects in an active sentence, both of those objects can become the subject of the passive sentence. Choosing which object depends on what we want to talk about, what object we want to talk about.

Formula:

Active Sentence: S + V + I.O + D.O Passive: S'(I.O) + tobe + V3/-ed + O’ (D.O) + by + S S'(D.O) + tobe + V3/-ed + (to) I.O + by + S

Where:

I.O is the indirect object D.O is the direct object S is the subject S” is the passive subject O is the object O” is the object passive

He sends his mother a letter

He sent his mother a letter

In this sentence we see that “his mother” is the direct object and “ a letter” is an indirect object, if we choose “his mother” as the subject of a passive sentence, we change it as follows:

-> His mother was sent a letter

Me he has been sent a letter

And when we choose “a letter” as the subject, we change to a moving sentence as follows

A letter was sent to his mother (by him)

The letter was sent to his mother ) by him)

Note:

When you switch to the wrong sentence, In this form, we must prepend the prepositional object pronoun “to” with the verbs “give”, “lend”, ” send”, “show” and “for” with the verbs “buy”, “make”, “get”, “do”

He brought me a book

He bought me a book

-> A book was brought for me

The book he bought for me

3. The passive sentence of the active sentence has reporting verbs

The most common reporting verbs in English are: “believe”, “claim”, “consider”, “expect”. “, “know”, “report”, “say”, “think”, “understand”, …

For active sentences with reporting verbs, we change to passive sentences. Active sentence:

Formula:

Active sentence: S + V + THAT + S” + V” + … Passive sentence: It + be + V3/-ed + THAT + S” + V”

People say that his son study very good

-> It is said that his son study very good

It is said that his son is very good at school

4. Passive sentences with active sentences use sensory verbs

Sense verbs in English are verbs indicating human perception like “see” (look), “watch” (see), “hear” (listen), “look” (look), “ notice” (notice), “feel” (feel)….

When changing sentences with these verbs into passive sentences, there are 2 the following cases:

TH1: Used when the statement is about someone witnessing what someone else does and seeing only part of the action or an action in progress. Another action comes in.

Formula:

Active: S + Vp + Sb + V-ing Passive: S(sb) + to be + V3(of Vp) + V-ing

Where:

S is the subject Vp is the verb indicating senses Sb being somebody means someone

He watched them playing volleyball

He saw them playing volleyball

This sentence says that “he” sees them playing volleyball, which means he only sees them playing. passed rather than him watching the action from start to finish, so this sentence we change to the passive as follows.

->They were watched playing volleyball

They are seen playing volleyball

TH2: Used when someone watches someone else do something from start to finish.

Formula:

Active: S + Vp + Sb + V Passive: S(sb) + to be + V3 (of Vp) + to + V

We heard him go to the cinema last night

I heard that he went to the cinema last night

When he changed to the passive voice like this:

-> He was heard to go to the cinema last night

He heard he went to the movies last night

5. Passive sentences with active sentences are imperative sentences

In the case of active sentences which are imperative sentences, when changing to passive sentences, we follow the following formula:

Affirmative:

Active: V + O + … Passive: Let O + be + V3/-ed

Put your book down

Put down your book

When changing to a passive sentence, we add “let” somewhere in the sentence and change it according to the following formula:

-> Let your book be put down

Put down your book

Negative:

Active: Do not + V + O + … Passive: Let + O + NOT + be + V3/-ed

Don’t take this bag

Don’t take this bag

Similar to the affirmative, add “let” at the beginning of the negative sentence and change it like this: p>

>> Let this bag not be taken

Do not take this bag

6. Active sentences with “need“/ “want

For active sentences with verbs “need” , “want” when changing to a moving sentence we follow the following formula:

Active: S + need/want + to V + … Passive: S’ + need/want + V-ing or + to be + V3/-ed

Your nail needs to be cut

-> Your hair needs cutting

Your nails need to be cut

7. Active sentences with “make”, “help” and “let”

Here’s how to change active sentences with verbs “make”, “help” and ” let” into the passive voice.

For “MAKE” and “HELP

We change to the passive voice according to the following formula:

Active: S + make/help + I.O + V(bare) + D.O + … Passive: I.O + tobe + made/helped + to V + D.O + …

She helps me clean the room.

She helped me clean the room

-> I am helped to clean the room

I got help cleaning the room

——–

Her boss make her work harder

-> Her boss was made to work harder

Her boss makes her work harder

For “LET

When changing active sentences If you have the word “let” into a passive sentence, we must change it according to the following formula:

Active: S + let + I.O + V(bare) + D.O + … Passive: I.O + be + allowed + to V + D.O + …

My parents let me go out in the evening

My parents let me go out at night

-> I am allowed to go out in the evening

I am allowed to go out at night

8. Other forms of passive voice

Passive sentences with active sentence structure are “It’s one’s duty to V”

< p>‘It’s one’s duty to V’ means someone’s duty to do something

When changing to the passive sentence, we apply the following formula:

Active: It + be + one’s duty + to V + … Passive: S + to be + supposed + to V + …

It is your duty to make coffee

Your task is to make coffee

When changing to the passive voice, do the following:

-> You are supposed to make coffee

You have to make coffee

Passive sentences with active structure are “It’s impossible to V”< /p>

“It’s impossible to V” means impossible to do.

We apply the following formula to change to passive voice

Active: It is impossible + to V + … Passive: S + can’t + be + V3/-ed

It is impossible to close the door

Can’t close the door

-> The door can’t be closed

The door cannot be closed

Passive sentence with active sentence structure is “It’s necessary to V”

“It’s necessary to V” means what it is necessary for

When changing an active sentence with this phrase into a passive sentence, we apply the following formula :

Active: It is necessary + to V + … Passive: S + should/must + be + V3/-ed

It’s necessary to buy a fridge

Needed to buy a refrigerator

-> A fridge must/should be bought

Buying a refrigerator is essential

The above is a summary of all knowledge about active and passive sentences in English. Hopefully, through this article, you have mastered how to change from active to passive sentences. Good luck with your studies.

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