Active voice and passive voice in Italian
Some type of verbs in Italian can present both an active and a passive voice (voce passiva and voce attiva).
These verbs are in particular the transitive ones (that is, verbs which always require a subject and at least an object).
Active in Italian
The active form of the transitive verbs presents the following structure:
- Subject + Verb + Object.
The main function of the active voice is to point out who is acting and which is the direct object of the verb.
Remember! The verbs with the active voice have the auxiliary avere (to have) for the compound tenses.
Example of the active voice
Simple tense: present indicative
Luigi mangia la pera. (Luigi eats the pear)
|Compound tense: present perfect indicative||Luigi ha mangiato la pera. (Luigi ate the pear)|
Passive in Italian
The Italian passive voice (voce passiva) aims to focus on the action conveyed by the verb and neither on the subject nor on the object.
Usually, the structure of the passive voice follows the same rules:
- the subject of the active sentence becomes the agent of the passive one;
- the object of the active sentence becomes the subject of the passive one.
Example of the passive voice
|Simple tense: present indicative||La pera è mangiata da Luigi. (The pear is eaten by Luigi)|
|Compound tense: present perfect indicative||La pera è stata mangiata da Luigi. (The pear has been eaten by Luigi)|
Conjugation of the passive voices
The passive voice, instead, conjugates verbs using:
- the verb essere + the past participle of the specific verb in simple tenses;
- the compound form of essere (essere stato) + the past participle of the specific verb for the compound tenses.
Remember! In the passive form, the past participle both of the verb (for the simple tenses) and of essere (for the compound tenses) has to follow the agreement with the subject of the sentence for number and gender.
Below, you will find the conjugation tables for the verb vedere (to see).
|Present||Present Perfect||Imperfect||Past Perfect||Absolute Past||Preterite Perfect||Future Simple||Future Perfect|
|Io||sono visto||sono stato visto||ero visto||ero stato visto||fui visto||fui stato visto||sarò visto||sarò stato visto|
|Tu||sei visto||sei stato visto||eri visto||eri stato visto||fosti visto||fosti stato visto||sarai visto||sarai stato visto|
|Egli / ella||è visto||è stato visto||era visto||era stato visto||fu visto||fu stato visto||sarà visto||sarà stato visto|
|Noi||siamo visti||siamo stati visti||eravamo visti||eravamo stati visti||fummo visti||fummo stati visti||saremo visti||saremo stati visti|
|Voi||siete visti||siete stati visti||eravate visti||eravate stati visti||foste visti||foste stati visti||sarete visti||sarete stati visti|
|Essi / esse||sono visti||sono stati visti||erano visti||erano stati visti||furono visti||furono stati visti||saranno visti||saranno stati visti|
|(Che) io||sia visto||sia stato visto||fossi visto||fossi stato visto|
|(Che) tu||sia visto||sia stato visto||fossi visto||fossi stato visto|
|(Che) egli / ella||sia visto||sia stato visto||fosse visto||fosse stato visto|
|(Che) noi||siamo visti||siamo stati visti||fossimo visti||fossimo stati visti|
|(Che) voi||siate visti||siate stati visti||foste visti||foste stati visti|
|(Che) essi / esse||siano visti||siano stati visti||fossero visti||fossero stati visti|
|Io||sarei visto||sarei stato visto|
|Tu||saresti visto||saresti stato visto|
|Egli / ella||sarebbe visto||sarebbe stato visto|
|Noi||saremmo visti||saremmo stati visti|
|Voi||sareste visti||sareste stati visti|
|Essi / esse||sarebbero visti||sarebbero stati visti|
|Essere visto||Essere stato visto|
|Egli / ella||sia visto|
|Essi / esse||siano visti|
|Essendo visto||Essendo stato visto|
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