Consider the following sentences:
‘The guests were entertained by Arpana.’
‘Arpana entertained the guests’.
Do you see any difference in the two sentences? Are you able to grasp what the sentences are saying? It appears from both the sentences that a girl called Arpana entertained guests. Apparently, there is no loss of meaning in the sentences. Each of the sentences is giving the same meaning. The only difference one can make out is that Arpana is at the end of the first sentence and at the beginning of the second, and the word ‘by’ is missing from the second sentence, as is the word ‘were’. Actually, what you are witnessing is the sentences in PASSIVE voice and in ACTIVE voice.
When you want to lay stress on an action you could do so in either the active voice or the passive voice. In the active voice the SUBJECT PERFORMS the action and in the passive voice the SUBJECT of the verb is ACTED UPON. You can change from active voice to passive voice by following some simple rules:
The subject is shifted to the end position and ‘by’ is inserted before it.
The recipient of the action is shifted to subject position.
The main verb is changed by adding an appropriate form of the verb ‘be’.
You can clearly see these rules being followed in the example cited at the beginning of this paragraph. Though it sounds difficult to master, changing the voice is rather easy if you have learnt your earlier English lessons well. The quiz that follows helps you to understand better with examples of active and passive sentences.
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