(Online Course) CSAT Paper – II : English Language Comprehension Skills: Sentence

English Language


Language is the major means by which we communicate and interact with others.
When we speak or write, we use words. These words are generally used in groups
e.g.: A bad workman quarrels with his tools. A group of words arrange din a
manner which makes a complete sense is called a Sentence. Based on meaning and
sense, the sentence can be classified as :

  1. Declarative or assertive

  2. Imperative

  3. Interrogative

  4. Exclamatory

Parts of Speech

Words are classified into different kinds or groups called Parts of Speech
according to their use and function in a sentence. They are eight in
number-Noun, Pronoun, Adjective, Verb, Adverb, Preposition, Conjunction and


The Noun is a word used as the name of a person, place or thing. The word
thing includes (i) all objects that we can see, touch, hear, smell or taste, and
(ii) something we can think of but cannot perceive through our senses. There are
five different kinds of noun.

They are :

  1. Proper Noun

  2. Common Noun

  3. Collective Noun

  4. Material Noun

  5. Abstract Noun

Kinds of Noun

The following chart will make you familiar with the different kinds of
noun :


Nature of Noun


Proper Noun

It denotes a particular person, place or

Chander, Kolkata, India, the Ganges, the Gita,

Common Noun

It is the name given to any and every person
or thing of the same class or kind

Table, glass, town, king, book, river,
country, etc.

Collective Noun

It denotes a group or collection of similar
individuals or things considered as one complete whole.

Army, class, host, jury, mob, crowd, team,
parliament, committee, family, fleet etc.

Material Noun

It denotes the matter or substance of

Wood, clay, rubber, iron, silver, gold, cloth,

Abstract Noun

It expresses quality, state or action.

Truth, love, soul, mind, greatness, life,
manhood, pleasure, pain, honesty, etc.


The repetition of a noun in a sentence or a set of sentences is really
boring. So, Grammar prescribes that instead of repeating the noun, we may use a
word (for that noun) called pronoun. This leads us to a precise definition of

The Pronoun is a word that we use instead of a noun.

Many people commit grammatical mistakes because they lack thorough knowledge
regarding the use of pronouns.

The following facts can be stated on the basis of the above definition:

  1. A pronoun must itself be something equivalent to a noun.

  2. As a rule, the pronoun should not be mentioned until the noun has been

  3. A pronoun must be of the same number, gender and person as the noun it
    stands for.

Pronouns have numerous subclasses. Though there are several features that
pronouns have in common with nouns, yet there are some features which
distinguish them from nouns. They are as follows:

  1. They do not admit determiners;

  2. They often have an objective case;

  3. They often have person distinction;

  4. They often have overt gender contrast;

  5. Singular and plural forms are often not morphologically related.

Kinds of Pronouns

I. Personal Pronouns : A pronoun which is used instead of the name of
a person is known as a Personal Pronoun.


  • I, my, mine, me, we, our, ours, us. (First Person)

  • Thou, thine, thy, thee.

  • You, your, yours. (Second Person)

  • He, his, him, she, her, hers, it, its,

  • they, their, theirs, them. (Third Person)

II. Reflexive or Emphatic Pronouns : When self is added to my, your,
him, her, it and selves to our, your, them, we get Compound Personal
Pronouns. When the action done by the subject turns back (reflects) upon the
subject, ‘self’ is added to the pronoun and becomes a Reflexive or Emphatic


  1. I hurt myself

  2. He hurt himself.

  3. They hurt themselves.

III. Demonstrative Pronouns: The pronouns which are used to point out
the objects which they refer to are called Demonstrative Pronouns.


  1. This is a gift from my father.

  2. These are merely excuses.

  3. Mumbai mangoes are better than those of Bangalore.

  4. That is the fort of Allahabad.

IV. Indefinite Pronouns : All pronouns which refer to persons or
things in a general way and do not refer to any particular person or thing are
called Indefinite Pronouns.


  1. Somebody has stolen my watch.

  2. Few escaped unhurt.

  3. Did you ask anybody to come?

  4. Nobody was there to welcome her.

V. Distributive Pronouns: Each, either, neither are called
Distributive Pronouns because they refer to persons or things-one at a time. For
this reason, they are always singular and thus followed by the verb in singular.


