• French grammar
  • 1 French alphabet
  • 2 French pronunciation and phonetics [0/7]
  • 3 Nature and function of French words [0/23]
  • Multiple choice exercise about the nature of French words (Score -/-)
  • Multiple choice questions about the function of French words (Score -/-)
  • 3.1 The subject in French [0/3]
  • 3.2 The apostrophe and apposition in French [0/2]
  • 3.3 The complement object in French [0/12]
  • 3.4 The circumstancial complement in French [0/2]
  • 3.5 The agent complement in French [0/2]
  • 4 French articles [0/9]
  • 5 French nouns [0/13]
  • 6 French pronouns [0/20]
  • Multiple choice questions about the pronouns in French (Score -/-)
  • 6.1 French personal pronouns - je, tu, il [0/3]
  • 6.2 French possessive pronouns - le mien, le tien [0/2]
  • 6.3 French reflexive pronouns - me, te, se [0/2]
  • 6.4 French demonstrative pronouns - celui, celle, ceux [0/2]
  • 6.5 French relative pronouns - qui, que, qu' [0/4]
  • 6.6 French indefinite pronouns - tout, chacun [0/2]
  • 6.7 French interrogative pronouns - qui, que, lequel [0/2]
  • 6.8 French adverbial pronouns - en, y [0/2]
  • 7 French adjectives [0/17]
  • Multiple choice questions about the epithet, attribute in French (Score -/-)
  • 7.1 Endings of regular and irregular French adjectives [0/3]
  • 7.2 Comparative and superlative of French adjectives [0/3]
  • 7.3 Placement of French adjectives [0/2]
  • 7.4 French possessive adjectives - mon, ton, son [0/4]
  • 7.5 French demonstrative adjectives - ce, cette [0/2]
  • 7.6 French indefinite adjectives - toutes, quelques [0/2]
  • 8 French adverbs [0/18]
  • 9 French prepositions [0/10]
  • 10 French verbs [0/135]
  • 10.1 Tenses and moods in French [0/63]
  • 10.1.1 Indicative in French [0/26]
  • Present tense in French [0/2]
  • Past tenses in French [0/13]
  • Future tenses in French [0/11]
  • 10.1.2 Subjunctive in French (le Subjonctif) [0/11]
  • 10.1.3 Conditional in French (le conditionnel) [0/10]
  • 10.1.4 Imperative in French [0/3]
  • 10.1.5 Infinitive in French [0/4]
  • 10.1.6 Gerund in French [0/2]
  • 10.1.7 Present participle in French [0/3]
  • 10.1.8 Past participle in French [0/4]
  • 10.2 French auxiliary verbs (avoir, être) [0/11]
  • 10.3 Modal verbs in French [0/17]
  • Fill in the blank exercise for the modal verbs in French (Score -/-)
  • 10.3.1 Conjugation of pouvoir (can) in French [0/4]
  • 10.3.2 Conjugation of devoir (should) in French [0/4]
  • 10.3.3 conjugation of vouloir (want) in French [0/4]
  • 10.3.4 Conjugation of savoir (to know) in French [0/4]
  • 10.4 Passive voice in French [0/4]
  • 10.5 Reflexive verbs in French [0/4]
  • 10.6 Irregular verbs in French [0/24]
  • Fill in the blanks exercise of the irregular verbs in French (Score -/-)
  • Fill in the blanks exercise of the irregular verbs in French II (Score -/-)
  • 10.6.1 Conjugation of venir (to come) in French [0/4]
  • 10.6.2 conjugation of aller (to go) in French [0/4]
  • 10.6.3 conjugation of faire (to do) in French [0/4]
  • 10.6.4 conjugation of prendre (to take) in French [0/3]
  • 10.6.5 conjugation of voir (to see) in French [0/3]
  • 10.6.6 Conjugation of partir (to leave) in French [0/4]
  • 10.7 Regular verbs in French [0/8]
  • 10.8 Reported Speech in French [0/4]
  • 11 French sentence structure [0/25]
  • Multiple choice questions about the sentence structure in French (Score -/-)
  • 11.1 The phrases in French [0/5]
  • 11.2 The forms of phrases in French [0/7]
  • 11.3 The types of phrases in French [0/8]
  • 11.4 The propositions in French [0/4]
  • 12 French si clauses [0/3]
  • 13
  • Passive voice in French

    What is the passive form in French ? 

    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.

    Examples  Voice Translation 
    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. 

    Recap: what is the active voice in French ? 

    The active voice (French: voix active) presents the subject as agent of the action.


    • Le chat boit du lait(The cat is drinking milk) 
    • Julien a eu une bonne note(Julian had a good mark.)
    • Maman prépare une belle surprise(Mom is preparing a beautiful surprise.)

    Formation of the active voice

    The active voice is formed with the: subject + verb + direct object complement (COD). 

    Subject Verb Object
    Le chat  boit  du lait
    Julien a eu  une bonne note 
    Maman  prépare une belle surprise

    enlightenedDirect objects are sentence complements that receive the action of a transitive verb, with no intervening prepositions. 

    Formation of the passive voice

    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:

    • The auxiliary "être", which is conjugated according to the mote, the tense and agrees with the person and the number.
    • The past participle of the verb of the action.
    • The subject (agent) is introduced by "par"
    Tense active voice passive voice 
    indicative j'aime je suis aimé(e)
    imperfect j'aimais j'étais 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)
    imperative  aime sois aimé(e)


    • Du lait est bu par le chat(milk is being drunk by the cat.)
    • Une bonne note a été eu par Julien(a good mark have been got by Julian.)
    • Une belle surprise est préparée par maman(a good surprise is made by mom.) 

    enlightenedYou 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) 

    enlightenedYou cannot form the passive when the subject is a pronoun.

    Use of the passive voice in French

    You use the passive form to emphasize

    • The object of the verb instead of the subject
    • An event without mentioning the subject 
    • Inventions, laws 
    Usage Examples Translation
    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:

    • The verb of the sentence is an intransitive verb (tomber, courir, sourire, nager)
    • The verb of the sentence is built with a indirect complement

    enlightenedSome verbs as conseiller, demander, dire, parler, permettre, répondre, appeler are not used in the passive voice

    Substitutes for the passive 

    • Instead of using the passive, you can create active sentences with "on". Such constructions are very popular in colloquial French. 
    • Reflexive verbs are often used especially when the agent (subject) is not mentioned and when something is involved. 
    • A construction with se faire + infinitive can apply only to persons
    • The construction être l'objet de is typical of journalese
    use  Examples  Translation 
    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 

    enlightenedKeep your motivation and test your knowledge about the passive form with our exercises! 


    Fill in the blank exercise for the passive voice in French

    Fill in the blank exercise for the active voice in French

    Fill in the blank exercise for the passive voice using reflexive verbs in French

    Drag and drop exercise about the passive voice in French