Example #1:

Active voice: India expected to win the match.

Passive (book answer): It was expected by India that they would win the match.

My answer: India expected the match to be won.

Example #2:

Active: I expect her to finish the task.

Passive (book answer): I expect the task to be finished by her.

For the first example (#1), the book shows only one answer but I think my answer is also correct. I just changed the sentence into passive voice in the same way as the book changed the second example (#2) into a passive.

Is my answer for #1 correct? Is my answer to #1 grammatically the same as the book's answer to #1?

  • I'm now curious. Could you clarify the purpose of the exercise as stated by the book a little? Is it a) to convert the given sentences into passive voice ones, or b) to convert the verb expect into the passive voice, or c) to convert the to-infinitive into passive infinitives, or d) something else? Thank you in advance. Dec 17, 2014 at 2:49
  • (Also, does the book also give another alternative answer to #2? Maybe they include "She was expected to finish the task," too.) Dec 17, 2014 at 2:53
  • The book says, "Change the voice according the corresponding rules give above." Actually book states some rule to change voice of sentence before exercise. there is no alternative in book for example #2 but your answer could be the alternative. i found some sentences in my book which is changed into passive voice in the same way as you do.
    – starun008
    Dec 17, 2014 at 7:03

3 Answers 3



Active voice: India expected to win the match.

I think the easiest way to read this sentence is to add one simple verb to act as a copulative:

India (is/was) expected to win the match.

Note that this sentence (or the original headline!) does not in any way indicate who expected India to win! It could be the press, the public at large, the writer of the article or some sports expert that said this in an interview.

Passive voice( book answer): It was expected by India that they would win the match.

Information is added that was not there in the original headline! The headline does not say that India expected to win, it say that India was expected to win. Nothing indicates who expected it!

My answer : India expected the match to be won.

That is an interesting expectation. It is equivalent to:

India did not expect a draw.

The original headline clearly states that expectations exist that India would win the match, your version states that India expect somebody will win.

Both the book and your version are introducing India as the party that expects something, but the headline does not have that information. In my view, both versions are incorrect.

Sentence 2 is more straightforward and I agree with the book version. The original sentence is also a complete sentence, not a headline.

I just realized that the original sentence does not have to be a (newspaper) headline. The answer above is obviously reading it as if the sentence appeared as a headline, but of course India also simply be the subject in a normal active sentence. In that case, yes, India or the India team are indeed the subject, and they do expect to win the match.

The book answer is completely correct in that case, of course.

Your version still leaves the main verb in the sentence (expects) in the active voice. The main idea of the original sentence is India expects something. You have change something into an (almost) meaningless passive construct and you changed the meaning of the sentence!

The original sentence India expected (to win the match) should be changed into the passive as It was expected by India (that they would win the match).

You version does use a passive construction for (to win the match), but normally in these exercises you are expected (pun intended) to change the voice of the main clause of the sentence.

Apart from the fact that you do not change the main clause of the sentence, you also have removed the important information about who was expected to win the match! In your version, if India's opponent won, that would still be according to the expectation.

  • You are right. Book's answer seems incorrect, and it is not the way a native speaker would say.I found one more sentence similar to this. The Romans expected to conquer the Carthage. And the passive is It was expected by the Romans that they would conquer the Carthage. Do you find any similarity in this and above mentioned sentence.
    – starun008
    Dec 16, 2014 at 12:23
  • Actually, your Romans example made me realize I misread the original sentence! I'm editing my answer :)
    – oerkelens
    Dec 16, 2014 at 12:28
  • You said we are expected to change voice of main clause but if we talk about second example(2#) it doesn't change main clause also but its still correct. and if i change my answer(for 1#) a little India expected the match to be won by them. Now is this correct or incorrect. and one more doubt as you mentioned in your answer that we can read the sentence as India (is/was) expected to win the match. then i think it is already in passive form and its active should be We/they expected India to win the match.
    – starun008
    Dec 16, 2014 at 13:10
  • @oerkelens +1 I'm not sure if you've already mentioned this. (I just glanced through the answer.) I think the key idea is to read it as "India expected [ to win the match ]", i.e. "To win the match is what India expected." --> "To win the match is what was expected by India." --> "It was expected by India (for India) to win the match." The answer just rephrases the to-clause into a that-clause. Dec 16, 2014 at 13:22
  • 1
    @starun008: Yes, India expected the match to be won by them would be correct in meaning. You are right that in #2 the main clause did not change voice. The two answers from the book seem to be contradictory indeed. As for the "headline reading" of sentence #1, the addition of is/was does not make it a real passive construction. expected to win the match" can be read as a simple attributive to _India, similar to "India is a big country".
    – oerkelens
    Dec 16, 2014 at 14:16

Example #1:

Active voice: India expected to win the match.

Passive (book answer): It was expected by India that they would win the match.

My answer: India expected the match to be won.-->>False

Example #2:

Active: I expect her to finish the task.

Passive (book answer): I expect the task to be finished by her.

Book answer is correct in both cases.The solution lies in the understanding of "Infinitive"

In 1st example

"to win" is the infinitive which act as a object to verb "expected" like a noun and also "to win" act as a verb to "the match(object)".therefore infinitive are known as verb-noun.

In 2nd example

"her" is the direct object to the verb "expect". Here "to finish the task" is object complement to "her(object)". to say it simple we can say that "to finish" is not object to the verb "expect".

You can refer from "Wren And Martin" chapter->the Infinitive. I hope you will find this explanation useful


The match was expected to be won by India.

  • 3
    Welcome to ELL! It would be helpful to include an explanation of why this is correct. The asker is having trouble understanding why some answers are correct and some aren't, so more detail is needed to answer their question completely.
    – ColleenV
    Jan 2, 2015 at 15:37
  • Can you explain how you got this? @Biswajit Das
    – starun008
    Jan 3, 2015 at 6:52

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