Changing from Active to Passive Voice using just the auxiliary verbs.

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Transforming sentences from Active voice to Passive voice. This method uses just the helping verbs.

Voice refers to the verb in a sentence.

A sentence is said to be in Active voice if the subject does some action, as in: [1] John kicks the football. The subject ` John` acts. He `kicks` the football.

A sentence is said to be in Passive voice if the subject is acted upon, or, is Passive while the action is done to it, as in: ` The football is kicked by John`.  The subject ` The football` is acted upon. It is Passive. It `is kicked` by John.

The verb can be in any of the twelve tenses, the four forms of the Present tense- the Simple present, the Present continuous, the Present perfect and the Present perfect continuous. Similarly, the Past tense has the four forms- the Simple past, the Past continuous, the Past perfect, the Past perfect continuous. The Future tense also has four forms: the Simple future, the Future continuous, the Future perfect and the Future perfect continuous. So, we have to keep in mind the tense of the verb when we change from Active voice to Passive voice.   

Now, we know that verbs also have four forms: the present tense form, the past tense form and the present participle and the past participle forms. For example, the verb ` sit` has the four forms: sit, sat, sitting and sat. The verb `hide` has the four forms: hide, hid, hiding and hidden. [We form the continuous and perfect tenses using the present and past participles]. Similarly, the helping, or, auxiliary verbs also have four forms. The helping verbs are [a] `to be`- is, am, are, was, were and being and been. Of these, `is`, `am` and `are` are Present tense forms, whereas, `was` and `were` are the Past tense forms. `Being` is the Present participle and `been` is the Past participle form.

[b] Of the forms of ` to have`- `have`, `has`, `had` and` having`; `have and `has` are Present tense forms and `had` is the Past tense and also the Past participle form. `Having` is the Present participle.

The participle forms are used in forming the Passive of sentences in the Continuous and Perfect tense forms.

Let us look at the structure of the tenses in a few illustrative sentences.

`He kicks the football`. `He does his home work`.

`I kick the football`.

In these sentences the verb is in the Present tense. It is seen that the structure is [Verb + [s] / [es]].

`I am watching T.V. ` `He is watching T.V. ` `They are watching T.V. `, in which the verb is in the Present continuous tense. It is seen that the structure of the Present continuous is: [is / am / are + verb + ing].

`I have watched T.V`. `He has spoken to the teacher`. In these sentences the verb is in the Present perfect tense and its general structure is: [has / have + past participle]. By changing the helping verbs in the continuous and perfect forms to their corresponding Past tense forms we get the corresponding Past tense forms, the Past continuous and the Past perfect, as in: `I was watching T.V`. `He was watching T.V`. `They were watching T.V`. for the Past continuous and  `I had watched T.V` and `He had watched T.V.` for the Past perfect. The structure of the Past continuous is: [was/ were + verb + ing] and the structure of the Past perfect is: [had +past participle].

It is seen that the `– ing` form of the verbs is necessary for the Continuous forms and the Past participle is necessary to form the Perfect tense forms.

The rules for changing a sentence from Active to Passive are:

       [i] We have to interchange the subject and object when we change a sentence from Active voice into Passive voice.

       [ii] We know that the verb in Passive sentences has the general structure: {be + past participle}. 

Let us again look at sentence [1] above, `John kicks the football`. The verb `kicks` is in the Present tense. In the Passive the verb has the general structure ` be+ past participle` i.e.; `is + kicked`.

Let us change the verb in sentence [1] to past tense, as: `John kicked the football`. In the Passive it becomes: `The football was kicked by John`, where the verb is in the {be + past participle} form.

The following sentences are in Active voice:

John is kicking the football[s].

John was kicking the football[s].

John has kicked the football[s].

In the passive these become:

The football[s] is/ are being kicked by John.

The football[s] was/ were being kicked by John.

The football[s] has / have been kicked by John.

Thus, we see that we can change from Active to Passive using the helping verbs. We can do likewise for the remaining tenses too keeping in mind the structure of those tenses.

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