  1. Each of these men received a reward.

  2. Either of you can go.

  3. Neither of the accusations is true.

VI. Relative Pronouns: A Relative Pronoun refers or relates to some
noun going before, which is called its Antecedent.


  1. I met Hari who used to live here.

  2. I have found the pen which I had lost.

  3. Here is the book that you lent me.

VII. Interrogative Pronouns: These pronouns are used to ask questions.


  1. Whose book is this?

  2. What will all the neighbors say?

  3. What do you prefer, tea or coffee?

Note: Interrogative pronouns can also be used in asking indirect
questions. Consider the following examples:

  1. I asked who was speaking.

  2. Tell me what you have done.

  3. Say which you would like best.


An Adjective is a word that qualifies or adds something to the meaning of a

  1. Madan is a good boy.        
    (Boy of what kind?)

  2. He gave me ten bananas.    (How many bananas’?)

  3. We do not like that girl.      (Which girl?)

In sentence 1, good tells what kind of boy Madan is.
In sentence 2, ten shows how many bananas he gave me.
In sentence 3, that points out which girl is meant.

Some Facts About Adjectives and their Uses

Adjectives can be used in two ways-attributively and predicatively. When
an adjective is placed just before the noun, its use is Attributive, but
when it is used after the noun or pronoun, the use is called Predicative.


  1. This is a sweet mango. (Attributive)

  2. This mango is sweet. (Predicative)

  3. Fame is the perfume of heroic deeds. (Attributive)

  4. The judge declared him guilty. (Predicative)

  5. It is a beautiful painting. (Attributive)

  6. The painting is beautiful. (Predicative)

  7. Sita is a pretty girl. (Attributive)

  8. My daughter is pretty. (Predicative)

  9. Each boy of the class was punished yesterday.

  10. There were only two poets. Each poet recited his poem.

  11. Every man is expected to do his duty.

  12. He comes to me every day.

  13. Every man in this world dies.

  14. India wants peace in every corner of the world.

4. (a) Oral means by word of mouth.
(b) Verbal means concerned with words.


He sent mean oral, message.

There is not much verbal difference between the two statements.
Oral is the opposite of written.

5. (a) Either means one of the two or each of the two.
(b) Neither is the negative of either.


  1. You may buy either of these two chairs. (One of the two)

  2. Either book will do.

  3. There are shady trees on either side of the road. (Each)

  4. I can speak on either side.

  5. He can write with either hand.

  6. I can speak on neither side.

  7. Neither of them could speak on the stage.

  8. He can write with neither hand.

  9. Neither of the two pens is costly.

6. (a) Sick means slight indisposition.
(b) Ill means unwell, indisposed.


  1. I am feeling sick.

  2. He has been seriously ill for the past ten days.

Note: Sick and ill both express the idea of being in bad health,
affected with disease etc., but sick is more commonly used than ill, which is
somewhat formal (I am feeling sick. He is ill with the flu.)

7. (a) Enough is used with both singular and plural number. It conveys
the sense of sufficiency.


  1. There is enough sugar in the pot.

  2. There are enough eggs in the basket.

8. (a) Only means alone of its or their kind; sole.
(b) Nearest means close in distance, time or relation.
It is the superlative of the adjective near.
(c) Next expresses position. It means just before or after in time,
space, degree or rank.


  1. Sudha is the only daughter of her parents.

  2. The nearest shopping complex from our house is two kilometres away.

  3. How far is it to the next petrol pump?

  4. The State Bank of India is the nearest bank.

  5. The next shop is mine.

9. (a) Later expresses late in time.
(b) Latter means second in position or order.
(c) Latest means most recent.
(d) Last means final in position or order.

Note: Later or latter are comparative degrees of late and latest or
last are superlative degrees of late.


  1. The train arrived an hour later than the scheduled time.

  2. The latter position was better than the former.

  3. What is the latest news’?

  4. He was the first to come and last to go


Verb is a word used to tell or assert something about some person or thing.

There are three popular kinds of verbs Auxiliary Verb, Ordinary Verb and Verb of
Incomplete Predication.

The verb may tell us:

  1. What a person or thing does; as
    Savita swims.
    The bulb lights.

  2. What is done to a person or thing; as
    Mohan is punished.

  3. What a person or thing is; as
    The dog is dead.

There are some sentences in which the action passes over from the subject to
the object. Verbs used in these sentences are called Transitive Verbs. These
verbs are followed by an object.


