English Grammar Complete Guide - Voice Change

English Grammar Complete Guide – Voice Change

What is ‘Voice’?

Voice is the form of the verb which indicates whether the subject does the work or something has been done to it. [ক্রিয়াপ্রকাশের ভঙ্গিমাকেই Voice বা বাচ্য বলে। ক্রিয়ার প্রকাশভঙ্গি বলে দেয় কর্তা কাজটি নিজে করছে, না, কর্তার দ্বারা কোনাে কাজ সম্পন্ন হচ্ছে।]


Types of Voice:

There are three kinds of Voices (Voice বা বাচ্য তিনরকমের।) :
(1) Active Voice
(2) Passive Voice
(3) Quasi-Passive Voice

Active Voice:

When the subject of a sentence is the doer or actor, the Verb is in Active Voice. It is so because the Subject is active. [কর্তা যখন নিজেই ক্রিয়ার কাজ সম্পন্ন করে, তখন ক্রিয়া Active Voice-এ থাকে। কারণ তখন Subject বা কর্তা Active বা সক্রিয়।]

Examples: I do this work. He does this work, etc. (Active voice)

Passive Voice:

When the subject of a sentence is acted upon, the Verb is in Passive Voice. It is so because the subject is passive. [কর্তার দ্বারা যখন কোনাে কাজ সম্পন্ন হয়, তখন ক্রিয়ার Passive Voice হয়। এখানে কাজের তুলনায় কর্তার গুরুত্ব কমে যায়।]

Examples: This work is done by me. This work is done by him, etc. (Passive Voice)



Rule 1: The Object of the Verb in the Active Voice becomes the Subject of the Verb in the Passive Voice. [Active Voice-এর Object (কর্ম) Passive Voice-এর Subject (কর্তা) হয়।]

Rule 2: The Subject of the Verb in the Active Voice becomes the Object in the Passive Voice, generally preceded by the proposition by. [Active Voice-এর Subject Passive Voice-এর Object-এ পরিণত হয় এবং তার পূর্বে সাধারণত by বসে।]

Rule 3: The main verb is changed into the Past Participle form and it is preceded by the correct form of the Verb ‘to be’ in Passive Voice. [Active Voice-এর মূল Verb-টি Passive Voice-এর Past Participle-এ পরিবর্তিত হয় এবং তার পূর্বে ‘to be’ Verb-এর প্রয়ােজনীয় form বসাতে হয়। ]

Rule 4: There are some Verbs with two Objects. In such cases, either of the Objects (preferably the Personal Object) can be changed into the Subject and the other is retained as an Object. This Object is called Retained Object. [Active Voice-এর যদি কোনাে Verb-এর দুটি Object থাকে, তাহলে একটি Object-কে (বিশেষত Personal Object-কে) Subject করে অপরটিকে Object রূপে রাখতে হয়। Passive-এ যেটি Object রূপে থেকে যায়, তাকে Retained Object বলে।]

Rule 5: Double Passive should be avoided in a Simple Sentence or in a single clause as it is liable to give a wrong meaning. But in changing the Voice of Complex Sentences the Voices of both the Principal and Subordinate Clauses should be changed if both of them have Transitive Verbs. [কোনো Simple Sentence-এ বা কোনাে একটি Clause-এ Double Passive করা উচিত নয়, কারণ এতে বাক্যের অর্থ ভুল হয়ে যায়। অবশ্য Complex Sentence-এ Principal এবং Subordinate  দুটি Clause-এরই Passive করতে হয় যদি দুটি Clause-এ Transitive Verb থাকে।]


Note the following example :

Active: The hunter killed the lion.
Passive: The lion was killed by the hunter.

Here the subject (hunter) in the Active Voice has become an object in the Passive Voice, and the object (lion) in the Active Voice has become subject in the Passive Voice.

Similarly :

Active: I call him.
Passive: He is called by me.
Active: I shall write a letter.
Passive: A letter will be written by me.
Active: Rani reads a book.
Passive: A book is read by Rani.
Active: He did the job.
Passive: The job was done by him.



