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Luxembourgish Lessons #26: The Passive Voice, Part I: Present Tense

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Welcome to number twenty-six of the Luxembourgish lessons, which will discuss how to use and form present tense verbs in the passive voice. The passive voice will be the

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The Passive Voice

I touched on the passive voice in the last lesson, but to recap, the passive voice is a grammatical construction where the object of an action acts as the subject. In other words, where the active voice has the subject doing an action, the passive voice has the action being done to the subject.

Forming the Present Passive

To form the present passive, two things are required: A present tense conjugation of the auxiliary verb ginn and the past participle of the main verb. The conjugation of ginn goes as follows:

Below are examples of the present tense conjugations of the verb iessen, in both the active and passive voices:

iessen - to eat

Now compare that to the passive form:

The past participle occurs at the end of an independent clause (as with every other time the past participle has been discussed).

Keep in mind that Luxembourgish has no continuous aspect, meaning that a sentence such as "I am eaten" and "I am being eaten" translate the same way: Ech gi giess.

Duerch

The word duerch translates as "through" or "by" (as in "by means of"). Likewise, when you want to specify what the action was committed by, you would use the preposition.

Since durech is a preposition, it can occur after the past participle. For example, the sentence "The cake is (being) eaten by me) can be translated in one of two ways*:

  • De Kuch gëtt duerch mech giess
  • De Kuch gëtt giess duerch mech
*Quick Note

Technically, the preposition could also appear in the beginning of the sentence, therefore offering a total of three translations. (i.e. Duerch mech gëtt de Kuch giess).


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