Chapter 8

Voice Icon

January 31, 2022

While expressing an idea, we may use two kinds of voice: the active voice and the passive voice.

When, in an expression, the subject predominates the idea, the expression is known as active voice; and when the object of the verbal form predominates [i.e., the object becomes the subject], it is called passive voice.

(It may be remembered in this connection that in the Bengali language there are three voices: the active voice, the passive voice, and the subjunctive voice.)

“Rama killed Ravana”: Here the fact is expressed in the active voice.

“Ravana was killed by Rama.” Here the killing [of Ravana] was done by Rama, and is in the passive voice.


When the language of a person is represented as it is or as it was or as it would have been, it is called direct speech. When the speech of a person is not directly expressed, but expressed in the language of a person conveying that speech, it is called indirect speech.


Ram said that Shyam had told him, “I shall visit Anandanagar tomorrow.”


Ram said that Shyam had told him that he would visit Anandanagar the next (following) day.


Generally four kinds of mood are recognized in English grammar. They are (1) imperative mood, (2) indicative mood, (3) infinitive mood, and (4) subjunctive mood.

Imperative mood: There is a little difference between the imperative and [the Bengali] vidhiliuṋ (বিধিলিঙ 1). While the imperative mood denotes order or request or persuasion, the vidhiliuṋ denotes desirability. While the imperative comes within the range of the present and the future tenses, the vidhiliuṋ comes within the scope of the past and future tenses.

Future vidhiliuṋ:

You should do.

Past vidhiliuṋ:

You should have done.

Present imperative:

Do it.

There is no separate form for the future imperative. The present imperative form is used in both cases. In certain languages there is a separate form for the future imperative. In the Ráŕhii dialect of the Bengali language there are separate forms for the present imperative and future imperatives: khán (খান [“eat”] – present imperative), kháben (খাবেন [“eat”] – future indicative2), kheyen ( খেয়েন [“eat”] – future imperative).

Indicative mood: In the indicative mood almost all the tenses are used.

Infinitive mood: The infinitive mood is a sort of verbal noun – to set, to be, to go, etc.

Subjunctive Mood:

Had I been in Calcutta I would have visited the zoological garden there.

In such a case, we show the correlation between two past verbal expressions: “Had I been in Calcutta.” “I would have visited the zoological garden there.”

In Bengali:

Shoń re ámár buddhu sońá শোণ রে আমার বুদ্ধু সোণা Shoń re ámár bhutum, শোণ রে আমার ভুতুম, Thákta yadi mayúrpauṋkhii থাক্ত যদি মযূরপঙ্খী Dúr videshe yetum. দূর বিদেশে যেতুম | | (3) [Listen, O my golden child, Listen, my little bird, If I had had a peacock-shaped boat, I would have gone to far-off lands.]

(1) […]

(2) It is indicative in form, but imperative in spirit. –Eds.

(3) A traditional lullaby. –Eds.


So far as the written language is concerned, we should write the full forms of verbs and not the verb contractions. But in colloquial language, in different verbal expressions such as announcements, in drama, etc., we use verb contractions. For instance:

will not won’t
should not shouldn’t
would not wouldn’t
could not couldn’t
has not hasn’t
have not haven’t
had not hadn’t
was not wasn’t
were not weren’t
is not isn’t
are not aren’t
do not don’t