Subject FormObject Form

Study the following table which shows forms of the verb “to do” in different tenses in the Active and Passive Voice. (নীচের ছকটিতে Active ও Passive voice-এ tense অনুযায়ী “to do” verb-এর বিভিন্ন আবশ্যকীয় form দেখানো হয়েছে) :

TenseActive Voice FormsPassive Voice Forms
Simple Presentdo; doesis / am / are + done
Present Continuousam/is/ are doingam/is/are + being + done
Present Perfecthas/have donehas / have + been + done
Simple Pastdidwas/ were + done
Past Continuouswas/ were doingwas / were + being + done
Past Perfecthad donehad + been + done
Simple Futurewill / shall dowill / shall + be + done
Future Perfectwill/shall have donewill / shall + have + been + done
Can / May / Must (modals)docan/ may / must + be + done

* Look at the changes from Active to Passive Voice in different Tenses.

Present TenseActive: I do it. Passive: It is done by me.I am doing it. It is being done by me.I have done it. It has been done by me. 
Past TenseActive: I did it. Passive: It was done by me.I was doing it. It was being done by me.I had done it. It had been done by me.
Future TenseActive: I shall do it. Passive: It will be done by me.I shall be doing it. (no form)I shall have done it. It will have been done by me.

NOTE: Perfect Continuous Tenses are not used in the Passive.



He can do the work.The work can be done by him.
We may help you.You may be helped by us.
You must take this medicine.This medicine must be taken by you.
The boy should read the book.The book should be read by the boy.
He might take your help.Your help might be taken by him.


Passive form: be (is, am are, was, were, being, been) + Past Participle

I do the work.The work is done by me.
Lila types a letter.A letter is typed by Lila.
Biltu helped her.She was helped by Biltu.
Reba is singing a song.A song is being sung by Reba.
She was singing a song.A song was being sung by her.
He has called me.I have been called by him.
They had seen the picture.The picture had been seen by them.
You will play football. Football will be played by you.
She would sing a song. A song would be sung by her.
She would have read the book.The book would have been read by her.

Note: Adverbials etc. in the end position in Active Voice remains in the end position in Passive Voice too. [ Active Voice-এ Adverbials ইত্যাদি বাক্যের শেষে থাকলে তা Passive Voice-এও বাক্যের শেষ দিকে থাকে। ]

He will finish the work in a week. → The work will be finished by him in a week.



If the verb in the Active Voice expresses orders, requests, advice etc. the word ‘Let’ is usually placed at the beginning of the Passive Voice and the ‘be’ verb is placed before the Past Participle of the main verb. Another form of the Passive is with the verb ‘should’ + ‘be’ or with ‘Be’ /’Get’ only. But if the sentences begin with ‘Please’ in Active Voice, “You are requested to’ is used in the Passive Voice. An Intransitive verb may also be changed into Passive with ‘you are requested to’ / ‘advised to’ etc. Such a Passive Voice of an Intransitive verb may be called an Indirect Passive.
[Imperative sentence-এ আদেশ, অনুরােধ, উপদেশ ইত্যাদি বােঝালে বাক্যের প্রথমে Let যােগ করে Passive করা হয় এবং মূল verb-এর Past Participle-এর পূর্বে ‘be’ verb যুক্ত হয়। আবার should + be verb-এর সাহায্যে বা কেবল ‘Be’/’Get’ verb-এর সাহায্যে আর একরকম Passive করা যায়। কিন্তু Imperative Sentence-এর Active Voice-এ যদি Please কথাটি থাকে, তাহলে Passive Voice-এ ‘You are requested to’ কথাগুলি ব্যবহৃত হয়। আবার যদিও সাধারণত Intransitive Verb বা অকর্মক ক্রিয়ার Passive Voice হয় না, তবু কিছু ক্ষেত্রে ‘You are requested to’/’advised to’ ইত্যাদি যােগ করে তারও Passive Voice করা যায়। Intransitive Verb-এর এরকম Passive Voice-কে Indirect Passive বলা যায়।]

Passive : Let + Object + be + Past Participle of the Verb [Or, (should) be/get + P.P.]

