What is a verb?

A word that expresses an ACTION / an occurance or a STATE in a sentence, is called a Verb."Action Verbs" can be used transitively or intransitively. State verbs are always intransitive.


(1)He usually writes Novels.(transitive/novels= object.)

(2)This new pen writes well.(intransitive/ verb "writes" doesn't take an object here)

(3) he is happy.(describes a state/intransitive.)

What is a transitive verb?

A verb that can have an object, is a transitive verb.

Example:- He sometimes eates" idly" for breakfast.Idly is the object of "eates".

What is an object?

Object is a noun/ pronoun/ or a gerund A clause can also be an object. If such a noun is affected by the action of the verb, it is a direct object.

He kicked a dog. Dog is affected by the action of kicking , hence direct object.

What is an indirect object?

The person or thing who receives the direct object, is indirect object.

Example:- He gave him a pen.Pen is the noun affected by the action of giving. So it is direct object. Him(he) is the noun who receives it. Hence he( object form is him) is an indirect object.

A transitive verbs always take a direct object, or occasionally have, both a direct and an indirect object.

Example:- (1)He writes a letter.(direct objetc.)

(2)He writes her letters twice a week.(or he writes letters to her twice a week.)(her-indirect obj.)

What is a subject?

The Noun who performs the action of the verb, is called subject, and it is prominent in an active sentence. Ravi usually writes letters to his son.{in this sentence, Ravi does the action of writing,ie takes paper, pen etc and starts writing the letter.

Rajan eats an apple daily.

Here it is Rajan, who does the action of eating, is subject. He is prominent or in an important position in this sentence. Because,we talk about what' he does', not about Apple


If we so wish, we can make the (object) an apple" prominent by using it in a passive voice,as the Subject of the sentence. In passive voice, it is about the(active)object (here, apple) that we talk about, not the (active) subject,Rajan. The eater(Rajan) is being left to an unimportant position of an agent in the sentence, preceded by By and so we needn't even mention it normally, but not always. Which noun we are speaking about, must be in the position of a subject, and it (apple/object of the active voice) becomes the subject in passive voice, with its verb having been changed into its equivalent passive form.

How can we change the active sentence into passive sentence.?

1-First find out the object of the active sentence,& subject of it, too


2-Then comes up a problem? Object can be direct object or indirect object, if an indirect object does exist ? Which one should be made prominent? Either of them! That means , any one of them , which you choose at will, can be made prominent . No problem.

Look at the example given below:-

He often gives me a pen.( active voice)

Who are we speaking about? or who does the action of giving? or, who is performing the action to give, in this active sentence?

It is"he", that is the subject of the active voice.

Then find out the object. Here the noun that is affected by the action of giving is ,pen? So it is the direct object. Again the noun that receives the pen is me .So it is the indirect object.

As mentioned earlier, choose any one of them. Either direct or indirect object.Make it the subject of passive sentence. Let us imagine you choose the direct object.:-

Start the passive sentence with the chosen object.

a pen + add verb,( the passive equivalent of active verb.) If you chose indirect object, start the sentence with it as subject. Me- is indirect object. Use its subject form -I.

3-PASSIVE FORMS OF active verbs are formed on the basis of its tense forms.

1 -If the active sentence is a present simple tense,its passive equivalent is formed, as given below.

Am/is/are + past participle of the main verb in the active sentence

(a)A PEN is often given to me(by him) (choose one of the three verb forms of the be verb- am,is,are- to agree with the subject of the passive sentence) Again, we can start with I(subject form of me, is I)

(b)I am often given a pen(by him) Both (a)&(b) are passive forms of he often gives me a pen Passive verb forms of the active verbs are given below, on the basis of each tense forms.

PRESENT-simple(active verb)change to


A letter is written ( by him), is the passive of (He writes a letter).

Apples are eaten. ( Active>They eat apples )I am punished. (Active->he punishes me)

PRESENT-progressive(active verb)> is changed to passive equivalent


A letter is being written.

Apples are being eaten.

i am being punished

PRESENT -perfect-(active verb) is changed to passive equivalent


A letter has been written.

Apples have been eaten.

I have been punished.

Note1--:present perfect Progressive has no passive, this is true with past&future tenses.


PAST-simple(active)verb is changed to passive equivalent.


