MYTUTOR SUBJECT ANSWERS

448 views

How do I form the passive voice?

Contrary to popular belief, the passive is a 'voice' not a tense, but it can be used in different tenses - the present, past or future for example. 

Confusing huh? So when should you use the passive voice? 

It is used much less than the passive voice in English, nonetheless it is used. The passive is used when the subject doing the verb is irrelevant, and the focus is placed on the object of the verb - for example:

Active: Ich singe das Lied 
            I am singing the song

Passive: Das Lied wird von mir gesungen
               The song is being sung by me

So how do you form the passive voice? 

1.       To form the passive, German uses werden (to become) + the past participle, while English uses "to be."

2.       The word "song" (das Lied) in the ACTIVE sentence is an object being acted upon ( In the PASSIVE sentence the former object (Lied) becomes the subject, while the former subject (I, ich) is now the agent (by me/von mir).

3.       Only transitive verbs (those that take a direct object) can be made passive. The direct object (accusative case) in the active voice becomes the subject (nominative case) in the passive voice.

A passive voice sentence may or may not include the "agent" (by whom something was done). If the agent (by me, by John) is a person, it is expressed in German with avon-phrase: von John (by John). If the agent is not a person, then a durch-phrase is used:durch den Wind (by the wind)

 

 

Here are some examples of the passive voice being used in different tenses:

 

Perfect: Das Lied wurde gesungen

             The song was sung

(Subject + imperfect of werden + past participle)

 

Pluperfect: Das Lied ist gesungen worden
                  The song has been sung

(Subject + perfect tense of werden + past participle)

 

Present: Das Lied wird gesungen

                The song is being sung

(Subject + present tense werden + past participle)

 

Future: Das Lied wird gesungen werden
             The song will be sung

(Subject + future tense of werden + past participle) 

Penny P. GCSE German tutor, A Level French tutor, A Level German tuto...

2 years ago

Answered by Penny, an A Level German tutor with MyTutor


Still stuck? Get one-to-one help from a personally interviewed subject specialist

25 SUBJECT SPECIALISTS

£20 /hr

Marie S.

Degree: International Relations and Middle East Studies (Bachelors) - Exeter University

Subjects offered: German, Politics+ 1 more

German
Politics
Government and Politics

“About Me: I am a student at the University of Exeter, studying International Relations and Middle Eastern Studies. Tutoring has been something I have always enjoyed doing. I grew up abroad for most of my life and began teaching German ...”

£20 /hr

Eszter H.

Degree: Modern Languages (Bachelors) - Durham University

Subjects offered: German, History+ 4 more

German
History
English and World Literature
English Literature
English Language
.MLAT (Modern Languages)

“I am a Modern Languages (German and Spanish) student at Durham University. I believe that the knowledge of foreign languages is becoming more and more important, thus I am devoted to help every student who want to develop their German...”

MyTutor guarantee

£20 /hr

Claire S.

Degree: German and Spanish (Bachelors) - Southampton University

Subjects offered: German, Spanish+ 1 more

German
Spanish
English Literature

“I believe that he key thing about learning a language is to enjoy it. In my classes you can expect to learn with a variety of different activities, and learn by doing. I try and make classes monolingual (so just in the target language...”

MyTutor guarantee

About the author

£20 /hr

Penny P.

Degree: Modern Languages (Bachelors) - Exeter University

Subjects offered: German, French

German
French

“Hi Everyone! I'm Penny and I tutor French and German GCSE and A-Level. I've recently finished my second year at Exeter University studying French, German and TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). Having sat through ...”

You may also like...

Other A Level German questions

How can I get a good grade if I just don't understand German grammar?

Is there a good way to remember accusative prepositions?

Was konnte man sich lange Zeit nicht vorstellen? Warum? [2 marks]

How does the gender of words work in German?

View A Level German tutors

Cookies:

We use cookies to improve our service. By continuing to use this website, we'll assume that you're OK with this. Dismiss

mtw:mercury1:status:ok