Do this work. কাজটি করাে। Shut the door. দরজাটি বন্ধ করাে। Open the door. দরজাটি খােলাে।Let this work be done. Let the door be shut.  Let the door be opened.
Keep your word. তােমার কথা রাখাে। Obey your teacher. তােমার শিক্ষককে মান্য করাে।Your word should be kept.  Your teacher should be obeyed. 
Prepare for the worst. দুঃসময়ের জন্য প্রস্তুত হও। Please do this work. দয়া করে কাজটি করুন। Please keep off the grass. দয়া করে ঘাস মাড়াবেন না। Please do not smoke. ধূমপান করবেন না।Be (Get) prepared for the worst. You are requested to do this work. You are requested to keep off the grass.   You are advised not to smoke.


(i) ‘Let’ may be used in both Active and Passive Voice. [Active এবং Passive voice—উভয় ক্ষেত্রেই Let ব্যবহৃত হতে পারে।]
(ii) ‘Let’ takes the Objective-Type of Pronouns (me, us, him, her, them). [‘Let’-এর পর Pronoun-এর Objective case হয় (me, us, him, her, them)।]
(iii) ‘Let’ may be replaced by ‘may be allowed’ in the Passive voice. (Passive voice-এ ‘Let’-এর পরিবর্তে ‘may be allowed’ বসতে পারে।]

 Let him buy a camera.Let a camera be bought by him
Let us forget the quarrel.Let the quarrel be forgotten (by us).
Let him go.He may be allowed to go.


An Interrogative Sentence in Active Voice keeps its Interrogative form in its Passive Voice. If the Interrogative Sentence begins with the Auxiliary Verb Do, the process of changing is convenient by changing it into Assertive first and then into Interrogative. But if the Interrogative sentence begins with another Auxiliary Verb or a Wh-word, it can be directly changed into passive. [Interrogative Sentence-এর Passive Voice-ও Interrogative Sentence হয়। এধরনের বাক্য যদি Do Verb দিয়ে শুরু হয়, তাহলে প্রথমে তাকে Assertive Sentence-এ পরিণত করে তারপর তাকে Interrogative Sentence-এ পরিবর্তন করা সুবিধাজনক। তবে যদি Auxiliary ‘Do’ না থাকে, অথবা ‘Wh’-word দিয়ে শুরু হয়, তাহলে সহজেই সরাসরি Passive-এ পরিবর্তন করা যায়।


[ By Placing The Helping Verb First ]

Active: Do you see the bird?
[Assertive: You see the bird.—The bird is seen by you.]
Passive: Is the bird seen by you?
Active: Did you see the man? 
[Assertive: You saw the man.—The man was seen by you.]
Passive: Was the man seen by you?
Active: Have you read the book?
Passive: Has the book been read by you?


[ By Placing The WH-word First ]

Active: Who gave you the ice cream?
Passive: By whom were you given the ice cream?
Active: Whom did you call?
Passive: Who was called by you?
Active: What do you want? 
Passive: What is wanted by you?
Active: Why did the teacher punish you?
Passive: Why were you punished by the teacher?
Active: Which book do you want?
Passive: Which book is wanted by you?
Active: How did you do it? 
Passive: How was it done by you?


[ By Placing ‘NOT’ before The Past Participle of The Verb ]

Active: I do not like puffed rice.
Passive: Puffed rice is not liked by me.
Active: The boy did not break the glass.
Passive: The glass was not broken by the boy.



[1] Passive Voice of Intransitive Verbs with Cognate Object (সমধাতুজ কর্ম):
We have so far noticed that the Transitive Verbs are generally converted into the Passive Voice as they have objects. The Intransitive verbs having no objects cannot be converted into the Passive Voice. However, when an Intransitive Verb is used Transitively having a Cognate Object, it can be changed into the Passive Voice.

Active: He ran a race.
A race was run by him.
Active: He dreamt a dream.
Passive: A dream was dreamt by him.
Active: The patient slept a sound sleep.
Passive: A sound sleep was slept by the patient.
Active: I have fought a good fight.
Passive: A good fight has been fought by me.
Passive: A race was run by him.
Active: He dreamt a dream.
Passive: A dream was dreamt by him.
Active: The patient slept a sound sleep.
Passive: A sound sleep was slept by the patient.
Active: I have fought a good fight.
Passive: A good fight has been fought by me.

