English Active Voice and Passive Voice, Detailed Expressions, Example Sentences
An active clause refers to the action done on the object, but a passive clause indicates that the action is done by someone.
We can change an active clause to passive, but for this, the active clause must be a transitive verb that can take an object such as open, close, give, buy, etc. Intransitive verbs do not take objects. Passive verbs cannot be passive forms.
We want to give examples of active and passive clauses;
- The school custodian opens the door every day. (Active Clause)
- The door is opened by the school custodian every day. (Passive Clause)
USE IN TENSES
Thus, the object in the active sentence becomes the subject in the passive sentence. In accordance with the structure of the sentence, be + past participle is used.
(The Simple Present)
He washes the black car. / The black car is washed by him.
He is washing the black car. / The black car is being washed by him.
He washed the black car. / The black car was washed by him.
He was washing the black car. / The black car was being washed by him.
He has washed the black car. / The black car has been washed by him.
He had washed the black car. / The black car had been washed by him.
(Going to future)
He is going to wash the black car. / The black car is going to be washed by him.
He will have washed the black car. / The black car will have been washed by him.
Note; All modal sentences have this rule.
Modal + be + v3
- He could wash the car.
- The car can be washed by him.
The most important consideration when converting an active sentence to a passive sentence is that the object can be found correctly.
The object may not always consist of a single word. Some objects cannot be separated from the qualifying adjectives that precede or follow them.
- Somebody has washed the car in the park between the stadium and the museum.
As shown in this example, the object is not just a car.
The car located in the park between the stadium and the museum is the object.
In passive sentences, the actual person is not a priority. Often, it is not specified who did the action. But if both the passive sentence is requested and the person performing the action is not understood, the person performing the action can be indicated by “by the phrase” at the end of the sentence.
However, in a passive sentence, the person performing the action is indicated if it is important to whom the action is taken. If the action is important, the phrase is not used.
- Einstein developed the theory of relativity. (Active)
- The theory of relativity was developed by Einstein. (Passive)
If we give an example to the situations where the action is not important;
- People in Zonguldak mined the coal. (Active)
Coal was removed in Zonguldak. (Passive)
It is emphasized not by the removal, but by the removal.
If there are two objects in a sentence, it is more appropriate to make the indirect object the subject of the passive sentence.
- My mother gave me a bag.
- I was given a bag.
It is also not wrong to make the subject of a direct object passive sentence. You just need to pay attention to the prepositions.
- A bag was given to me.