Chapter 9-6-1: Changing Passive Voice to Active Voice / Changing Active Voice to Passive Voice
When changing the voice of a sentence are the elements of the sentence, it's helpful to label the parts of speech in the sentence.
Changing passive voice to active
Find the agent in a "by the..." phrase, or consider carefully who or what is performing the action expressed in the verb. Sometimes you will need to infer the agent from the surrounding sentences which provide context.
Make the agent the subject of the sentence.
Change the verb phrase accordingly.
Make the subject of the sentence the object.
Step by step
Example: The phone was picked up by my mom.
The agent, my mom, will become the subject.
The verb phrase, was picked up, will become picked up by removing the "to be" verb.
My mom picked up...
The subject, the phone, will become the object.
My mom picked up the phone.
Sentence converted to active voice: My mom picked up the phone.
Passive to Active: More Examples
Changing active voice to passive:
Find the object, which usually follows the verb.
Make the object of the sentence the subject.
Change the verb phrase accordingly. Passive voice will always be a form of "to be" + a past participle.
Decide if you want to include the subject in the original sentence as an agent in the new sentence. If so, add it by using the preposition by.
Step by step
Example: George R.R. Martin wrote the book series A Song of Ice and Fire.
The object, the book series A Song of Ice and Fire, will become the subject.
The book series A Song of Ice and Fire...
The verb phrase, wrote, will become was written, by adding the "to be verb."
The book series A Song of Ice and Fire was written...
The subject of the original sentence, George R.R. Martin, is still an important piece of information. So, we can add it to the passive sentence with the preposition by.
The book series A Song of Ice and Fire was written by George R.R. Martin.
Sentence converted to active voice: The book series A Song of Ice and Fire was written by George R.R. Martin.