  1. The boy picked the stone.

  2. The child hugged the mother.

  3. The student wrote a letter.

In sentence t, the action denoted by the verb picked passes over from the
doer or subject boy to the object stone. The verb picked is, therefore, a
transitive verb. Most verbs we use are transitive verbs as they take an object.

Intransitive Verbs are those denoting the action that does not pass over from
the subject to the object. These verbs denote an action which does not pass over
to an object or which expresses a state or being. These verbs are not followed
by an object.


  1. The baby sleeps.

  2. Sunil ran a long distance.

  3. The table is in the office.

In sentence 1, the action denoted by the verb sleeps, stops with the doer or
subject baby and does not pass over to an object. The verb sleeps is, therefore,
an intransitive verb. Verbs that are intransitive in their most common meanings
include appear, come, fall, go, happen, matter, sleep. If a verb is not followed
by an object, it cannot be made passive.

Agreement of the Verb With the Subject: A Detailed Discussion

An Introductory Note

‘Verb-Subject’ agreement plays a very important role in English Grammar. Even
those who enjoy a good command over the language, sometimes commit mistakes. In
the following discussion, we have given sixteen rules that teach the
verb-subject agreement.

Rule 1: If two or more singular nouns are joined by and, the verb used
will be plural.


  1. He and I were going to the market.

  2. Ram and Mohan are friends.

In the above sentences, ‘verb-subject’ agreement is as follows :



He and I


[Two singular nouns joined by ‘and’]

[a plural verb]

Ram and Mohan


[Two singular nouns joined by ‘and’]

[a plural verb]


(iii) Verbs which derive their 2nd and 3rd forms by the addition of -d,
-ed, or -t and without a change in the vowel; as:

First form

 Second form

 Third form





























Spoilt or-spoiled

Spoilt or-spoiled










(iv) Verbs that have a vowel change as well as the addition of a suffix;

First form

Second form

Third form




























(v) In some cases, the verbs retain their original identity in all the
three forms. They end in -d or -t; as:

First form

Second form

Third form




















































Note: There are no hard and fast rules by which one can make out, by
looking at a verb, how it is going to change its form. Therefore, in order to be
able to use verbs correctly in all their forms, it is essential to develop
familiarity with them. This can be done by reading and if possible memorising
the list of verbs, with their different forms.

English Language



An Adverb is a word that qualifies (i) a verb; (ii) an adjective; (iii)
another adverb; (iv) a preposition.


  • He runs fast.

  • In this sentence, the word fast is an adverb because it qualifies the
    verb runs.

  • She is quite an intelligent girl.

  • In this sentence, the word quite is an adverb because it qualifies the
    adjective intelligent.

  • She can run very fast.

  • In this sentence, the word very is an adverb because it qualifies the
    adverb fast.

  • The ship has sailed right round the world.

  • In this sentence, the word right is an adverb qualifying the preposition

  • * Spoil takes-t as well as ed to form past tense and past participle.

Some Important Facts About Adverbs

An adverb can qualify not merely individual words, but an entire
assertive sentence. In this case, it must stand first in the sentence.


  • Unfortunately, the thief was not caught.

  • Evidently, you were much distressed at the news.

  • Probably, you are mistaken. Luckily, I escaped unhurt.

  • Certainly, he is wrong.

  • We could rewrite these sentences in the following forms :

  • It is unfortunate that the thief was not caught.

  • It was evident that you were much distressed at the news.


(a) As a general rule, adverbs do not qualify nouns or pronouns.
But an adverb qualifies a noun or pronoun in such a sentence; as :

Even torture could not break his spirit. (Qualifying Noun)
Only you can tell us the facts. (Qualifying Pronoun)

(b) In the following examples, the adverb that precedes the noun
does not qualify the noun, but some participle or adjective that is

The then king = the king then reigning.
The above account = the account given above.

(c) In the following example, the adverb almost does not qualify
the noun drunkard but the verb is :

He is almost drunk.
To say, he is an almost drunkard would be incorrect.

Kinds of Adverbs

According to their use, adverbs are subdivided into three classes :

  1. Simple

  2. Interrogative

  3. Relative

I. Simple Adverbs : Simple adverbs are used to modify the meaning of a
verb, an adjective or an adverb.
These can be distinguished from one another by their meanings.

