Active and Passive Voice Rules and Exercises (Modal Auxiliaries)

By | March 15, 2019

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 In such sentences, we use: modal auxiliary (would/should/can etc.) + be + III form of the verb + by a + agent (if necessary).

Active Voice                                                                    Passive Voice

1. Maninder can read this book.                                     This book can be read by Maninder.

2. You must obey the elders.                                          The elders must be obeyed by you.


 The passive of negative sentences is formed by putting not between the auxiliary and the ‘III form of the verb.’ The other rules remain the same.

Active Voice

1. Lions do not eat grass.

2. The gardener did not water the plants.

3. He will never help you.

4. She is not writing a letter.

Passive Voice

 1. The grass is not eaten by lions.

2. The plants were not watered by the gardener.

3. You will never be helped by him.

4. A letter is not being written by her.


Questions beginning with helping verbs.

 (a) If the question begins with do/does/did, the form will be: is/am/are/was/were + subject + Ill form of the verb.

 (b) If the question begins with the auxiliary, the passive form will be: Modal auxiliary + subject + he + 111 forms of the verb.

 (c) If the question begins with has/have/had, the passive form will be: has/have/had + been + III form of the verb.

 (d) If the question is a continuous tense, the passive structure will be: is/ant/are/was/ were + subject + being + 111 form of the verb.

        Active Voice                                       Passive Voice

1. Do you drink tea?                                    Is tea drunk by you?

2. Did he write a letter?                              Was a letter written by him?

3. Can you lift this box?                              Can this box be lifted by you?

4. Has he done his work?                          Has his work been done by him?

5. Is she singing a song?                           Is a song being sung by her?

Questions beginning with `who-words’, like what, why, when, etc.

 (a) The question word is retained at the beginning of the sentences. The rest of the rules are the same as in other questions.

 (b) In case of questions starting with ‘who’, the structure is: By + whom + helping verb + subject + III form of the verb.

       Active Voice                                           Passive Voice

1. Why did you beat Bunty?                           Why was Bunty beaten by you?

2. When did you meet Mohan?                    When was Mohan met by you?

3. Where did you leave the car?                   Where was the car left by you?

4. Who broke this slate?                               By whom was this slate broken?


Tense Rule Active Voice Passive Voice
1.Present Indefinite


2. Present Continuous


3. Present Perfect


4. Past Indefinite


5. Past Continuous


6. Past Perfect


7. Future Indefinite


8. Future Perfect

Is/am/are + III form


Is/am/are+ being+ Ill form

Has/have+ been+ III form

Was/were+ III form


Was/were+ being+ III form

Had+ been+ III form


Will/shall+ be+ III form


Will/shall+ been+ have + III form

Rishi writes a letter.


Rishi is writing a letter.


Rishi has written a letter.

Rishi wrote a letter.


Rishi was written a letter.

Rishi had written a letter.

Rishi will write a letter.


Rishi will have written a letter.



A letter is written by Rishi.

A letter is being written by Rishi.

A letter has been written by Rishi.

A letter was written by Rishi.

A letter writing was being by Rishi.

A letter had been written by Rishi.

A letter will be written by Rishi.

A letter will have been written by Rishi.


 Note: The sentences of Present, Past and Future Perfect Continuous Tenses and the Future Continuous Tense cannot be changed into Passive Voice.


(a) An imperative sentence in passive voice begins with ‘let’. The passive form will be: let + he Ill form of the verb.

  (b) When there is already ‘let’ in the active sentence, the passive structure is the same as in (a) above.

(c) In sentences showing orders, requests etc., this form is used :

You are ordered/requested/advised + infinitive with ‘to’.

 Active Voice                                              Passive Voice

1. Shut the door.                                           Let the door be shut.

2. Don’t tease the dog.                                Let the dog not be teased by you.

3. Let me write a letter.                               Let a letter be written by me.

4. Please help me.                                        You are requested to help me.

5. Go there at once.                                     You are ordered to go there at once.


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