Structure: Active and Passive Voices

Voice is a term that is used to explain whether the performer of an action comes before the action (verb) or whether it comes after the verb in a sentence. When the performer comes before the verb (action) we say the verb is in the active form e.g.

Dairokilled a snake. (Active voice)

S                    o

However, when the two nouns in the sentence above are swapped, we say the sentence is in the passive form.

A snake was killed by Dairo (Passive voice)

S                                 o


Active Voice                                             Passive Voice

Bola prepared dinner.                               Dinner was prepared by Bola.

Shade wrote a letter.                                 A letter was written by Shade.

Daddy is building a house.                       A house is being built by Daddy.

Sola makes beads.                                     Beads are made by Sola.

John will kick the ball.                              The ball will be kicked by John.



  1. There is an exchange of positions between the subject and the object
  2. The tense of both voices (active and passive) must be the same.
  3. There is an introduction of ‘by’ in the passive voice
  4. A form of the verb ‘BE’ is also introduced in the passive voice.



Change the following sentences to the passive form.

  • Amaka sings a song.
  • Bukola was cooking a nice meal.
  • Emmanuel has posted the letter.
  • The principal granted me the permission.
  • They offered him a nice job.


See also

Speech Work: Stress Patterns

Essay Writing | Speech Writing, Explanation and Features

VOCABULARY | Words Associated with Publishing

Conditional Clauses | Definition,Types, Examples & Complex Sentence


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