ICSE Questions & Answers: English Grammar

1. What is an easy way to remember how to convert active to passive?

Identify the doer of the action. Next identify the receiver of the action. Interchange their positions. Now use 'be' or 'to be' with the past participle to form the passive.

2. What do you change 'who' into when you convert active to passive?

'Who' changes to 'by whom' and 'whom' into 'who'.

3. How do you change ‘Where do you live?’ into the passive voice?

‘Where do you live?’ does not have a direct object. The subject of a sentence using the passive voice is the direct object of the one that uses the active voice. Attempting to change this sentence to passive voice would be futile.

4. Is it ok to use passive voice when writing generally?

The passive voice isn't a grammatical error. It is a matter of style. Use the active voice if it makes your sentence sound clearer and more natural. Forming passive voice requires the verb 'to be' and a past participle.

5. 'Your help came too late to be of any use to me' - how to convert this sentence?

'Your help came so late that it was of no use to me.'

6. Can I omit the word 'that' in some sentences?

'That' can often be omitted with no loss of meaning: He said (that) he was tired. No need for 'that'. Think of informal situations.

7. Is it always compulsory that if the statement is in the negative, the tag must be in positive?

In most cases, yes, if the statement clause is positive, the tag would be in the negative. It is not always so.

Intonation is important. When we express shock, anger, disbelief, for example, we would use a positive tag with a positive declarative.

8. 'They will ask you a lot of questions at the interview.' Change to Passive.

'You will be asked a lot of questions at the interview.'

9. What does an object complement do?

An object complement complements the direct object of the sentence by describing it. It comes after the direct object.

For example: Practice makes Maths easy. Here 'Maths' is the direct object, 'easy' the object complement.

10. In which voice are the tenses not changed?

In certain cases changing Active into Passive is not possible, therefore the tense will not be changed. The present perfect continuous, for example, as used in the Active can find few positions if an attempt is made to change the sentence into the Passive.

11. How can we make out whether a sentence is in active or passive voice?

Look at the subject of the sentence. If the subject is seen performing the action the 'doer' of the action, the sentence is in the Active Voice. If the subject is acted upon or on and is the 'receiver' of the action, the sentence is in the Passive Voice.

12. What happens to the doer of the action when active voice changes to passive voice?

The doer of the action interchanges position with the receiver and is now seen in the object's position.

13. Are there some sentences in which a transformation is not possible?

Yes, there are such sentences where a transformation is not possible. One would need a transitive verb with a direct object to transfer the action to. There are other sentences which appear grammatically correct but when an attempt is made to transform them, it becomes quickly obvious that the transformation cannot be effected.

14. How can we write - 'The barber gave me a haircut.' in passive voice?

A haircut was given to me by the barber.

15. What is the appropriate definition of a phrase and a clause?

A phrase is a group of words that need not have a subject or verb. A clause is a group of words containing a subject and verb.

16. Do we have to change the tenses also when we convert active to passive voice or vice versa?

The verb form changes when you switch from active to passive voice. These verbs as used are of two kinds: the main and the auxiliary verbs. Usually, an auxiliary verb is accompanied by the main verb. The auxiliary verbs (like be, do or have) show the tense or mood of the verb.

17. What a 'participle' is and how to identify it?

Participles are words formed from verbs. Present participles always end in -ing and function as adjectives. Past participles end in -ed, or other past tense irregular verb endings, and also function as adjectives. They also combine with the verb 'to be' to create passive verb forms.

Identifying a participle is simple. Think of the verb 'sleeping'. Now suppose you were to see the phrase 'sleeping dog'. Here the word 'sleeping' has been used to describe the word 'dog'. Therefore, it functions like an adjective and may be identified as a participle.

18. What is a transitive verb?

A transitive verb is one that is used with an object: a noun, phrase, or pronoun that is the person or thing that is affected by the action of the verb.

19. What is the usage of get/got in passive voice?

'Get' is often used instead of 'be' in the passive voice in informal spoken English to refer to an action that happens by accident or unexpectedly: Their dog got lost when out walking last evening.

20. What happens if a transitive verb has two objects?

The direct object usually comes after the indirect object. It is possible to put the direct object before the indirect object. Either can be used in the Subject’s position in the Passive.

21. Can we write: 'He is too proud to beg', as : 'He is so proud that he cannot beg'?


22. Can tags be used in between the words of a sentence?

Tags are short additions that look like questions, used at the end of a declarative sentence.

23. What is the tag question for 'I am a student' or 'I am clever'?

These would become: 'I am a student, aren’t I’? OR ‘I am a student, am I?’

The first could be seen as a challenge, for example, and the second as asking for confirmation. ‘I am clever, aren’t I?’ could be seen as self-congratulatory.

24. What is the easiest way to learn how to use question tags?

Remember that in most cases if the statement clause is positive, the tag should be in the negative - though not always so. Add an auxiliary verb and repeat the subject of the
main clause as a pronoun.

25. How can we change interrogative sentences to imperative sentences?

We need to make changes to the verb and alter the word order.