Spanish Advanced Sample – La Voz Pasiva

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LECCIÓN 6  / Advanced

LA VOZ PASIVA

While the active voice has a subject that acts upon an object (e.g., María golpeó la silla), the passive voice has the subject acted upon (La silla fue golpeada por María). To change a sentence from the active voice to the passive voice, the direct object of the active sentence becomes the new subject. The old subject of the active sentence becomes what is called “the agent.”

EXAMPLES
Los chicos son capturados por la policía.
The kids are captured by the police.
El actor Sergio Mayer y la actriz Issabela Camil fueron casados por un cura.
The actor Sergio Mayer and the actress Issabela Camil were married by a priest.
Nuevos planetas serán descubiertos por los astronautas.
New planets will be discovered by the astronauts.
Esas novelas han sido escritas por varios autores ecuatorianos.
Those novels have been written by several Ecuadorian authors.
How is the passive voice formed?
The true passive is made up of the following components:

*“Por” is sometimes replaced by “de” when the action is emotional: El dictador es odiado de todos.

Let’s convert a few sentences:
  • Active sentence: Mis hermanos compraron los relojes.
    Passive sentence: Los relojes fueron comprados por mis hermanos.
  • Active sentence: Mis hermanos compraron los relojes.
    Passive sentence: Los relojes fueron comprados por mis hermanos.
  • Active sentence: Los chicos aman a la nueva niñera.
    Passive sentence: La nueva niñera es amada por (de) los chicos.
  • Active sentence: Inventaré una máquina increíble.
    Passive sentence: Una máquina increíble será inventada por mí.
Reminders:
  • The past participle will agree in gender and number with the subject of “ser.”
  • Use prepositional pronouns after “por” and “de”mí, ti, Ud., él, ella, nosotros/nosotras, vosotros/vosotras, Uds., ellos, ellas.
  • “Ser” can be conjugated in any tense; use the same tense as you would use with the active voice.
  • It is not always essential to include “por” and the agent (e.g., El hotel fue pintado el verano pasado).
  • The passive construction tends to be used more frequently in writing than in speaking. Other passive constructions, including those that use “se” (Lección Nueve), seem more common in speech.