[2] Intransitive Verb used Causatively (কারও দ্বারা করানো অর্থে)

Active: The trainer walked the horse after the race.
Passive: The horse was walked by the trainer after the race.
Active: They have stood the table against the wall.
Passive: The table has been stood against the wall by them.

[3] Intransitive Verbs used as a group verb:

Active: We should not laugh at a lame man.
Passive: A lame man should not be laughed at by us.
Active: We must listen to our teachers.
Passive: Our teachers must be listened to (by us).
Active: We talked of them.
Passive: They were talked of by us.

**Note: Remember that He is gone, He is come are not in the Passive Voice. They are merely alternative forms of He has gone, He has come. But there is a slight difference in meaning between the two forms. In He has gone, emphasis is laid on the time of the action; but in He is gone, emphasis is laid on the state of the agent, i.e., his absence, and not on the time of the action. However, ‘Come here’ or ‘Go there’ may be converted into the Passive Voice in the following way :

Active: Come here.
Passive: You are requested to come here. (Indirect Passive)
Active: Go there.
Passive: You are requested/advised/ordered to go there. (Indirect Passive)

[4] Passive Voice of Transitive Verbs with two objects (one as Retained Object) :
In such cases, any of the objects may become the Subject. But the Indirect Object or the Personal Object is preferred for the Subject. Another object is retained. Hence it is Retained Object.
[এরূপ ক্ষেত্রে দুটি Object-এর মধ্যে যে কোনাে Object-কে Subject করা যায়। কিন্তু Indirect Object বা Personal Object-কে Subject করাই অধিক সঙ্গত। এক্ষেত্রে অন্য যে Object-টি Object হিসাবে থেকে যায়, তাকে বলে Retained Object.]

Active: Mr. Das teaches us English.
Passive : (1) We are taught English by Mr. Das.
(2) English is taught to us by Mr. Das.
Active: Bipin gave me a book.
Passive : (1) I was given a book by Bipin.
(2) A book was given to me by Bipin.

[5] Factitive Objects : [Transitive verb-এর যে object-টি complement-এর মতো ব্যবহৃত হয়।]

Active: They made him king.
Passive: He was made king by them.
King was made him by them. (wrong)
Active: They elected him President.
Passive: He was elected President by them.
President was elected him by them. (wrong)

N.B. : এসব ক্ষেত্রে ‘King’ বা ‘President’-কে Subject করা যায় না।

[6] Reflexive Object : [‘self’-যুক্ত object] Reflexive Object cannot be changed into Subject.

Active: He hurt himself.
Passive: He was hurt by himself. (Not, Himself was hurt by him).

Note: But this Passive with Reflexive Object is not good English. The Active form should be preferred. According to ‘Modern English Usage by Fowler “It is a familiar process. But it sometimes leads to bad grammar, false idiom, or clumsiness.”

[7] Passive of Infinitives (to + verb)

Active: There are lots of things to do.
Passive: There are lots of things to be done.
Active: There is no time to lose.
Passive: There is no time to be lost.

[8] Verbs followed by objects + Plain Infinitives / Bare Infinitives :

Active: I saw him go to the garden. (‘to’ before ‘go’ is omitted)
Passive: He was seen to go to the garden. (‘to’ is used–Plain Infinitive)
Active: Lipika made us laugh. [‘to’ is omitted—Bare Infinitive]
Passive: We were made to laugh by Lipika. [‘to’ is used–Plain Infinitive]

[9] Verbal Noun with Preposition and Object :

Active: We went to see the launching of the ship.
Passive: We went to see the ship being launched.

[10] Object understood in the Passive Voice :
When the action is important, not the doer, or the doer is unknown, the object or the doer with ‘by’ is understood.

Active: I have lost my book.
Passive: My book has been lost.
Active: Someone has stolen my car.
Passive: My car has been stolen.
এইভাবে, The shed is burnt to ashes. [Doer is unknown.]
English is spoken all over the world. [Not the doer, but the action is important.]
The house was built in 1960. [Not to specify the doer or the agent.]


