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Luxembourgish Lessons #28: The Passive Voice, Ep. III: Perfect Tense

Welcome to number twenty-eight of the Luxembourgish lessons, which will be discussing how to form the perfect tense in the passive voice.

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Perfect Active v. Perfect Passive

Back in lesson nineteen, I discussed how the perfect tense was formed in the active voice, which required the use of both the conjugated form of the auxiliary verbs hunn and sinn and the past participle of the main verb. For example, the verb froen would conjugate in the perfect tense like so:

froen - to ask

In that instance, the auxiliary verb was hunn. The perfect passive, however, involves the use of the auxiliary verb, the past participle of the verb, and the past participle of the auxiliary verb ginn (which, coincidentally, is ginn). The word order would go as follows:

subject + auxiliary verb + past participle + ginn

In the active voice, the past participle in question is the main verb of the sentence. For example, in the sentence Ech hu gefrot, gefrot is the main verb and its auxiliary verb is hunn. Now compare that to the perfect passive conjugation of froen:

Notice that instead of hunn, the auxiliary verb in use is sinn. How in the sweet name of Lëtzebuerg can this be?

Well, in the perfect passive, ginn becomes the main verb of the sentence (ginn's auxiliary verb is sinn). This means that perfect passive verbs will always take the auxiliary verb sinn, no matter if the past participle takes a different auxiliary.


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March 20, 2017

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