A letter was written.

Apples were eaten. I was punished.

PAST-Progressive(active verb) is changed to passive equivalent


A letter was being written.

Apples were being eaten. I was being punished.

PAST -perfect-(active)verb


A letter had been written.

Apples had been eaten. I had been punished.

FUTURE- simple(active) is changed to passive equivalent


A letter will be written


Apples will be eaten. I will be punished.

FUTURE+Progressive (active)verbs is changed to passive equivalent


A letter will be being written


Apples will be being eaten.

I will be being punished.

FUTURE + Perfect(active verb) is changed to passive equivalent


A letter will have been written.

Apples will have been eaten.

I will have been punished.

Change active sentence into passive.


Question1:-He plays football every day.

Football is played everyday

Question2:-He usually writes novels

Novels are usually written by him

Question3:-My teacher often gives me advice on road safety

(advice -direct object. "Me" -indirect object.)

(a)-Advice on road safety is often given to me(by my teacher.) OR

(b) I am often given advice on road safety (by my teacher)

Question4:-We build roads every year.

Roads are built every year

Question5:- He doesn't play football everyday.

Football isn't played everyday.

Question6:-Does he play football daily?

Is football played daily (by him?)

Question7:- Doesn't he play football?

Isn't football played(by him) ?

Question8:-Why does he play football only on Monday?

Why is football played only on Monday (by him?)

Question9:-He plays football, doesn't he?

Football is played, isn't it?

Question10:-I usually eat rice

Rice is usually eaten

Question11:-I don't eat rice at all

Rice isn't eaten at all(by me)

YES. Or NO question

Question12:-Do I ever eat rice?

Is rice ever eaten by me?

Question13:-Don't I ever eat rice?

Isn't rice ever eaten by me?

Question14:-Why do I eat rice?

Why is rice eaten (by me?)

Question15:-I eat rice daily,don't I?

Rice is eaten daily, Isn't it?

Question16:-We do homework before 4o'clock

Homework is done before 4o'clock.

Question17:-We don't do homework daily.

Homework isn't done daily(by us)

Question18:-Do we do homework daily?

Is homework done daily (by us)?

Question19:-Don't we do homework daily?

Isn't homework done daily (by us)

Question20:-Why do we do homework daily?

Why is homework done daily(by us)?

Question21:-We do homework daily, don't we?

Homework is done daily, isn't it?

Question22:-They are building houses

Houses are being built (by them)

Question23:- He is writing notes

Notes are being written by him.

Question24:- They are killing animals at present

Animals are being killed at present

Question25:-He has already started a company.

A company has already been started(by him)

Question26:-They have reached an agreement today

An agreement has been reached today


Question27:-He taught me English.

(English -direct object.. "me"-indirect object.)

English was taught me (by him )

. OR

I was taught English(by him)

Question28:-He didn't teach me English

English wasn't taught me(by him). OR

I wasn't taught English by him.

Question29:-Did he teach me English?

Was I taught English( by him?)

Question30:-Didn't he teach me English?

Wasn't I taught English(by him)

Question31:-When did he teach me English?

When was I taught English (by him).

Question32:-He taught me English, didn't he?

I was taught English, wasn't I?

Question33:-He cut down trees yesterday.

Trees were cut down yesterday(by him)

Question34:-A terrorist killed many people in Iran two days ago

Many people were killed in Iran two days ago(by a terrorist).

Question35:-They were discussing something important when I reached there.

Something important was being discussed when I reached there.

Question36:- Doctors were operating on a patient at that time

A patient was being operated on at that time

Question37:-She was expecting her exam result at any time.

Her exam result was being expected at any time

Question38:-He had planted rubber saplings a year ago.

Rubber saplings had been planted a year ago.

Question39:- News papers had published unbiased story of the Leader.

Unbiased story of the Leader had been published. (by newspapers)

Question40:-They had killed animals a year ago.

Animals had been killed a year ago.



Question41:-We will kill the snake tomorrow.

The snake will be killed tomorrow (by us)

Question42:-They will finish the work any time soon.

The work will be finished any time soon(by them)

Question43:-Government will announce the result of the talk today.

The result of the talk will be announced today (by the Govt.).

Question44:-He will be teaching English at oxford this time next year.