QUASI-PASSIVE VOICE ( কর্মকর্তৃবাচ্য)

A Quasi-passive voice is Active in form but Passive in sense. It may be changed in the Passive Form in the following way :
[Quasi-passive voice বা কর্মকর্তৃবাচ্য গঠনরীতিতে Active, কিন্তু অর্থের দিক থেকে Passive; একে নিম্নলিখিত উপায়ে Passive Form-এ পরিবর্তন করা যায়।]

[i] Verbs with a Complement :
Honey tastes sweet.
Passive: Honey is sweet when it is tasted.
Active: The rose smells sweet.
Passive: The rose is sweet when it is smelt.

[ii] Verbs without a Complement :
The trumpets are sounding.
Passive: The trumpets are being sounded.
Active: The drums are beating.
Passive: The drums are being beaten.
Active: The cow is milking.
Passive: The cow is being milked.

Note: ‘The trumpets are sounding’ is quite good; but ‘The cow is milking’ is rather obsolete now.

However, the following Quasi-passive voice cannot be changed into Passive forms. [কিন্তু নীচের কর্মকর্তৃবাচ্যগুলিকে কর্মবাচ্যে পরিবর্তিত করা যায় না।]

The room looks nice. (ঘরটাকে সুন্দর দেখাচ্ছে।)
Rice sells cheaply. (চাউল সস্তা দরে বিকোয়।)
We cannot say, Rice is cheap when it is sold.



In changing the voice of Complex Sentences the voice of both the Principal and the Subordinate clauses should be changed if they have transitive verb and object/ complement. The Introductory ‘It’ may also be sometimes used in such cases. [Complex Sentences-এর Voice-পরিবর্তনে Principal ও Subordinate উভয় প্রকার Clause-এরই পরিবর্তন করতে হয় যদি দুটিতেই Transitive Verb এবং Object বা Complement থাকে। এরূপ ক্ষেত্রে কখনাে কখনাে Introductory ‘It’ ব্যবহার করতে হয়।]

Active: We know that Columbus discovered America.
Passive: That America was discovered by Columbus is known to us.
[Or] It is known to us that America was discovered by Columbus.
Active: We hope that we shall finish the work in time.
Passive: It is hoped that the work will be finished in time.
Active: I cannot depend on what he says. [ ‘what’—Complement to ‘say’ ]
Passive: What is said by him cannot be depended on by me.
Active: We must endure what we cannot cure. [‘what’—Object to ‘cure’]
Passive: What cannot be cured must be endured.

Sometimes one Clause with the transitive verb is turned into Passive and another with intransitive verb remains in Active Voice.

We know that the earth is round. → It is known to us that the earth is round.
I knew him when he came here. → He was known to me when he came here.

*Note: Double Passives in a Simple Sentence or in one Clause should be avoided as they are liable to give a wrong meaning. (Simple Sentence-এ অথবা একটিমাত্র Clause-এ Double Passive হলে ভুল অর্থ হয়ে যায়।]

Active: They proposed to hold a meeting.
Incorrect Passive: A meeting was proposed to be held by them.
Correct Passive: It was proposed by them to hold a meeting.
[Or] It was proposed by them that a meeting should be held.


The judge ordered the convict to be hanged. (Correct)
The convict was ordered to be hanged by the judge. (Incorrect)

N.B. যদি to be hanged by the judge বলা হয়, তাহলে judge নিজেই যেন ফাঁসিতে ঝােলাবেন, এরূপ অর্থ বােঝায়, তাই এরকম Passive করলে অর্থ ভুল হবে।



Active: His conduct shocked me.
Passive: I was shocked at his conduct. (not, by his conduct)
Active: Light filled the room.
Passive: The room was filled with light. (not, by light)
Active: Her manners pleased us very much.
Passive: We were very much pleased with her manners. (not, by her manners)
Active: The novels of Tolstoy interest me.
Passive: I am interested in the novels of Tolstoy. (not, by the novels of Tolstoy)



Active: One should keep one’s promise.
Passive: A promise should be kept. (by one-omitted)
Active: Someone has stolen my purse.
Passive: My purse has been stolen. (by someone-omitted)
Active: Circumstances obliged me to go.
Passive: I was obliged to go. (by circumstances–omitted)
Active: Mother looked after the boy. (look after-group verb)
Passive: The boy was looked after by his mother. (prep, after of the gr. verb retained)
Active: He has worked out the answer correctly. (work out-group verb)
Passive: The answer has been correctly worked out by him.
Active: It is time to do your duty.
Passive: It is time for your duty to be done.
Active: I know him.
Pseudo Passive: He is known to me.


