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The passive form (French: la forme passive) is a transformation of the active phrase in which the subject of the active voice becomes complement.
In the passive sentence, the subject becomes the agent complement and the direct object of the active voice becomes the subject.
|Le garagiste répare la voiture.||Active||The mechanic repairs the car.|
|La voiture est réparée par le garagiste.||Passive||The car has been repaired by the mechanic.|
The active voice (French: voix active) presents the subject as agent of the action.
The active voice is formed with the: subject + verb + direct object complement (COD).
|Le chat||boit||du lait|
|Julien||a eu||une bonne note|
|Maman||prépare||une belle surprise|
Direct objects are sentence complements that receive the action of a transitive verb, with no intervening prepositions.
The passive voice (French: voix passive) presents the subject as agent undergoing the action. By changing the voice of the sentence, therefore we present the same action, the same event, but in a different way.
The passive voice is always made up of:
|Tense||active voice||passive voice|
|indicative||j'aime||je suis aimé(e)|
|past compound||j'ai aimé||j'ai été aimé(e)|
|future simple||j'aimerai||je serai aimé(e)|
|present conditional||j'aimerais||je serais aimé(e)|
|past conditional||j'aurais aimé||j'aurais été aimé(e)|
You use "de" to introduce the subject with verbs like: "aimer", "connaître", "respecter".
Tout le monde aime cette personne → Cette personne est aimée de tous (everyone loves this person)
You cannot form the passive when the subject is a pronoun.
You use the passive form to emphasize
|the object of the verb||la télévision a été inventée par John Baird||the television has been invented by John Baird|
|event||le président Kennedy a été assassiné||the president Kennedy has been murdered|
|invention, laws||une loi a été votée||a law just passed|
Therefore the passive transformation is only possible with verbs that accept a direct object complement (transitive verbs).
It cannot be used in the passive voice when:
Some verbs as conseiller, demander, dire, parler, permettre, répondre, appeler are not used in the passive voice
|active sentence with "on"||on a décidé d'augmenter la TVA||we decided to increase the VTA|
|reflexive verbs||le médicament se boit avec de l'eau||the medicine is taken with water|
|se faire + infinitive||elle se fait offrir une bague||she was offered a ring|
|être l'objet de||son arrestation sera l'objet de beaucoup de discussions||his arrest will be the subject of much debate|
Keep your motivation and test your knowledge about the passive form with our exercises!
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