Lesson 42. Active and Passive Voice in Sentence

EXAMPLE:  बालकः खगं पश्यति, is converted into बालकेन खगः दृश्यते।
 Let's examine this again:

1. "By the boy" has become: "बालकेन"... the प्रथमा विभक्तिः is converted into the तृतीया विभक्तिः।
2. The object becomes All Important and now falls into the प्रथमा विभक्तिः। खगं  gets converted into खगः।
3. The root dhaatu of पश्य  is दृश् । Add a य  to this root धातु ।  That makes it दृश्य । Now add the A.P. प्रत्यय ...... since the खगः  ( object turned subject) is singular, the verb also remains singular and gets converted  into दृश्यते । Naturally the tense remains the same. If the P.P. verb is in the present tense, you use the present tense verb forms of the A.P. in the कर्मणि  वाक्य रचना ।



4. IF the boy were looking at two birds, the कर्तरि वाक्य रचना  would become बालकः खगौ पश्यति and the कर्मणि वाक्य रचना would become बालकेन खगौ दृश्येते।
5. IF he were looking at many birds the कर्तरि वाक्य रचना would become बालकः खगान् पश्यति and the कर्मणि वाक्य रचना would become बालकेन खगाः दृश्यन्ते।
6. Now, what if the verb were an A.P ? No problem.  बालकेन ग्रन्थः लभ्यते । बालकेन ग्रन्थौ लभ्येते । बालकेन ग्रन्थाः लभ्यन्ते । लभते gets converted into लभ्यते ।The य in the middle helps you recognize the verb to be a कर्मणि form.
7. If the A.P. form already has a य  in the middle when it is conjugated....for example विद् - विद्यते to be , you do not need to add another य .
   The कर्तरि and कर्मणि  forms are both the same.
8. Since the य  is already added to the future tense forms of verbs, the य  needn't be added twice. For example  गमिष्यति becomes गमिष्यते and not गमिष्ययते ।



Dhaatus are divided into सकर्मक and अकर्मक verbs. सकर्मक are those verbs that answer the question " what." For example: रक्ष् (रक्षति)"Protect what" can be very easily answered.
But a dhaatu like स्था (तिष्ठति) cannot answer the question "what"..... "Stand what"? Therefore it becomes an अकर्मक verb.
A sentence like : The boy stands .... is a कर्तरि वाक्य रचना । 
The passive form would be : It is being stood by the boy.... a ridiculous sentence but perfectly accurate in Sanskrit. The कर्मणि वाक्य रचना would be बालकेन स्थीयते । This kind of कर्मणि वाक्य रचना with an अकर्मक  dhaatu is called the भावे प्रयोग ।The "emotion", the "feeling" of the passive voice is there is it not? therefore the use of the word "भाव " .
Question 1. Why did स्था become स्थीयते and not स्थायते  ????
Answer 1. Note how most root dhaatus ending with the आ मात्रा turn into the ई मात्रा  before converting into the कर्मणि form.... refer to Supplement 34
No, it is not as difficult as it looks. The advantages of the कर्मणि वाक्य रचना are innumerable.

1. Since the verb now follows the object turned subject, one needs to only remember the singular, dual and the plural forms of the प्रथमः  पुरुषः  of  the A.P. forms . Simply put...one needs to remember the प्रत्यय s.... ते, एते and अन्ते ।These forms go with all nouns and pronouns in the तृतीया विभक्तिः so all one needs to do is....
       मया खगः दृश्यते , त्वया खगः दृश्यते , तेन खगः दृश्यते , छात्रैः खगः दृश्यते , बालिकाभिः खगः दृश्यते ....



2. Instead of learning 9 forms of P.P. and A.P. verbs each, we now bring it down to just 3 .
3. Multiply it by the 5 लकार s and we get 15 forms( just A.P.) that we have to know as against 90( P.P. and A.P.)....if we choose to do just the
       कर्तरि वाक्य रचना।.......This happens about 99% of the time....
4. Now the bad news: What do you do with a sentence like, " The lion sees me?"  Naturally ... सिंहः मां पश्यति ।
    I am being seen by the lion = सिंहेन अहं दृश्ये । The verb HAS to agree with the प्रथमा विभक्ति ।
5. Therefore, my dears, 1% of the time you will need 45 forms in the कर्मणि as well. ( i suppose i am rather mean...but you must hand it to me
   ....i am mean only in small doses.)


Not to worry. Check out Supplement 33 It will give you all the 45 forms of the  dhaatu in the passive voice.
Supplement 34....Column 4...will tell you the प्रथम पुरुष एकवचन forms in the present tense. Use  Supplement 33 along with  Supplement 34 to  conjugate the verbs in all its tenses and moods.


It is not enough to know this intellectually..... we must work on exercises to make sure that we have understood this completely. So every week, we are going to handle each of the लकार s for sufficient practice. As we work on each tense and mood, you will see how easy the whole thing really is.
So this week, let's concentrate on the present tense.

To conclude, here is a beautiful shloka from our Devi pujana to illustrate this passive construction:
अपराधसहस्त्राणि क्रियन्तेऽहर्निशं मया ।
दासोऽयमिति मां मत्वा क्षमस्व परमेश्वरि ॥



A thousand mistakes are being done day and night by me.
Considering me your servant, forgive me O Parameshwari.


Back to school!! Do you remember converting

a) The boy does the work( Active)..... into

b) The work is being done by the boy? ( Passive)


Let us first recall the art of constructing sentences in the Active voice... the

कर्तरि वाक्य रचना ।

Here is what we have been doing all this while......

  1. Selecting the person who does the work from the प्रथमा विभक्तिः  ।
  2. Making sure that the verb and the subject agree.
  3. Selecting the object to the verb from the द्वितीया विभक्तिः
  4. So in a sentence like "The boy is seeing a bird " we would first ask the question..."who is seeing" and place that who...the doer of the action in the प्रथमा विभक्तिः । Then we would ask the question "what is the object that is being seen" and place that what....the object, into the द्वितीया विभक्तिः And then making sure the verb and subject agree, we would come up with.... बालकः खगं पश्यति।

In an Active sentence construction, कर्तरि वाक्य रचना, the pride of place is given to the कर्ता, the subject. The verb, always preferring to be with the guy on top ( yup, our verb is a true- blue -blood politician! ) agrees firmly with the subject.


Now, in a Passive sentence construction, कर्मणि वाक्यरचना ( The bird is being seen by the boy) the object takes pride of place and is placed in the प्रथमा विभक्तिः ।" By the boy" is naturally selected from the तृतीया विभक्तिः । So far so good...... what does our verb do?

  1. He gets political.
  2. Changes sides.
  3. Joins hands with the object.
  4. Decides to agree with it.
  5. In his new avataar, adds a to his root धातु । THEN drops his P.P. leanings ( if he is a P.P.) and becomes A.P. by adding the A.P. प्रत्यय । All the A.P. guys remain A.P.

          (The above look like steps in Mathematics or an experiment in Chemistry don't they?)

                         We go to exercises in कर्मणि वाक्य रचना Present tense forms. in the following Lesson 42 A


Prev Lesson 41 B --- Answers to Lesson 41 A. ( Answers to Lesson 41 A.) Next Lesson 42 A --- कर्मणि वाक्य रचना Present tense forms. (कर्मणि वाक्य रचना Present tense forms.)