What is Voice – Active Voice & Passive Voice ? Why is voice needed?
While communicating we use words in a sentence according to the importance ascribed to them. Or in other words are placed in a sentence according to their importance in communication.
Usually a sentence has a subject, a verb and an object in it. A word is used as subject or object in a sentence according to the importance it carries with it.
Take the following examples to make it clear.
1. I wrote a letter to him.
2. I wrote him a letter.
3. A letter was written to him by me.
In these sentences the three key words I, letter and him are placed at different places in the sentences according to the importance of these words in communication. As such the two forms of voice i.e. Active and Passive voice are used accordingly while communicating. More important words are used as Subject and those of secondary place are used as an object in a sentence. For this necessary changes are made in the sentence.
The process of making a change from active to passive form of a sentence is called ‘change of the voice’.
An imperative sentence is changed from active to passive voice according to the message contained in the sentence. For this purpose words used are as follows :
If it contains an order or a command : You are ordered to or You are commanded to
If it contains a request : You are requested to
If it contains an advice : You are advised to
If it contains a negative order : You are forbidden to
If it contains’Let us’ : It is suggested that we should or It is proposed that we should
It is time to (verb first form) It is time for (object) to be (verb third form)
For example :
Open the door : Let the door be opened.
(Note Sometimes sentences with Let do not look proper in communication so sentences with ‘It is requested/advised etc….’ are preferred)
Leave the room at once.
You are ordered to leave the room at once. OR Let the room be left at once.
Bring a glass of water for me.
You are ordered to bring a glass of water for me. OR Let a glass of water be brought for me.
Go to market immediately.
You are ordered to go to market immediately.
Please help me.
You are requested to help me.
Please take pity on him.
You are requested take pity on him.
Please keep this book on the table.
You are requested to keep this book on the table.
Do not walk barefooted.
You are forbidden to walk barefooted.
It is time to revise the lesson.
It is time for the lesson to be revised.
Do not stand on ceremony.
You are forbidden to stand on ceremony.
Please do not disturb me.
You are requested not to disturb me.
Please do not eat raw fruit.
You are requested not to eat raw fruit.
It is time to say prayers.
It is time for prayers to be said.
Always speak the truth.
You are advised to always speak the truth.
Never tell a lie.
You are advised never to tell a lie.
Always respect your elders.
You are advised to always respect your elders.
Leave the room, please.
You are requested to leave the room.
It time to start the work.
It is time for the work to be started.
Fetch me a glass of water,please
You are requested to fetch me a glass of water.
More examples of alternative mode :
Respect your betters.
Let your betters be respected.
Start your work now.
Let your work be started now.
Close the window.
Let the window be closed.
Help the poor.
Let the poor be helped.
Do not insult the beggar.
Let the beggar not be insulted.
Obey your parents.
Let your parents be obeyed.
Mind your own business.
Let your own business be minded.
Do not take overripe fruit.
Let overripe fruit not be taken.
Let us start our work.
Let our work be started.
It is suggested that we should start our work.
Sentences for Practice
- Clean the floor immediately.
- Do not find faults with others.
- Send this message to him.
- Please speak a bit loudly.
- Take care of your parents.
- Always obey the rules of the road while walking.
- Fix a nail into this table.
- Listen to him carefully.
- Attend to your teacher, please.
- Set out on your journey without delay.
- Solve these sums without any help.
- Do not abuse the children.
- Make haste to reach the station.
- Do not share your password with others.
- Please keep to the left on the road.
- Follow his instructions strictly.
- Attend your office regularly.
- Check your mail box daily.
- E-mail your reply immediately.
- Set the printer in order immediately.
- Go out for a walk in the morning daily.
- It is time to take the decision.
- Finish your work in time.
- Let us go out for a walk.
- Do not walk barefooted on the grass.
- Have faith in God and do the right.
- Let us discuss this topic threadbare.
- Take care of your health.
- It is time to learn the lesson.
- Show the guests in , please.
- You are ordered to clean the floor immediately. OR Let the floor be cleaned immediately.
- You are forbidden to find faults with others. OR You are advised not to find faults with others.
- You are ordered to send this message to him. OR Let the message be sent to him.
- You are requested to speak a bit loudly.
- You are advised to take care of your parents. OR Let your parents be taken care of.
- You are advised to always obey the rules of the road while walking. OR Let the rules of the road always be obeyed while walking
- You are ordered to fix a nail into this table. OR Let a nail be fixed in this table.
- You are advised to listen to him carefully. OR Let he be listened to carefully.
- You are requested to attend to your teacher.
- You are ordered to set out on your journey without delay.
Please write your answers for exercise TWO and THREE in comments. We will review your answers.