Transformation of Sentences

Transformation of Sentences

For better understanding, the discussion has been divided into 5 parts -

Part 1: Affirmative and Negative Sentences

Part 2: Interrogative, Exclamatory, and Imperative Sentences

Part 3: Simple, Complex, and Compound Sentences

Part 4: Degree

Part 5: Active and Passive Sentences

Part 1 : Affirmative and Negative Sentences

Rules of transforming Affirmative into Negative Sentences or vice versa:

1. Sentences with ‘only/alone’, changes into ‘none but/nothing but/not more than/not less than’



Affirmative: A brave man alone can do this.

Negative: None but a brave man can do this.


Affirmative: I need a book only.

Negative: I need nothing but a book.


Affirmative: I need ten taka only.

Negative: I don’t need more than ten taka.

2. ‘Must/have to/can’ turns into ‘cannot but’

Affirmative: You have to drink clean water.
Negative: You cannot but drink clean water.

3. ‘And/both’ becomes ‘not only ..but also’

Affirmative: He ate eggs and vegetables.
Negative: He ate not only eggs but also vegetables.

4. ‘Every’ becomes ‘there in no ...but’

Affirmative: Every mother loves her child.
Negative: There is no mother but loves her child.

In case of ‘everybody’, an affirmative sentence can also be changed into negative using ‘nobody’ and ‘opposite of verb/adjective’:

Affirmative: Everybody likes flowers.
Negative: Nobody dislikes flowers

5. ‘Always’ in affirmative becomes ‘never + opposite word’ in negative statements:

Affirmative: I am always against of smoking.
Negative: I am never in favour of smoking.

6. Universal truths are changed into ‘interrogative negative sentences’:

Affirmative: Knowledge is power
Negative: Isn’t knowledge power?

7. Many affirmative can be changed into negative by using negative word ‘Not’ and an ‘opposite word’ of the verb:

Affirmative: I missed the train.
Negative: I could not catch the train.

8. ‘Sometimes’ in affirmative becomes ‘not always’ in negative:

Affirmative: The poor are sometimes happy.
Negative: The poor are not always happy.

Read More —

Further Discussion on Transformation of Sentences

Transformation of Sentences: Exercises with Answers

9. ‘Many’ becomes ‘not a few’:

Negative: I don’t have many dolls.
Affirmative: I have a few dolls.

10. ‘’ in affirmative becomes ‘so ... that ...+ cannot + verb’:

Affirmative: He is too weak to walk.
Negative: He is so weak that he cannot walk.

11. ‘As soon as’ in Affirmative becomes ‘No sooner had...than’ in Negative:

Affirmative: As soon as he came, the students stood up.
Negative: No sooner had he came than the students stood up.

12. ‘As+ adjective + as’ in affirmative becomes ‘not less + adjective... than’ in negative sentence:

Affirmative: Rahim is as good as Karim.
Negative: Rahim is not less good than Karim.


Affirmative: Where there is smoke, there is fire.

Negative: There can be no smoke without fire.

Affirmative: All must die.

Negative: None can escape death.

Affirmative: I come here for the last time.

Negative: I will never come here again.

Exercise A

Change the sentences into negative:

  1. He is honest.

  1. I will never forget you.

  1. Where there is fire, there is smoke.

  1. Jamil is the best student.

  1. As soon as the teacher arrived, the noise stopped.


  1. He is not dishonest.

  1. I will always remember you.

  1. There is no fire without smoke.

  1. No other student is as good as Jamil.

  1. No sooner had the teacher arrived than the noise stopped.

Further Discussion on Transformation of Sentences

Transformation of Sentences: Exercises with Answers

Exercise B

Change the sentences into affirmative:

  1. The old man is so weak that he cannot walk.

  1. None but the brave deserve the fair.

  1. No sooner had I reached the station than the train left.

  1. Nobody likes a liar.

  1. Not only Rina but also Rahim will go there.


  1. The old man is too weak to walk.

  1. Only the brave deserve the fair.

  1. As soon as I reached the station, the train left.

  1. Everybody dislikes a liar.

  1. Both Rina and Rahim will go there.

Part 2 : Interrogative, Exclamatory, and Imperative Sentences

Rules of Transforming Assertive into Interrogative Sentences:

1. In case of auxiliary verb:

Affirmative: Smoking is a bad habit.
Interrogative: Isn’t smoking a bad habit?

