3 minutes reading time (669 words)

New German Lesson: Passive Voice Formed with "Werden" - Grammar

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We're excited to announce that Nina Freebird of Vocal Creations Berlin has just published "Passive Voice Formed with "Werden" - Grammar", a new Intermediate level German language lesson, on Language Mentor! 

Lesson Script

Das Passiv gebildet mit "Werden"
The Passive Voice Formed with "Werden"

The Passive Voice
In this lesson you will learn the difference between the active voice and the passive voice in German grammar. The passive voice focuses on activity itself rather than on who is doing the action. Most sentences that include a direct object can be converted to the passive voice. For example, "Carl throws the ball" can be converted to "The ball is being thrown". Note how the subject, Carl, has become irrelevant and has therefore been thrown out of the sentence. "The ball" has become the subject of the new sentence, and the focus is on the activity, i.e. the throwing of the ball, itself.

Passive Voice Formed with "Werden"
In this lesson we practice using the verb "werden" plus a past participle to create sentences in the passive voice. For example, the sentence "Der Ball wird geworfen" uses the verb "wird" and the past participle "geworfen", and means "The ball is being thrown". This approach, where we use the verb "werden" to form the passive voice is called "Vorgangspassiv", which means "processual passive" in English.

The teacher gives the student the report card. (active voice)
Der Lehrer gibt dem Schüler das Zeugnis.

The report card is being given to the student. (passive voice)
Das Zeugnis wird dem Schüler gegeben.

Carl passes the ball to Philipp. (active voice)
Karl schießt den Ball zu Philipp.

The ball is being passed to Philipp. (passive voice)
Der Ball wird zu Philipp geschossen.

The Carson firm renovates the school. (active voice)
Die Firma Carson renoviert die Schule.

The school is being renovated. (passive voice)
Die Schule wird renoviert.

My mother gives me a necklace.
Meine Mutter schenkt mir eine Kette.

I am being given a necklace.
Mir wird eine Kette geschenkt.

My friend offers us a cup of tea.
Meine Freundin bietet uns eine Tasse Tee an.

A cup of tea is being offered to us.
Uns wird eine Tasse Tee angeboten.

Carla is ironing her father's shirt.
Carla bügelt das Hemd ihres Vaters.

Her father's shirt is being ironed.
Das Hemd ihres Vaters wird gebügelt.

The parents set the table for dinner.
Die Eltern decken den Tisch für das Abendbrot.

The table is being set for dinner.
Der Tisch wird für das Abendbrot gedeckt.

The doctors save the patient's life.
Die Ärzte retten der Patientin das Leben.

The patient's life is being saved.
Der Patientin wird das Leben gerettet.

Sarah's grandma picks us up from the airport with the car.
Sarahs Oma holt uns mit dem Auto vom Flughafen ab.

We are being picked up from the airport with the car.
Wir werden mit dem Auto vom Flughafen abgeholt.

The child cuts a book in the library.
Das Kind zerschneidet ein Buch in der Bibliothek.

A book is being cut in the library.
Ein Buch wird in der Bibliothek zerschnitten.

Two men help the woman carry the buggy.
Zwei Männer helfen der Frau den Kinderwagen zu tragen.

The woman is being helped to carry the buggy.
Der Frau wird geholfen den Kinderwagen zu tragen.

The police arrest three culprits in the bar.
Die Polizei nimmt drei Täter in der Bar fest.

Three culprits are being arrested in the bar.

Drei Täter werden in der Bar festgenommen. 

About Language Mentor

You can study this lesson, and many others, using Language Mentor - an audio-centric app that is designed to be used while your hands and eyes are busy doing other things. You can download it at the Android Play Store and the iPhone App Store.

Creative Commons License

This article and the lesson that it presents are both licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International license.
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