(a) Time (Which shows when)
He will soon arrive.
He was taken ill yesterday.
He did this before, and you have done it since.

(b) Place (Which shows where)
We must rest here. He went there.
The book is under the table.
My house is near the market.

(c) Frequency (Which shows how often)
He always stood by his master.
He did this once, but he will not do it again.
He often goes for a morning walk.

(d) Manner, Quality or State (Which shows how or in what manner)
She spoke loudly.
He behaved foolishly.
He did his work slowly.
I worked honestly.

(e) Quantity, Extent or Degree (Which shows how much or in what degree
or to what extent)
She is quite an intelligent girl.
He is clever enough for me.
She is a very beautiful girl.

(f) Affirming or Denying
He did not come after all.

Examples Yes, no, not, yea, nay, not at all, by all means, etc.
As pronouns save the repetition of a noun, these adverbs save the repetition of
a sentence.

(g) Reason
I fell off my bicycle, hence the bruises.
He therefore left office.

II. Interrogative Adverbs: This is the name given to those adverbs
that are used for asking questions.

(a) Time
When do you intend to pay him?
How long will you remain here?

(b) Place
Whether are you going?
Where did you stop?

(c) Number/Frequency
How often does he visit you?
How mane persons attended the meeting?

(d) Manner, Quality or State
How are you today? (In what state of health)
How did you solve the sums?

(e) Quantity or Degree
How far was the statement true? (to what extent)

(f) Cause or Reason
Why did you do this’? (for what reason)
Wherefore did she weep?

Note: The adverb how is sometimes used in an exclamatory sense

How nice of you to help me!
What in the sense of quantity or degree is similarly used in an exclamatory
sense :
What a beautiful flower it is!

III. Relative Adverbs: Relative adverbs are the same in form as
interrogative adverbs, but instead of asking questions, they join two sentences
These adverbs are called relative for two reasons- (1) because they relate to
some antecedent, understood or expressed; (2) because they are formed from
relative pronouns.

(a) The Antecedent understood :
This is where we work.
Let us know when you will leave.

(where = the place where we work)
(when = the time when you will leave)

(b) The Antecedent expressed
This is the place where we work.
Let us know the time when you will leave.

The Conjunction

A word that is used to join words or phrases or sentences is called a


  1. God made the country and man made the town.
  2. She must work hard, or she will fail.
  3. Three and three make six.
  4. Madan and Sonu are brothers.

In (i) and (ii), the conjunctions join two sentences. In (iii) and (iv), the
conjunctions join two words only.

Some Facts about Conjunctions

  1. A conjunction is never connected with an object.
  2. A conjunction never qualifies a word.

Classes of Conjunctions

Conjunctions are sub-divided into two main classes

(i) Co-ordinating Conjunctions join words, phrases or clauses of co-ordinate
(of equal) rank.
He is guilty as well as you.

(ii) Subordinating Conjunctions join a subordinate or dependent clause to a
principal clause (that is, to a clause of higher rank).

Principal Conjunction Subordinate
I will read that book if you recommend it.

(i) Coordinating Conjunctions are of four kinds

(a) Cumulative or copulative which merely add one statement or fact to
another; as,
He is not only honest, but also hard working.
We carved not a line, and raised not a stone.
Cumulative conjunctions are- and, both and, as well as, not only but also.

(b) Adversative conjunctions which express opposition or contrast
between two statements; as.
He is sad but hopeful.
Adversative conjunctions as but, whereas, while, only, and still.

(c) Disjunctive or Alternative which express a choice between two
alternatives; as,
Work hard, else you will repent.
Either he is mad or he feigns madness.
Disjunctives are either…. or, neither…. nor, or, else.

(d) Illative which express an inference; as,
He will die someday, for all men are mortal.

(ii) Subordinating Conjunctions may be classified according to their
meaning, as follows :
1. Of Time : When, whenever, while, as, before, ere, after, since, until,


  • Ram has not phoned since he went to Delhi.
  • She returned home after he had gone.

2. Of Place: Where, wherever, whence, whether.


  • You can go wherever you like.
  • Sita found her frock where she had left it.

3. Of Cause or Reason : Because, since, as, that.


  • I am glad that you like it.
  • He will pass the examination because he has worked hard.

4. Of Purpose : That (in order that), lest.


  • We cat that we may live.
  • He worked hard lest he should fail in the examination.

