Structure (Active and Passive Voices)


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In today’s English Language class, We will be learning about Active and Passive Voices. We hope you enjoy the class!


active and passive voice english classnotesng


Structure: Active and Passive Voices


An active sentence is one in which the subject performs an action or does something. In this case, the sentence follows the normal order of the subject, verb and object or subject and predicate.


Bola\ kicked\ the ball.

Tunde \visits\ a doctor\ every month.

I\ ate \yam\ yesterday.

The children\ are playing\. Football.


All the sentences above are in the active voice.


A passive sentence is realized when the object takes the position of the subject, i.e when the object is mentioned first before the subject.

Often times, passive sentences are used:

When we do not know the subject or performer of the action, e.g. The book was stolen yesterday.

When the subject is not that important:



The rice is then boiled for twenty-five minutes.

—— When the performer/subject is known by everybody.

The evening news is read at 6 pm


Examples of passive sentences are:

A song was composed by Tayo

The students were flogged by the teacher

They will be taken home by her.


Changing Active Sentences to Passive Ones.

To do this, some changes take place:

  1. The active object becomes a passive subject
  2. The active subject becomes agentive adverbial introduced with the preposition ‘by’
  3. An appropriate form of auxiliary ‘BE’ is introduced before the main verb


Now change the following active sentences to passive ones:

Active sentence > They sang some songs.

Passive sentence > Some songs were sung by them.


Active sentence > Women prefer smaller cars.

Passive sentence > smaller cars are preferred by women.


Active sentence > His trap has caught a rat.

Passive sentence > A rat has been caught by his trap.


Active sentence > The teacher is flogging the students.

Passive sentence > The students are being flogged by the teacher.




  • Change the following to passive sentences:
      1. He will do the work.
      2. I will have finished the assignment by 4 o’clock.
      3. The boy writes two letters every week.
      4. She is writing a letter.


  • Change the following to active sentences
      1. The work would have been done by her
      2. The ball was kicked by me
      3. The novels were written by him



English Grammar by Olatunbosun; Exam Focus: English for JSCE



Read “Active and Passive Structures on page 51-52 of English Grammar and page 76-77 of Exam Focus




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In our next class, we will be revising the Diphthongs. We are very much eager to meet you there.


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