VOZ PASIVA/ PASSIVE VOICE
AUDIO: Click on an underlined word for audio; to hear the word again, click on the PLAY button of the audio player to maximize the use of your computer's resources. More info.
SUBJECT + SER+ PAST PARTICIPLE + POR ( DE**) + AGENT
The active voice is the most commonly used in ordinary conversation, and it indicates that the subject performs the action as in the following examples:
- El contador preparó el formulario./ The accountant prepared the form.
- Le pagamos al corredor su comisión./ We paid the broker his commission.
The passive voice is not frequently used in ordinary conversation, but it is used in writing, such as news broadcasting, newspapers, and formal speeches. In a passive sentence, the subject receives the action as in the following examples:
- El formulario fue preparado por el contador./ The form was prepared by the accountant.
- La comisión fue pagada por nosotros./ The commission was paid by us.
HOW TO FORM THE PASSIVE VOICE
To form the passive voice, the verb ser/to be is used. The past participle functions as an adjective; therefore, it agrees with the gender and number of the subject it modifies.
SUBJECT + SER + PAST PARTICIPLE + POR ( DE**) + AGENT
- La comida + fue + preparada + por + el cocinero./ The food was prepared by the cook.
- Las comidas + fueron + preparadas + por + el cocinero./ The foods were prepared by the cook.
- El oleoducto + será + construido + por + Shell./ The pipeline will be constructed by Shell.
- Los oleoductos + serán + construidos + por + Shell./ The pipelines will be constructed by Shell.
**NOTE: When the superlative is used, the preposition de is used instead of por.
- Madre Teresa fue la más amada de todos./ Mother Teresa was the most loved by everyone.
LESSONS: Quality Control I & Quality Control Ia.
USING THE VERB ESTAR
To describe an action, the verb ser is used in the passive; however, to express the result of an action, the verb estar is used instead.
- El contrato fue escrito en inglés./ The contract was written in English (by someone).
- El libro está escrito en inglés./ The book is written in English (published in English).
SE CONSTRUCTION FOR PASSIVE VOICE
Se + verb conjugated in the 3rd person singular or plural construction for passive voice is much more frequently used in conversations. This construction is equivalent to the English construction to be + past participle. Usually the verb precedes the subject.
- Se recaudará el impuesto al tabaco en todos los estados./ Tobacco tax will be collected in all states.
- Se ha aprobado el aumento al impuesto al alcohol./ The increase to the alcohol tax has been approved.
In Spanish, some sentences conjugated in the third person plural are equivalent to the passive se construction. Even though the following sentence is in active voice, ellos/ they implies passive voice. They is used in a general sense.
- Dicen que lloverá./ They say that it will rain.
LESSONS: Quality Control II & Quality Control IIa.