5. Of Result or Consequence: That.


  • Mina behaved in such a manner that all disliked her.
  • He was so tired that he could scarcely stand.

6. Of Condition : If unless, whether.


  • Sita will dance if Reema dances.
  • You cannot succeed unless you work hard.

7. Of Comparison : As, than.


  • Hail is as intelligent as Shyam.
  • Madan is more intelligent than Manoj.

8. Extent or Manner : As.


  • Men will reap as they sow.
  • You may do as you please.

By Tense, we understand the correspondence between the form of the verb and
our concept of time.
Tense shows (a) the time of an action (b) its degree of completeness.
The verb may tell us:

  1. That an action is done at the present time, e.g., I see the blue sky.
  2. That an action was done in the past time, e.g., He saw the blue sky.
  3. That an action will be done in the future time, e.g., He will see the
    blue sky.
  4. That an action was done at some past time, viewed as future (‘uture in
    the past), e.g., He said that he would be sixteen in three weeks’ time.

A verb, then, has three main times or tenses, viz. the Present, the Past and
the Future. To each tense, there are four different forms :

Simple which denotes present, past or future time in its simplest form : ‘I
play’, ‘I played’, ‘I shall play’. The action (in present, past or future time)
is mentioned simply, without anything being said about the completeness or
incompleteness of the action.

Continuous which denotes that the event (in present,. past or future time) is
still continuing or not yet completed : ‘I ant reading’, I was reading’, ‘I
shall be reading’.

Perfect which denotes that the event (in present, past or future time) is in
a completed or perfect state : ‘I have played’, `I had played’, `I shall have

Perfect Continuous which combines the meanings of the two preceding forms, ‘I
have been reading’, ‘I had been reading’, ‘I shall have been reading’. The
Present Continuous is used to express an action going on at the time of
speaking, e.g.,

The boys are flying kites.
He is playing cricket.
I am reading a book.

(a) It also sometimes expresses habit or custom; as, He is attending
college very regularly these days.

(b) For a temporary action which may not be actually happening at the
time of speaking; as, I am reading David Copperfield. (but I am not reading it
at this moment).

(c) For an action that is planned or arranged to take place in the
near future; as,
I ant going to my father tomorrow.
She is going to write a book.

The Present Perfect invariably connects a completed event in one sense or the
other with the present time.
e.g., I have lived twenty years in Lucknow. (that is, I ant living there still
and I began to live there twenty years ago.) I have passed my examination; I
passed it two years ago.

He has been to London; he went there in 1948.
The present perfect denotes an action completed at the time of speaking; as,
I have solved all the sums.
He has visited all the Indian temples.
She has read most of Scott’s novels.

The verb in this tense is used in its third form.

(1) An affirmative sentence of the present perfect tense is formed

  1. by adding has before the verb if the subject is in the singular number,
    e.g., He has eaten. It has eaten. Ram has eaten.
  2. by adding have before the verb if the subject is in the plural number or
    in the singular number of only the first and the second person, e.g., I have
    eaten. They have eaten. You have eaten. The children have eaten.

(2) A negative sentence of the present perfect tense is formed by simply
inserting not between has or have and verb, e.g., She has not eaten. I have not
eaten. They have not eaten, etc.

(3) An interrogative sentence of the present perfect tense is formed by
putting the subject between has or have and verb, e.g., Have you eaten? Has she
eaten’? Have I eaten? Have they eaten’?

Present Perfect Continuous is used for an action which began sometime
in the past and is still continuing, e.g.,

He has been sleeping for five hours (and is still sleeping).
I have been doing this for several months.
I have been writing this book for four years.

This tense is sometimes used for an action already finished. In such cases,
the continuity of the activity is emphasized as an explanation of something,
e.g., Why are your clothes so wet? I have been watering the garden.

Present ‘Tense at a Glance

Under this tense, the verb Is used in the first form with ing added to It.

(1) An affirmative sentence of the present perfect continuous is formed by
adding have been or has been to the verb according to the number or person of
the subject e.g., I have been eating. You have been eating. He has been eating.

(2) A negative sentence of this tense is formed by inserting not between
has/have and been, e.g., I have not been eating. You have not been eating. He
has not been eating.

(3) An interrogative sentence of this tense is formed by interchanging
has/have and the subject. e.g., Have I been eating’? Have they been eating? Have
you been eating? Has he been eating?

