trianglehate
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Would somebody PLEASE be able to give me a simple explanation of how the passive functions in German?

I've tried learning it myself but I'm struggling to grasp the concept of it. My teacher briefly covered it a while back but not in enough depth that my class actually understood.

Many thanks for anybody who provides an explanation.
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Verst
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The passive in German is exactly the same as the passive in English.

A man was arrested.
Ein Mann wurde verhaftet.

In english we do:
Subject (man) + the verb "be" in the correct tense (was) + a past participle (arrested).

In German it's the same, but we use the verb "werden":
Subject (Ein Mann) + the verb "werden" in the correct tense (wurde) + a past participle (verhaftet).



This is the same in any tense, e.g.:
A house is being built (subject: a house / verb "to be" in correct tense: is being / past participle: built).
Ein Haus wird gebaut (subject: Ein Haus / verb "werden" in correct tense: wird / past participle: gebaut).


Or the perfect:
A house has been built
Ein Haus ist gebaut worden. (subject: Ein Haus / verb "werden" in correct tense: ist...worden / past participle: gebaut)


I think. It's ages since I've used a passive in German haha.
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grizzlybär
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(Original post by trianglehate)
Would somebody PLEASE be able to give me a simple explanation of how the passive functions in German?

I've tried learning it myself but I'm struggling to grasp the concept of it. My teacher briefly covered it a while back but not in enough depth that my class actually understood.

Many thanks for anybody who provides an explanation.
there are to forms of the passive:

1. Vorgangspassiv (processual passive)

2. Zustandspassiv (statual passive)

1. is formed with the auxiliary verb 'werden' and the 2.participle of the verb

e.g. er wird geliebt, sie wird getragen = present tense
er wurde geliebt, sie wurde getragen = past tense
er ist geliebt worden, sie ist getragen worden = present perfect
er war geliebt worden, sie war getragen worden = past perfect
er wird geliebt werden, sie wird getragen werden = future

2. is formed with the auxiliary verb 'sein' and the 2.participle of the verb

e.g. Die Tür ist geöffnet. = present
Die Tür war geöffnet. = past
Die Tür ist geöffnet gewesen. = present perfect
Die Tür war geöffnet gewesen. = past perfect
Die Tür wird geöffnet sein. = future
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grizzlybär
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active (past tense): Der Mechaniker reparierte den Motor.
passive : Der Motor wurde (von dem Mechaniker) repariert.

active (present perfect): Ein Auto hat ihn angefahren.
passive : Er ist (von einem Auto) angefahren worden.


The accusative object of the active sentence becomes subject of the passive sentence.
The subject of the active sentence doesn't have to be mentioned in the passive version, that's why I put it in brackets.
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trianglehate
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(Original post by Verst)
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Thanks so much! Definitely makes the understanding a lot more clearer


(Original post by grizzlybär)
er ist geliebt worden, sie ist getragen worden = present perfect
er war geliebt worden, sie war getragen worden = past perfect
er wird geliebt werden, sie wird getragen werden = future
Danke grizzlybär!

So with the above tenses in English would it be...

present perfect = he has been loved
past perfect = he had been loved
future = he will be loved??

Sorry if that doesn't make any sense
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Verst
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The short answer is: yes.

The problem is that in English and German the tenses don't correlate neatly. I am not a german native, and perhaps grizzlybaer can correct me, but I think that in German there is no difference in MEANING between:

er wurde geliebt
and
er is geliebt worden.

There is a stylistic difference. But the MEANING is the same (I think).

In English there is a big difference between "he was loved" and "he has been loved". It's not a stylistic difference, it's a difference in meaning. In German it's just style.

German doesn't really have a "present perfect", it just has the Perfekt. It has to render our present perfect EITHER by the Praesens or the Perfekt/Imperfekt, eg.:

I have been to Germany --> Ich war in Deutschland / Ich bin in Deutschland gewesen. (Perfekt / Imperfekt)
I have lived in London for five years --> Ich wohne in London seit 5 Jahren. (Praesens)
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grizzlybär
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(Original post by trianglehate)
Thanks so much! Definitely makes the understanding a lot more clearer




Danke grizzlybär!

So with the above tenses in English would it be...

present perfect = he has been loved
past perfect = he had been loved
future = he will be loved??

Sorry if that doesn't make any sense
I'd say yes, that is correct:

present perfect
active version: Die Frau hat ihren Mann (he) geliebt.
passive version: Der Mann ist geliebt worden (von seiner Frau)

past perfect
active: Die Frau hatte ihren Mann geliebt.
passive: Der Mann war geliebt worden

future
active: Die Frau wird ihren Mann lieben.
passive: Der Mann wird geliebt werden.

ha! what a happy man

active
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trianglehate
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(Original post by Verst)
The short answer is: yes.

The problem is that in English and German the tenses don't correlate neatly. I am not a german native, and perhaps grizzlybaer can correct me, but I think that in German there is no difference in MEANING between:

er wurde geliebt
and
er is geliebt worden.

There is a stylistic difference. But the MEANING is the same (I think).
Thank you I believe you're right. I think (from what I've looked at in grammar books) it's down to the matter of whether it's spoken or written German? The present tense is used a lot in speaking and so like you said I think it's a matter of style (I think!)


(Original post by grizzlybär)
I'd say yes, that is correct:

present perfect
active version: Die Frau hat ihren Mann (he) geliebt.
passive version: Der Mann ist geliebt worden (von seiner Frau)

past perfect
active: Die Frau hatte ihren Mann geliebt.
passive: Der Mann war geliebt worden

future
active: Die Frau wird ihren Mann lieben.
passive: Der Mann wird geliebt werden.

ha! what a happy man

active
Danke! A happy man indeed! I'll put this to practice now
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grizzlybär
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(Original post by Verst)
I have lived in London for five years --> Ich wohne in London seit 5 Jahren. (Praesens)
It took me some time to comprehend this, because 'have lived' literally translated is 'habe gelebt' and that, in German, implies 'but not any more, now, I live elsewhere'
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Verst
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Right. Cos in English 'have lived in London for 4 years' means that you still live there.
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