Passive Voice


What will be the passive voice of the following sentence?

He hated other looking at him.

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English Shweta Gupta 2 years 1 Answer 355 views 0

Answer ( 1 )

  1. Passive voice is used when you want to emphasize the thing acted upon and avoid emphasis on the person or thing doing the action. In this sentence, the thing acted upon is “others,” specifically “others looking at him.” That’s not what you want to emphasize. You want to emphasize that “he hated” them, and active voice does that.

    The second fault in a passive version of this sentence is that “others” doesn’t mean anything except in reference to the subject of the sentence, and therefore “he” should come before “others” in the sentence. Passive voice would reverse the order.

    If you insist on making the sentence passive, then the thing acted upon becomes the subject. The sentence, therefore, begins with “Others,” specifically “Others looking at him.”

    Next, you change the verb from active to passive. Thus “hated” becomes either “were hated” or “was hated.” The plural should be used if he hated the people who were looking at him; the singular, if he hated the action of their looking at him. Thus we have either “Others looking at him were hated” or “Others looking at him was hated.”

    Grammatically, you could leave it at that, but you really need to mention the thing or person doing the action, because the “others” or the act of “looking at him” were not generally hated, but were hated only by a specific person. Thus you finally have the awkward sentence

    He is the subject of verb hate, and others is the object. The object is qualified by phrase looking at him. This phrase will shift along with the object it is attached with to the place of the subject.

    For any active sentence of the form [subject] [verbed] [object], it can be made passive by converting it to [object] was [verbed] by [subject].

    So, we get:
    Others looking at him (action is done upon) were (not was as plural verb since ‘others’ is the subject of the verb) hated (action done) by (special proposition) him (object which was previously the subject in active voice).

    The entire phrase, “Others looking at him” must be considered as the Object.

    Special thanks- Martin Brilliant (New Jersey), B Nadiger, U Shastry (Bengaluru), J Devney (San Francisco) for sharing their valuable knowledge with our team.


    Thanks. Happy to Help.

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