Active and passive voice in Dutch
Active and passive are not tenses. However, the verbs in the passive and active voice can have all the tenses, for example present simple or past perfect. Active and passive voice is about the structure of the sentence and differ in who is performing the action in the sentence.
1) Active voice
Definition and usage of the Dutch active voice
The Dutch active voice is used when the subject in the sentence is performing the action. This form is mainly used in the Dutch language.
|Ik heb dat boek gelezen.||
||I have read that book.|
|De hond had het stuk vlees opgegeten.||
||The dog had eaten the piece of meat.|
|Het meisje drinkt water.||
||The girl drinks water.|
2) Passive voice
Definition and usage of the Dutch passive voice
The Dutch passive voice is used when the subject in the sentence is not performing the action. In a passive sentence the focus is on the action and not on the subject. The passive is mostly used when it is not important who performed the action of the sentence. The following rule is used to form the passive:
'zijn' / 'worden' + past participle
- 'Worden' is used when the action is still going on at that moment.
- 'Zijn' is used when the action has finished at that moment.
The following steps show the change from an active sentence to a passive sentence:
- The subject becomes the adverbial clause in the sentence, starting with 'door' (by someone or something).
- The direct object becomes the subject in the sentence.
- 'zijn' or ''worden' are added.
|Het boek werd door mij gelezen.||
||The book was read by me.|
|Het stuk vlees is door de hond opgegeten.||
||The piece of meat has been eaten by the dog.|
|Het water wordt door het meisje gedronken.||
||The water is drunk by the girl.|
Compare the examples of the passive voice to the examples of the active voice and notice the difference: the subjects of the passive voice become objects in the active voice.
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