English will be being taught at oxford by him this time next year. (The agent, "by him" is logically needed in this case)

Question45:-I will be painting the gate, this time tomorrow

The gate will be being painted this time tomorrow

Question46:-They will have completed all the work by sunday. .

All the work will have been completed by sunday

Question47:- He will have built seven houses by next Christmas

Seven houses will have been built by next Christmas


1-The object of the active sentence is a noun,pronoun, gerund,or a noun phrase.

But here we look at the way we change an active sentence which has a clause as it's object


In such sentences, there are usually two subjects. One is the subject of the object clause, the other is the subject of the whole sentence. They must be different, one doesn't refer to the other

The news papers say that Sri Yesudas's singing last night was brilliant

Find out the object clause that Sri Yesudas's singing last night was brilliant. Yesudas's singing last night - this is the subject of the object clause

Make it the subject of passive sentence, just like this-: "Sri Yesudas's singing last night......

Find out the subject and verb of the whole sentence.

Take the VERB "SAY" and change it into its passive equivalent.Just like we change the verb in simple present tense , then it would be" IS SAID" here.

Sri Yesudas's singing last night IS SAID( to be brilliant)

Here how to change the infinitive in the bracket is explained

If the time of the object clause refers (last night's singing/past tense) is earlier than the time of the principal clause,say, then a perfect infinitive is used. Here the time of last night's singing was(past) & earlier than the time of the verb "say"(=preset simple). So perfect infinitive of "be" verb is to be used.

To be brilliant - is ordinary infinitive/non continuous. Its perfect infinitive is ="TO HAVE BEEN BRILLIANT"

Sri Yesudas' singing last night is said to have been brilliant.-passive voice.


(Point one)Here object is a clause, in capital letters. He is the subject of this clause. So this word,ie,"HE" is used as the subject of the passive sentence. When object is a noun , the same noun should be the subject of the passive. But here object is a clause and hence the subject of the same clause is used as subject of the passive sentence

(Point two) Main verb "believed" and the verb in the object clause was speaking refer to the same time ,ie, past. Hence an ordinary, continuous infinitive of "be" verb is to be used.Why continuous infinitive? Because the object clause in the active is a continuous tense. Ordinary infinitive is of three types.

1-To be- non continuous ordinary infinitive.

2-To be speaking- ordinary continuous infinitive

3-To have been- perfect infinitive

Be ready to change the sentence into the passive-


Everyone expects that he will sing.(change into passive)

Object clause-" that he will sing."

Subject of the object clause-"he".

Subject of the passive must be "he"

Time of the object clause is later than main verb .Main verb is "expects" =present simple.

Time of object clause is " will win." Futur tense.So an ordinary infinitive is to be used on condition that either the verb combination or any word in the sentence(adverb or the like)should indicate future time.

He is believed to win(passive)

To win indicate future time



We know that we will be successful- weis subject of the whole sentence. The word weis also the subject of the object clause we will be successful. Both are the same. Hence another method is used to change such sentence to its passive . Look what it is-:

Here we have to use first a subject that is another pronoun,IT. Passive equivalent of we know is is/are/am known

It is known that we will be successful.

By this method we can change other sentences given above,too. Everyone expects that she will win It is expected (by everyone )that she will win


People believed that he was speaking the truth It was believed that he was speaking the truth

The news papers say that Sri Yesudas's singing last night was brilliant.> It is said that sri Yesudas's singing last night was brilliant.

OTHER TYPES OF PASSIVE-3. Can/could/may/might/should/ought to/have to/ used to be. etc

You can buy stamps at post office. This sentence is changed to passive by -:

Object of active voice+Modal verbs (can, could,might etc.) + be+past participle.

Stamps can be bought at post office.(passive)

Question48:-You may see wild animals in the forest.

Wild animals may be seen in the forest

Question49:- You have to prepare meals everyday

Meals have to be prepared everyday

Question50:-he used to drive cars

Cars used to be driven by him.

Question51:-You must throw away the papers.

The papers must be thrown away

Question52:-You must shut the doors

Doors must be shut

Question53:-They ought to tell him

He ought to be told

Question54:-They ought to have told him.

He ought to have been told

(Sentence is active- perfect infinitive is used.)