The Simple Past or Past Indefinite is used to denote an action in the past;
My father died yesterday.
He left office at 5.30 p.m.
She lived in Delhi for 10 years.
Babur founded the Mughal Empire in India.

It also denotes a habitual action in the past, e.g., We studied and planned
for years. She always carried a bag.

The verb in this tense is used in its second or past form.

(1) In an affirmative sentence, the form of the verb remains the same
whatever the number or person of the subject, e.g., I ate. She ate. They ate.
You ate.

(2) In a negative sentence of the simple past, did not is added to the verb
and the verb used in its original or present form, e.g., I did not eat. She did
not eat. They did not eat. You did not eat.

(3) In an interrogative sentence of the simple past, the subject is placed
between did and the verb. The verb, like in the negative, is used in its
original or present form, e.g., Did you eat? Did they eat? Did I eat? Did she

The Past Continuous expresses an action going on at some time in the past;
When she came into my room. I was studying.
When Rajan called upon his friend, he was singing.

It was getting dark.
The method for making each continuous sentences is the same as that for making
present continuous in the affirmative, interrogative and negative. The only
difference is that was will be substituted for is/am and were for are, e.g.,
I was eating. You were eating. She was eating. They were eating. Or
Was I eating? Were you eating? Was she eating? Were they eating? Or
I was not eating. She was not eating. They were not eating. You were not eating.

The Past Perfect is used whenever we wish to say that an action had been
completed before another was commenced.

The verb expressing the previous action is put into the past perfect tense.
The verb expressing the subsequent action is put into the simple past.

(a) Previous Action                        
Subsequent Action
    (Past Perfect)                                 
(Simple Past).
He had been ill for two days            
when the doctor was sent for.
He had seen many foreign cities        before
he returned home.

(b) Subsequent Action                                                
Previous Action

The sheep fled in great for a wolf had entered haste        
the field.
The ship was sunk by a storm                                     
which had suddenly sprung up.

The past perfect ought never to be used except to show the priority of one
past event over another. The past perfect is formed by the same method as the
present perfect tense in the affirmative, interrogative and negative. The only
difference is that had is substituted for has and have, e.g., She had eaten. I
had eaten. They had eaten.

We had eaten. Or
Had they eaten? Had you eaten? Had I eaten? Had they eaten? Or
She had not eaten. They had not eaten. I had not eaten. You had not eaten.

Past Perfect Continuous is used for an action that began before a certain
point in the past and continued up to that time.

At that time, he had been writing a novel for two months. When Mr. Mukherji
came, to school in 1985, Mr. Anand had already been teaching there for five

The method of forming a sentence of this tense is the same as that for”
present perfect continuous in the affirmative, interrogative and negative. The
only difference is that had is substituted for have and has, e.g., I had been
eating. You had been eating. They had been eating.

We had been eating. Or
Had I been eating? Had you been eating? -Had we been eating? Or
I had not been eating. You had not been eating. They had not been eating, etc.

Past perfect tense in question formis used with an extension to make it an
affirmative sentence, e.g., Had she been working regularly she would have
completed the project yesterday.

The Simple Future or Future Indefinite expresses simply future time, i.e. the
time that has not conic vet, near or remote; as,
He will come tomorrow.
Prizes will be distributed next week.
In this tense, the verb is used in its original or present form.

(1) In an affirmative sentence, will is added before the verb whatever
be the number or person of the subject.
e.g., I will eat. You will eat. They will eat. He will eat.

(2) In a negative sentence, not is added after will of the affirmative
sentence, e.g., I will not eat. You will not eat. They will not eat. He will not

(3) In an interrogative sentence of the simple future, the subject is
placed between will and verb, e.g., Will I eat? Will you eat? Will they eat?
Will he eat?

The Future Continuous represents an action that will keep going on at some
point in future time; as, He will be playing cricket tomorrow afternoon. I shall
be writing the book then.

Past Tense at a Glance

In this tense, ing is added to the verb.

(1) An affirmative sentence is formed by adding will before the verb,
e.g., I will be eating. You will be eating. He will be eating. They will be

(2) A negative sentence is formed by inserting not between will and be
of the affirmative sentence, e.g.. I will not be eating. He will not be eating.
They will not be eating. You will not be eating, etc.