2. Affirmative sentence without auxiliaries are changed into interrogative with ‘Wh’ question word + Do/did/Does:

Affirmative: All hates a liar.
Interrogative: Who doesn’t hate a liar?

3. Nobody/none/never/no are changed into who + affirmative verb, and anybody/ever are changed into who + negative verb:

Assertive: None can deny the truth.
Interrogative. Who can deny the truth?

Assertive: Anyone can do it.
Interrogative: Who can’t do it?

4. Questions with ‘do/did/does’:

Negative: He said nothing about the matter.
Interrogative: Did he say anything about the matter?

5. ‘There is no.../nothing but’ becomes ‘who/what is...’:

Negative: There is no use of this book.
Interrogative: What is the use of this book?

Negative: Our life is nothing but a struggle.
Interrogative: What is our life but struggle?

Rules of Transforming Assertive to Imperative Sentences:

1. Starting with a verb:

Affirmative: You are ordered to go there.
Imperative: Go there.

Negative: You are forbidden to drink.
Imperative: Don’t drink.

2. Starting with ‘let’:

Affirmative: You are commanded to let him go.
Imperative: Let him go.

Rules of Transforming Affirmative to Exclamatory Sentences:

1.  What a/how:
Affirmative: It is a great river.
Exclamatory: What a great river it is!

2. If I were/If had....:
Affirmative: I wish I were a king.
Exclamatory: If I were a king!

Affirmative: We regret that man is dead.
Exclamatory: Alas! The man is dead.

Further Discussion on Transformation of Sentences

Transformation of Sentences: Exercises with Answers

Exercise A

Change the sentences from Affirmative into Interrogative

  1. Nobody can do it.

  1. I can never forget you.

  1. You are a coward.

  1. He can do the work.

  1. Everybody wants to be win.


  1. Who can do it?

  1. Can I ever forget you?

  1. Aren’t you a coward?

  1. Can’t he do the work?

  1. Who doesn’t wish to be win?

Exercise B

Change the sentences from Affirmative into Exclamatory

1. The night is very beautiful.

  1. It is a very wonderful scene!

  1. I wish I were a king.

  1. I wish I had the wings of a bird.

  1. You draw very well.


  1. How beautiful the night is!

  1. What a wonderful scene it is!

  1. If I were a king!

  1. Had I the wings of bird!

  1. How well you draw!

Exercise C

Change the sentences from Affirmative into Imperative

  1. You should do the work.

  1. He should do the work.

  1. You should always speak the truth.

  1. You are requested to help me.

  1. We should not break the rules of the company.


  1. Do the work.

  1. Let him do the work.

  1. Always speak the truth.

  1. Please, help me.

  1. Let us not break the rules of the company.

Transformation of Sentences

Part 3 : Simple, Complex, and
Compound Sentences

The sentences are classed in three categories depending on the number and types of finite clauses.

  1. Simple Sentence

  1. Compound Sentence

  1. Complex Sentence

i)    Simple Sentence

The sentence contains a subject and a verb and expresses a complete thought.


Rahman (subject) plays (verb) football every afternoon.

In this type of sentence, there is only one independent clause and there might be multiple dependent clauses joined by non-finite verbs (gerund, participle, infinitive. See Unit 3). But there can be only one finite verb.


While going (non-finite verb: present participle) there, I (subject) met (finite verb) him.

Despite being (non-finite verb: present participle) sick, he attended (finite verb) the meeting.

There is no use of conjunction (to join clauses) in simple sentences. But joining words can be used by ‘and’.

Bread and butter are my breakfast.

Rahman and Selim are two friends.

ii) Compound Sentence

In this type of sentence, there are multiple independent clauses and no dependent clause. All the clauses are joined together by coordinating conjunctions. Such sentences have two finite verbs and two subjects.

List of Coordinating Conjunctions

Coordinating conjunctions connect two equal parts of a sentence. Here are they:

And, but, nor, or, so, yet


I (subject) tried (finite verb) to speak Spanish, and my friend (subject) tried (finite verb) to speak English.

Rahman (subject) played (finite verb) football, so Ria (subject) went (finite verb) for shopping.

iii) Complex Sentence

This type of sentence consists of at least one independent clause and one dependent clause. There are two finite verbs joined by subordinating conjunction.

Subordinate conjunctions connect two unequal parts, e.g., dependent and independent clauses.

Here is the list of subordinating conjunctions:

Since, as, when, though, although, so that, whenever, because, than, whereas, that, wherever, that, whether, if, though, which, till, while, unless, who, until, why, how, what


When (subordinator) he (subject) handed (finite verb) in his homework, he (subject) forgot (finite verb) to give the teacher the last page.