When phrasal or prepositional verbs are changed to passive, the particles or preposition should follow the verb in passive too.

Cut down / send for/ etc

Question55:- he sent for a taxi

A taxi was sent for

Question56:-You should do away with the old practice

The old practice should be done away with

Question57:-He cut down the trees in front of his house

The trees in front of his houses were cut down

Question58:-The customs officers couldn't find the drugs

The drugs couldn't be found .

Question59:-The customs officers could have found the drugs.

The drugs could have been found by the customs officers

Question60:-where did you find the drugs?

Where were the drugs found?

Question61:-The Govt. have changed the law.

The law has been changed by the Govt.

Question62:-People believe that he is a theif.

It is believed that he is a theif. OR He is believed to be a theif.

Question63:-People believe that he was a spy

He is believed to have been a spy. OR .It is believed that he was a spy

( Believe-present simple/ he was -past simple.The time of object clause is earlier than that of "believe". Hence a perfect infinitive is to be used.)

Question64:-They say that they are intelligent.

It is said that they are intelligent

Question65:-They thought that he was living there

He was thought to be living there

Question66:- A dog has bitten her

She has been bitten by a dog?

How are Questions changed into passive.

Question67:-Who has bitten her?

Who has she been bitten by?

Question68:-Who bit her?

Who was she bitten by?

Question69:-Who painted this picture?

Who was this picture painted by?

Question70:-Who is writing this letter?

Who is this letter being written by?

Question71:-Who has written this letter?

Who has this letter been written by?

Question72:-Who painted it?

Who was it painted by?

Verbs such as, like/love/want/wish+object+infinitive

Question73:- I want someone to take photos

I want photos to be taken

Question74:-He likes him to finish the painting

He likes the painting to be finished

Question75:-He invited me to go

I was invited to go

Question76:-They urged the council to take action

The council was/were urged to take action.


Example of this type sentence.

They urged + the council (indirect object)+ to take (infinitive)+action(object.)

They urged the council to take action-such sentence can be changed into passive in two ways. One is given above in 72. The second way is by -Advice etc (one of the above verbs) + that.............Should .....+ Passive infinitive.

Example: They urged THAT ACTION(object) SHOULD BE TAKEN.

The minister ordered the police to disperse the crowd.

Passive:- The minister ordered that the crowd should be dispersed.

(also, The police was ordered to disperse the crowd.)

They begged the leaders to put off the strike immediately.(active)

The leaders were begged to put off the strike immediately.(passive-1)

They begged that the strike should be put off immediately (passive-2)


That.....Should +passive infinitive.

Example:- he demanded to buy a car[active]

He demanded that a car should be bought.(passive.)

Question77:-He decided to sell the house.

He decided that the house should be sold

Question78:-He recommended taking action against her

He recommended that action should be taken against her.

Question79:-I remember them taking me to the zoo.

I remember being taken to the zoo.

Look at the following patterns and see how they are changed into passive.

Verbs like, see/hear/ smell/feel/notice/glimpse/ observe/smell/watch and listen to & look at + noun+ present participles(going/runninge..)

After any one of the above verbs, use an object+present participle or bare infinitive. Pattern with present participle is explained here.

"I saw a boy crossing the road.

(It means you saw him at a certain point of time when the action of crossing took place. You didn't see the entire action of his walking across the road , from one side to the other side of the road. )

A boy - object of see verb. Past simple tense of see is used. So passive equivalent verb form is -: was/were seen.

"A boy was seen crossing the road."- passive.

Question80:-They saw the thief running away.

The theif was seen running away

Question81:-They heard voices calling for help.

Voices were heard calling for help

Question82:- I could feel my heart beating wildly.

My heart could be felt beating wildly

Question83:-They watched the thieves being arrested by the police.

The thieves were watched being arrested by the police.

Question84:-We usually see animals being treated cruelly.

Animals are usually seen being treated cruelly

Look at the following patterns being changed to the passive.

Subject+ verb(transitive)+ noun/pronoun+infinitive.

I +hear +John+ leave the room.( Feel/hear/notice/observe/ see/watch and phrasal verbs"listen to & look at"- are the verbs used in this pattern)

I hear John leave the room(active)

Its passive form is:-John is heard to leave the room(Here in active voice , to is not used,but in passive to is unavoidable.)