(3) An interrogative sentence is formed by placing the subject between
will and be, e.g., Will I be eating? Will they be eating? Will he be eating?
Will you be eating’?

The Future Perfect This tense is used in two different senses: (a) to denote
the completion of some event in future time; and (b) to denote the completion of
some event in past time.

(a) He will have reached home before the rain sets in. (The reaching
of home will be completed before the setting in of rain.)

(b) I shall have finished my work by then.

In future perfect tense, the verb is used in its third form.

(1) An affirmative sentence is formed by adding will have before the
verb, e.g., I will have eaten. They will have eaten. He will have eaten. You
will have eaten.

(2) A negative sentence is formed by putting not between will and
have, e.g., I will not have eaten (by then). He will not have eaten (by
tomorrow), etc.
Note: This form of the tense is rarely used.

(3) An interrogative sentence of this tense is formed by placing the
subject between will and have, e.g., Will they have eaten’? Will he have eaten?
Will you have eaten?

Future Perfect Continuous indicates an action represented as being in
progress over a period of time that will end in future; as,

By next July, we shall have been living here for two years. When he gets his
degree, he will have been studying in Oxford for four years.

In this tense, ing is added to the verb. The sentences of this tense are
normally of the affirmative type only. A sentence is formed by adding shall/will
have been to the verb, e.g., I will have been eating. We shall have been eating.
They will have been eating.

Future Tense at a Glance

Voice (Active and Passive)

Voice is that branch of grammar which studies the form that the verb takes in
a sentence to determine the status of the subject and the object.

Voice can be studied under the following headings:

(1) Active Voice: A verb is said to be in the Active Voice when its
subject acts or when the emphasis is on the doer or the subject. The active
voice is so called because the person or thing denoted by the subject acts.


  • Mohan sang a song.
  • Here, the subject Mohan is acting.

(2) Passive Voice : A verb is in the Passive Voice when the subject is
being acted upon or when the emphasis is on the object or the work done. The
passive voice is so called because the person or thing denoted by the subject
that is not active but passive, and suffers or receives some action.


  • A song was sung by Mohan.
  • Here, the subject is being acted upon.

Note: (i) Voice changes occur only in transitive verbs.
(ii) The perfect continuous form of all the three tenses and future
continuous cannot be changed into passive voice.


  • Present : He has been doing the work. (No change of voice)
    Past : He had been doing the work. (No change of voice)
  • Future : He will have been doing the work. (No change of voice)
    Future Continuous : He will be doing the work. (No change of voice)

The reason is that if the change of voice is done in these tenses, then the
verb is to be used twice which is wrong.


He has been doing the work. (Active)
The work has been being done by him. (Passive)
This is a wrong sentence as the verb is used twice. Similar is the case with the
other sentences.
Let us look at some more examples of active and passive voice.

Mohan has burnt the shop               
.             The
shop has been burnt by Mohan.
People speak English all over the world.        
English is spoken all over the world.
They built the bridge last year.                       
The bridge was built last year.
The boy beat the child.                                  
The child was beaten by the boy.

From the above examples, it is clear that we use active voice when we are
more interested in the doer or agent. And we use passive voice when we are more
interested in the object of the action.

As you will notice above, most passive voice sentences drop the agent or the
doer either because it is not known or because it is understood and hence not
needed or also because it is not important.

In order to convert active voice into passive voice, certain rules need to be

(1) First of all, the arrangement of the words in a sentence in the
active voice is changed.

  • Active Voice : Subject + Verb + Object
    Mohan read a book.
  • Passive Voice: Object + helping verb + main verb + by + subject
    A book was read by Mohan.

Thus, the subject of the active voice becomes the object of the passive

(2) Change of Pronoun

  1. When he as subject of active voice becomes object of the passive voice,
    it changes into him. Similarly,
  2. She becomes her
  3. We becomes us
  4. They becomes them
  5. I becomes me

3. Changes required under each tense

I. Present Tense

(a) Present Indefinite : Assertive sentence Here, we need to change
the first formof the verb into the third formand add is/am/are before it,
depending on the number and person of the subject in the active voice.