When to use the Passive Voice (Passive voice-এর ব্যবহার):

Generally, when we want to place emphasis on the performer or doer of the action, we use the active voice; but when we want to place the emphasis on the action, or on the receiver of the action, we use the passive voice. The verb construction called the “passive-voice” is used in specific situations. They are the following:

(a) When it is not necessary to say who performed the action (কাজটি কে করেছে তার উল্লেখের প্রয়ােজন যেখানে নেই):
(i) The appointment letter was issued today.
(ii) Rice is grown in India.
(iii) It is made in Russia.

(b) When it is preferable not to mention the performer or doer (কাজটি কে করেছে তা উল্লেখ না করা যেখানে সমীচীন মনে করা হয়) :
(i) He was told that his English was not good.
(ii) A notice was posted on the gate.
(iii) I was informed of it earlier.

(c) When we wish to emphasize the receiver of the action rather than the performer or doer(যখন কর্তার চাইতে ক্রিয়ার প্রাপককে প্রাধান্য বেশি দেওয়া হয়) :
(i) A man was knocked down by a lorry.
(ii) He is said to have earned a lot of money.
(iii) He was congratulated on his success.

(d) In situation of social and historical significance (উল্লেখযােগ্য সামাজিক বা ঐতিহাসিক ঘটনার উল্লেখ করতে) :
(i) America was discovered by Columbus.
(ii) The battle was fought at Plassey.
(iii) An atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima.

(e) In invitations, requests and announcements (আমন্ত্রণ, অনুরোধ এবং ঘোষণা করতে):
(i) Passengers are requested not to smoke on the bus.
(ii) You are invited to attend the party.
(iii) The flight will be delayed by half an hour.

(f) In newspaper reports (সংবাদপত্রে ঘটনার বিবরণ দিতে):
(i) Kolkata was lashed by a thunderstorm last night.
(ii) The Prime Minister was cornered in the Parliament.
(iii) The goal was scored in the 14th minute of the first half.

(g) To describe a mechanical process and in giving scientific descriptions (কোনো যান্ত্রিক প্রক্রিয়া এবং বৈজ্ঞানিক বিবরণ বােঝাতে :
(i) Iron ore is mixed with coke and limestone to produce pig iron.
(ii) The mixture is collected in a bottle.



1. Rewrite the following sentences using the Active Voice :
i) He was elected President.
ii) The meeting was presided over by Mr. Sen.
iii) Let this work be done.
iv) You are requested to put off your shoes.
v) Is the moon seen by you?
vi) The house has been repaired.
vii) English is spoken by them.
viii) Duties must be done.
ix) All the children should be loved.
x) What is seen by nim?
xi) My pen has been lost.
xii) A dream was dreamt by him.
xiii) The thief has been caught by the police.
xiv) The charge will be taken over tomorrow.

2. Rewrite the following sentences using the Passive Voice :
i) He has read the book.
ii) Spring has forgotten the garden.
iii) He will give me a rupee.
iv) The Headmaster will punish the boy.
v) They fought a good fight.
vi) The thief had stolen his bag.
vii) Mother looked after the children well.
viii) You should obey your parents.
ix) One must keep one’s promises.
x) We must endure what we cannot cure.
xi) Who has done this?
xii) I do not know why he has done this.
xiii) Did you point out any defects?
xiv) Prepare for the worst.
xv) Has anyone answered your question

3. Change the voice of the verbs (Do not mention the performer or doer if it is not necessary).
He teaches us English.We made him president.
The promise was broken.
Take your slate.
I know that the girl said this.
They laughed at us.
My watch has been stolen.
The book was placed upon the table.
It was done in time.What does this box contain?
I knew that he had done it.
How were we to do it?
He kept his word.
I cannot understand why he does this.
What offer did he put forth?
What does she teach you?
Summon the fire brigade.
I do not know how it came here.
I should throw it out in that particular place.
No one recognized him.
Helen led Odysseus through the city to a gate.
The postman gave me this letter.
They proposed to hold a meeting.
He ordered the police to pursue the thief.
Open the gate.
This must have been done by the naughty boy.
Who did this?

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