(A)I hear John leaving the room.&(B) I hear John leave the room.

In (B)I heard the sounds made by John, right from the starting to the end of the activities connected with his leaving

In (A) I heard the sounds at a particular point of time in between the starting and ending of the process of leaving.

Change into passive.

Question85:-I heard him talk English yesterday.

He was heard to talk English yesterday. (Compare with the question number 76, above)

Question86:-Did anyone notice a girl come to the room?

Was a girl noticed to come to the room (by anyone)?

Question87:- I have noticed a boy go out.

A boy has been noticed to go out.

Question88:-They have heard people shout loudly

People have been heard to shout loudly.

Question89:-They felt the house shake terribly

The house was felt to shake terribly.

Question90:-I feel my hand shake mildly.

My hand is felt to shake mildly.

Notice another pattern with verbs :- Help/know/and make.

Also , know in the perfect tense only can be used among them.

(Make+noun+ infinitive without to.)

Note:(1)" I helped him(to)do the work"~

You can use or omit" to" after the object , after the verb "help".So "to" is given in the bracket.

(2)"I will make you do the work"

(3) I have known him sing a song.

In sentences (1)&(2) "to"is not used in active sentence. But in passive "to" is needed in the above sentences.

1- He was helped to do the work.

2-You will be made to do the work.

3- He has been known to do the work.

Chang the following sentences into passive , just like the above sentences.

He made her drink a cup of tea(active)

She was made to drink a cup of tea.(passive)( The absence of to in the active sentence, and the presence of to in the passive should be kept in mind. Make - here means to compel.

Question91:-He made you think about money.

You were made to think about money

Question92:-I have known experts make this mistake.

Experts have been known to make this mistake

Question93:- Have you ever known her lose her temper?

Has she ever been known to lose her temper?

Question94:-Can we make the murder look like an accident?

Can the murder be made to look like an accident?

Question95:-They helped him buy a car.

He was helped to buy a car

Question96:- The terrorists made the hostages lie down.

The hostages were made to lie down.

Question97:- He saw her come out of the house.

She was seen to come out of the house.

Question98:-They will make him say everything

He will be made to say everything

Some other pattern to be noted.

Open the door It is an imperative sentence. Its meaning is to tell or ask people to do , or to make a suggestion,to give advice or instructions, to encourage or offer , and express wishes.

Question99:- Open the door (active voice)

Let the door be opened.(passive)

Question100:-Do justice to him

Let justice be done to him

Finally, remember one thing. There are certain intransitive verbs like, go ,come ,arrive , and rise .When they expresses movement / change of state or position, then we can use, the auxiliary "to be" where we should normally expect / use "have".


(1)HE IS GONE TO LONDON. ( Instead of , he has gone to London)

(2)THE POST IS COME. (3)THE SUN IS RISEN. Their form is similar to passive. But they differ from the perfect tense (They have gone to London, the post has come etc.) in one aspect that they don't denote an activity or occurrence as the perfect tense does. They denote not an activity, but" a resultant situation." "he is not there" That is , you cannot see him there, his absence is expressed. Similarly, the post is come means, only the resultant state, ie, we have letters or parcels are here for you to read. Not the action of coming . Can you make a cup of tea?" I'm afraid the tea is gone."= It is used up or not even a little of it is left there. They are not passive sentences.

Question101:-Rama killed Ravana.

Ravana was killed( by Rama)

Question102:-Rama is killing Ravana

Ravana is being killed (by Rama)

Fill in with the appropriate word given below to CHANGE IT INTO A PASSIVE SENTENCE.

Question103:-Malayalam ------------------in Kerala state.

A-is speaking

B-have spoken

C- are spoken

D- is spoken

D- is spoken

Question104:-My car has --------stolen






Question105:-The bottles will ------ opened.


B- been

C- be


C- be

Question106:-Dirty dishes ---------be washed up






Question107:-The hall has already --------cleaned.

A- is


C- being



Question108:-The floor is --------- swept by a servant at the moment

A- is


C- being


C- being

Question109:-People are believed to---------- been afraid of the terrorists






Question110:-Wine will ------ -------- ordered by 4o'clock today

A-has been

B-is being

C-have been

D-is been

C-have been

Question111:-Who-------- this book written by?