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Passive Voice and Reported Speech

Passive Voice and Reported Speech

Observe the following sentences:

  • The boy flies the kite.
  • The kite is flown by the boy
  • King punished the man cruelly.
  • The man was punished by king cruelly.
  • Police caught the thief.
  • The thief was caught by the police.

In all the above pair of sentences, the first sentence are in Reported Speech and second sentences are in Passive Voice.


Reported Speech

When the subject is active in the sentence and is the doer of the action.

Example:She does not drink milk

She – Subject
does not - Verb
milk – Object

Passive Voice

When the action is attributed to the subject, that is, the subject receives the action, it is said to be in the passive voice.

Example:

Milk is not drunk by her

(subject) (verb) (object).

 

There are certain rules that need to be followed when we are changing the voice of a sentence.

Rules for change of reported speech into passive voice:

  • The subject in active voice becomes the object in passive voice.
  • The object in active voice becomes the subject in passive voice
  • ‘ by’ is placed before the new object.
  • The verbs are changed according to the tense.

Note: the sentences in the following tenses cannot be changed into passive:

  • Future continuous tense
  • Present perfect continuous tense
  • Past perfect continuous tense
  • Future perfect continuous tense.

Tense

Reported Speech

Passive Voice


Simple present

Take

Takes

am taken

is taken

are taken


Present continuous

Am taking

Is taking

Are taking

Am being taken

Is being

Are being taken


Present perfect

Has taken

Have taken

Has been taken

Have been taken


Simple past

Took

Was taken

Were taken


Past continuous

Was taking

Were taking

Was being taken

Were being taken


Past perfect

Had taken

Had been taken

Simple future

Will take

Shall take

Will be taken

Shall be taken

     

 

You must know when to use the reported speech and when to use the passive voice. Knowing how to convert the two into each other is not sufficient.

We use reported speech when the agent (doer of the action) is to be made prominent and we use passive voice when we the person or object on which the action is done is to be made prominent.

 

In such cases the agent with ‘by’ is usually avoided.

Question

Rewrite the following sentences from reported speech into passive voice:

  1. I did not beat her.
  2. I will never forget this experience
  3. The boy teased the girl
  4. She has written a novel.
  5. The police have caught the thief.
  6. Nurses look after patients.

Change the following passive voice into reported speech:

  1. Why did your brother write such a letter?
  2. He will finish the work in a fortnight.
  3. Some boys were helping the wounded man.
  4. The peon opened the gate.
  5. The mason is building the wall
  6. Who did this?

Answers

  1. She was not beaten by me.
  2. This experience will never be forgotten by me
  3. The girl was teased by the boy
  4. A novel has been written by her.
  5. The thief has been caught by the police
  6. Patients are looked after by the nurses
  1. Why was such a letter written by your brother?
  2. The work will be finished by him in a fortnight.
  3. The wounded man was being helped by some boys
  4. The gate was opened by the peon.
  5. The wall is being built by the mason.
  6. By whom was this done?

You will notice that when verb in the reported speech is changed to the passive voice, the object of the transitive verb in the active voice becomes the subject of the verb in the passive voice.

Recap

(i) Reported Speech: When the subject is active in the sentence and is the doer of the action.

(ii) Passive Voice: When the action is attributed to the subject, that is, the subject receives the action, it is said to be in the passive voice.

(iii) The different tenses that cannot follow the process of conversion includes: Future continuous tense, Present perfect continuous tense, Past perfect continuous tense, Future perfect continuous tense.

(iv) Reported Speech is used when the doer of the action is made prominent.

 

Quiz for Passive Voice and Reported Speech

Q.1

Which appropriate word (or form of the verb) will replace the underlined word when the sentence is changed from active to passive voice?

All the water has been absorbed.

a) was
b) has
c) had
d) none of the above

Q.2

Which appropriate word (or form of the verb) will replace the underlined word when the sentence is changed from active to passive voice?

His back is aching.

a) was
b) has
c) had
d) none of the above

Q.3

Which appropriate word (or form of the verb) will replace the underlined word when the sentence is changed from active to passive voice?

Julius has broken another leg.

a) will be broken
b) has been broken
c) have been broken
d) none of the above

Q.4

Which appropriate word (or form of the verb) will replace the underlined word when the sentence is changed from active to passive voice?

I have written two novels.

a) are being
b) were being
c) has been
d) have been

Q.5

Which appropriate word (or form of the verb) will replace the underlined word when the sentence is changed from active to passive voice?

I am writing an autobiography.

a) is being written
b) will be written
c) has been written
d) none of the above

Q.6

Which appropriate word (or form of the verb) will replace the underlined word when the sentence is changed from active to passive voice?

Has he sung that song?

a) been sung
b) being sung
c) being sang
d) none of the above

Q.7

Which appropriate word (or form of the verb) will replace the underlined word when the sentence is changed from active to passive voice?

They were not watching the movie.

a) were watched
b) was watched
c) being watched
d) not being watched

Q.8

Which appropriate word (or form of the verb) will replace the underlined word when the sentence is changed from active to passive voice?

We are not wearing a suit.

a) has not been worn
b) is being worn
c) is not being worn
d) will not be worn

Q.9

Which appropriate word (or form of the verb) will replace the underlined word when the sentence is changed from active to passive voice?

Joey had cleaned the shelves.

a) had been cleansed
b) had been cleaned
c) have been cleaned
d) none of the above

Q.10

Which appropriate word (or form of the verb) will replace the underlined word when the sentence is changed from active to passive voice?

My brother is washing the bicycle.

a) been washed
b) being washed
c) either a or b
d) none of the above

Your Score: 0/10

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