The teacher (subject) returned (finite verb) the homework after (subordinator) she (subject) noticed (finite verb) the error.

The students (subject) are studying (finite verb) because (subordinator) they (subject) have (finite verb) a test tomorrow.

Roy (subject) and Rahman (subject) went (finite verb) to the movies after (subordinator) they (subject) finished (verb) studying.

Complex sentences with relative pronouns as subordinators/subordinating conjunctions:

The woman (subject), who (subordinate) my mom (subject) talked to, sells (verb) cosmetics.

The book (subject) that (subordinate) Ria (subject) read is (verb) on the shelf.

The town (subject) where (subordinate) I (subject) grew up is (verb) in Bangladesh.

Further Discussion on Transformation of Sentences

Transformation of Sentences: Exercises with Answers

Rules of Transforming Complex-Simple-Compound Sentences:

To Transform into Simple Sentence:

  1. Use non-finite verb

  1. Don’t use any conjunction.

c)  Always maintain the meaning of the given sentence

To Transform into Compound Sentences:

  1. Use coordinating conjunctions like and/but/or/and/so/and then

  1. Use separate subjects and verbs for each clause

  1. Always maintain the meaning of the given sentence

To Transform into Complex Sentence:

  1. Use subordinating conjunctions like though/since/as/when/relative pronoun

  1. Use separate subjects and verbs for each clause

  1. Always maintain the meaning the of given sentence


1. When/as/since/because (Complex) ---- verb+ing or being+v3 or because of (Simple) --- and (Compound)


Complex: When he saw the police, he ran away.

Simple: Seeing the police he ran away.

Compound: He saw the police and ran away.

Complex: As he was ill, he could not come.

Simple: Being ill, he could not come. / Because of his illness, he could not come.

Compound: He was ill and so he could not come.

2. If/Unless (Complex) --- by+verb+ing/without+verb+ing (Simple) --- or (Compound)


Complex: If you work hard you will succeed.

Simple: By working hard you will succeed.

Compound: Work hard or you won’t succeed.

3. Relative pronoun (wh word/that) (Complex) ---- non-finite form/direct adjective/adverb (Simple) --- and (Compound)


Complex: The sum which has been done by him was very hard.

Simple: The sum done by him was very hard. (Participle)

Compound: The sum was done by him and it was very hard.

Complex: Salam is a boy who is very intelligent.

Simple: Salam is a very intelligent boy.

Compound: Salam is a boy and he is very intelligent.

Complex: It was daylight when he woke up.

Simple: He woke up at daylight.

Compound: He woke up and it was daylight.

Complex: He admitted that he was guilty.

Simple: He admitted his guilt.

Compound: He admitted and he was guilty.

4. Though/Although (complex) --- inspite of/despite (simple) + but (compound)


Complex: Though he tried hard, he failed.

Simple: In spite of trying hard, he failed.

Compound: He tried hard but failed.

5. So... that (Complex) --- to infinitive (Simple) --- and (Compound)


Complex: We eat so that we can live well.

Simple: We eat to live well.

Compound: We eat and we live well.

 Exercise A

Change the Simple sentences into Complex

  1. I saw a beautiful girl.

  1. Being sincere and hardworking, Mitu earned the reward.

  1. She was too poor to educate her children.

  1. I have informed him of his success.

  1. In spite of his being tall, he does not play basketball.


  1. I saw a girl who was beautiful.

  1. As Mitu is sincere and hardworking, she earned the reward.

  1. She was so poor that she could not educate her children.

  1. I have informed him that he has succeeded.

  1. Though he is tall, he does not play basketball.

Exercise B

Change the Complex sentences into Compound

1. Though he is not sick, he feels weak.

  1. As soon as the electricity went out, the thief entered the house.

  1. If you work hard, you will shine in life.

  1. If you do it, you will die.

  1. The man went home so that he could see his grandson.


  1. He is not sick, yet he feels weak.

  1. The electricity went out and the thief entered the house.

  1. Work hard and you will shine in life

  1. Do it and you will die.

  1. The man wanted to see his grandson and so he went home.

Exercise C

Change the Compound sentences into Simple

  1. I went to his home but he did not meet me.

  1. He was ill and so he could not attend the meeting.

  1. I woke up and received your phone call.

  1. Work hard and you will be successful.

  1. Sadman saw a snake and killed it at once.


  1. In spite of my going to his home, he did not meet me.

  1. Because of his being ill, he could not attend the meeting.

  1. Waking up, I received your phone call.

  1. By working hard, you will be successful.

  1. Immediately after seeing a snake, Sadman killed it.

Part 4 : Degree

According to degree of adjective, sentences are three kinds:

  1. Positive Sentence

  1. Comparative Sentence

  1. Superlative Sentence

Rules of Transforming Superlative/Comparative/Positive Sentences:

1. No other... as…as (Positive) --- Comparative form of adjective + than any other (Comparative) --- superlative form of adjective (Superlative):


Positive: No other city is as big as Dhaka in Bangladesh.

Comparative: Dhaka is bigger than any other city in Bangladesh.

Superlative: Dhaka is the biggest city in Bangladesh.

2. Very few... (Positive) --- comparative form of adjective + than most other (Comparative) --- one of the + superlative form of adjective (Superlative):


Positive: Very few metals are as precious as gold.

Comparative: Gold is more precious than most other metals.

Superlative: Gold is one of the most precious metals.


Some are transformed by using ‘not’:


Positive: Karim is as good as Rahim.

Comparative: Rahim is not better than Karim.

Transformation of Sentences

Exercise A

Change from Positive to Comparative Degree

  1. No other dish in the menu is as cheap as mutton chop.

  1. Very few countries in the world are as small as Bangladesh.

  1. He is as strong as lion.


1. Mutton chop is cheaper than any other dish on the menu.

  1. Bangladesh is smaller than most other countries in the world.

  1. He is not less strong than a lion.

Exercise B

Change from Comparative into Superlative Degree

  1. Rumi is better than any other boy in the class.

  1. Shimu is smaller than most other girls in the team.

  1. Chittagong is bigger than any other seaport in Bangladesh.


  1. Rumi is the best boy in the class.

  1. Shimu is one of the smallest girls in the team.

  1. Chittagong is the biggest seaport in Bangladesh.

Exercise C

Change from Superlative into Positive Degree

  1. It writes the finest of any pen.

  1. The cow is one of the most useful animals.

  1. Shakespeare is the greatest of all dramatists.


  1. No other pen writes as good as it.

  1. Very few animals are as useful as the cow.

  1. No other dramatist is as great as Shakespeare.

Part 5 : Active and Passive Sentences

Active Sentence means the subject of the sentence is the doer of the action.


He (subject: doer) plays football.

Passive Sentence means the subject of the sentence is not the doer of the action. In three situations, passive is mandatory:

  1. When the subject is unknown

  1. When the subject is unnecessary to mention

  1. When the speaker wants to hide the subject

Note: Learn more in Unit 4 about Active and Passive Voice


He (subject: non-doer) was arrested last night.

Note: Here the doer is the police which is hidden in the meaning and it is unnecessary to mention this subject.

Transformation of Sentences

Active :  I must do it.
Passive : It must be done by me.

While transforming, the object (non-doer) in the active becomes the subject (non-doer) in the passive. And the subject in the active becomes the object. Usually preposition ‘by’ is used in the passive to add the subject in the active.

Finite Verb changes according to the table of tense:





Present Simple


am/is/are + v3


Present Continuous:

am/is/are + v1 + ing

am/is/are + being + v3


Present Perfect

has/have been + v1 + ing

has/have + been + v3


Present Perfect Continuous

has/have been + v1 + ing

has/have + been + being + v3


Past Simple


was/were + v3


Past continuous

was/were + v1 + ing

was/were + being + v3


Past Perfect

had + v3

had + been + v3


Past Perfect Continuous

had been + v1 + ing

had been + being + v3


Future Simple

will + v1

will be + v3


Future Continuous

will be + v1 + ing

will be being + v3


Future Perfect

will have + v3

will have been + v3


Future Perfect Continuous

will have been + v1 +

will have been + being + v3


Affirmative Sentence


Passive: Geetanjali was written by Tagore.

Here the subject ‘Geetanjali’ is the subject and it is not the doer of the verb ‘written’. The doer is ‘Tagore’ which is an object (predicate) here. When non-doer becomes subject, the sentence is called Passive. And as it is in Past Simple Tense, so the structure is:

Subject + was/were + v3 (past participle form of verb) + object. (No 5 in the table)

Active: Tagore wrote Geetanjali.