The point becomes more clear from the following formula

Active: S + V,(s, es) + O
Passive: O + is/ am/ are + V, + by + S


  1. The boy makes toys. — Active
    Toys are made by the boy. — Passive
  2. You vex me. – Active
    I am vexed by you. – Passive
  3. She annoys him. – Active
    He is annoyed by her. – Passive

Thus, you will notice that apart from following the first two rules, we have
changed the verb from the first to the third form. We have also added is/am/are
according to the nature of the object in the active voice which has become the
subject of the passive voice.

For transforming interrogative sentences under this tense, all you need to do
is, put is/am/are before the subject (which was object in the active voice) in
the passive voice.
We can also use the following formula-

Active- Do/ Does + S + V1+ O
Passive- Is/ am/ are + O + V3 + by + S


Does she want a book? – Active
Is a book wanted by her? – Passive

Note: For interrogative sentences of the active voice beginning with
who, the passive voice will be formed by changing who into by whom.

Active– who + S + V,(s, es) + O
Passive– by whom + is/ am/ are + V3?


  • Who teaches you English?
  • By whom are you taught English?

(b) Present Continuous: Assertive sentences

To get the passive voice, the verb is used in its third form and being is
inserted between is/am/are and the verb.
For the above point, we get the following formula

Active- S + is/ am/ are + V1 ing + O
Passive- O+ is/ am/ are + being + V3 + by + S


I am eating an egg. – Active
An egg is being eaten by me. – Passive

In case of an interrogative sentence, is/am/are will be placed before the

Active- is/ am/ are + S + V1ing + O
Passive- is/ am/ are + O + being + V3+ by + S


Am I eating an egg? – Active
Is an egg being eaten by me? – Passive

(c) Present Perfect: Here, been is put between has/have and verb (third form)
in a passive voice sentence.
We get the following formula for the above point

Active- S + has/ have + V3 + O
Passive- O + has/ have + been + V, + by + S


Sita has eaten the fruit. – Active
The fruit has been eaten by Sita. – Passive

Formula for Present Perfect InterrogativeActive-
has/ have + S + V3 + O?
Passive- has/ have + O + been + V3 + by + S
Active- who + has/ have + V3 + O?
Passive- by whom + O + been + V3 ?


  • Have you seen the play? – Active
  • Has the play been seen by you? – Passive
  • Who has written this letter? – Active
  • By whom has this letter been written? – Passive

II. Past Tense

The rules for transforming the past tense active voice sentences are the same
as that for the present tense with necessary modifications.

Formula for the past tenses are:

(a) Past Indefinite

Active- S + V2 + O
Passive- O + was/ were +V3+ by + S
did + S + V1 + O?
Passive- was/were + O + V3+by + S?


I read the book. – Active
The book was read by me. – Passive
Did you write a letter? – Active
Was a letter written by you? – Passive

(b) Past Continuous

Active- S + was/ were + V1ing + O
Passive- O + was/ were + being + V3 + by + S


Active- was/ were + S + V1ing + O?
Passive- was/ were + 0 + being + V3 + by + S?


They were playing football. – Active
Football was being played by them. – Passive
Was he reading the newspaper? – Active
Was the newspaper being read by him’? – Passive

(c) Past Perfect

Active- S + had + V3 + by + S
Passive- O + had + been + V3+ by +S


Active- had + S + V3 + O?
Passive- had + O + been + V3 + by + S?


I had read the book. – Active
The book had been read by me. – Passive
Had she bought new book? – Active
Had new book been bought by her? – Passive

III. Future Tense

(a) Future Indefinite : Assertive sentence For transforming an active
voice sentence under this tense into passive voice, the verb is used in its
third form and be is inserted between will and the verb.

The formula for this point will be
Active- S + will/ shall + V1 + O
Passive- O + will/ shall + be + V3 + by + S


Active: will/ shall + S + V1 + O?
Passive: will/ shall + O + be + V3 + by + S?


I will write a book. – Active
A book will be written by me. – Passive
Will they wash clothes in the evening? – Active
Will clothes be washed by them in the evening? – Passive

In the case of an interrogative sentence, the change is the same for the
active as for the passive, i.e. will is placed before the subject.


Will I write a book? – Active
Will a book be written by me? – Passive

(b) Future Perfect

In the passive voice, under this tense been is inserted between have and the

Active: S + will/ shall + have + V3 + O
Passive: O + will/ shall + have + been + V3 + by + S


I will have written a book. – Active
A book will have been written by me. – Passive
Interrogatives are obtained only by putting will shall before the subject.

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