Here Tagore is the subject and the doer. So the sentence is Active. As it is in Past Simple Tense, the structure is: Subject + v2 (past form of verb) + object.

When the doer is unknown, ‘by + object’ is not used:


Passive: My watch was stolen.

Here the doer (who did the action) is unknown, so there is object in the sentence.

In some cases, when the object in active is material or substance, ‘by’ preposition is not used, rather than ‘with’ is used:


Active: Gas filled the kitchen.

Passive: The kitchen is filled with gas.

Sometimes, there are two objects (non-doers) in active sentences.

For example:

Active: He teaches us English.

‘English’ and ‘us’ both are objects and non-doers. It can be made passive in two ways. Both are correct:

Passive: English is taught to us by him.

Passive: We are taught English by him.

Unchanged extension/compliment of verb:

Active: They kept me waiting.

Passive: I was kept waiting.

Here the word waiting is the compliment of the verb and it is not changed in passive.

Some sentences are always passive:

For example: Get + past participle:

I got dressed as quickly as possible.

Someone got hurt in the accident.

Other prepositions except ‘by’:

Active: Your conduct surprises me.

Passive: I am surprised at your conduct.

Active: This news alarmed us

Passive: We are alarmed at this news.

With infinitive:

Active: make/see/hear/help/watch + v1

Passive: make/see/hear/help/watch + to + v1


Active: He made me laugh.

Passive: I was made to laugh.

Active: He saw a mango fall.

Passive: A mango was seen to fall.

In case of infinitive:

Active: To + v1

Passive: To + be + v3


Active: I want to do it.

Passive: It is wanted to be done by me.

Note: Here both verbs (finite and non-finite) are changing.

In case of Modal:

Active: Modal + v1

Passive: Modal + be + v3


Active: I can do it.

Passive: It can be done by me.

Interrogative Sentence

a. Do/did/does in active sentences becomes is/are/was/were in passive sentences.


Active: Do you want it?

Passive: Is it wanted by you?

b. question statements with auxiliary verbs in active sentences:

Active: Can they solve this?

Passive: Can this be solved by them?

c. In ‘Wh’ question word sentences:

Active: What do you want?

Passive: What is wanted by you?

Imperative Sentence

In case of order/command:

A passive imperative begins with ‘let’, followed by the object in the active.


Passive: Let + subject + be + v3 (past participle)

Active: Let her to wait here.

Passive: Let her be told to wait here.

Active: Close all the gates.

Passive: Let all the gates be closed.

In case of advice/suggestion:

Passive: should/must + be + past participle

Active: Take medicine on time.

Passive: Medicine should be taken on time.

Imperative request:

Active: Please give me some more time.

Passive: You are requested to give me some more time.

Multiple Clauses

In case of ‘it is..’ or ‘there is…’ the first clause remains unchanged, and the rest changes according to structure.


Active: It is time to change our home.

Passive: It is time our home to be changed.

Active: There is no time to lose.

Passive: There is no time to be lost.

In other cases, the whole object becomes the subject:

Active: Everyone says that he is a fool.

Passive: That he is a fool is said by everyone.

In case of universal/general statements, ‘it is believed’, or ‘it is hoped’, ‘it is said’ is used in passive. The rest of the clause remains unchanged.

Active: People believe that he is skilled.

Passive: It is believed that he is skilled.

Compound Sentences

Active: They draft applications and type them.

Passive: Applications are drafted and typed.

Taking a new verb:

Active: He reads two hours.

Passive: Two hours are taken in reading by him.

Universal truth:

Active: The sun rises in the East.

Passive: It is said the sun rises in the East.

When adjective is object in active:

Active: Honey tastes sweet.

Passive: Honey is sweet when it is tasted.

When subject is the object of the verb:

Active: The cows are milking.

Passive: The cows are being milked.


Change the sentences into passive:

  1. The people of Bangladesh mainly eat rice.

  1. He annoys me.

  1. Panic seized me.

  1. Fire burnt the ship.

  1. The lady fans herself.

  1. Honey tastes sweet.

  1. The man knew me.

  1. Are they making a noise is the class?

  1. Buy me a book.

  1. Do the work.


  1. Mainly rice is eaten in Bangladesh.

  1. I am annoyed at him.

  1. I was seized with panic.

  1. The ship was burnt.

  1. The lady is fanned by herself.

  1. Honey is sweet when tasted.

  1. I was known to the man.

  1. Is noise being made by them in the class?

  1. Let a book be bought for me.

  1. Let the work be done.



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