Passive and Active tenses in German

Hello, I need a good examplation of Active and passive tense in german, please.


November 29, 2017


    First thing: It's called active voice and passive voice. They are not tenses. Both active and passive voice can be combined with the tenses, so you end up with "active present" and "passive future" and so on.

    Active voice is just 'normal' grammar. You have someone or something that does an action. You conjugate the verb describing the action to the subject that's doing it:

    Present: Er kauft das Brot
    Past (Preterite): Er kaufte das Brot
    Past (Perfect): Er hat das Brot gekauft
    Past (PQP): Er hatte das Brot gekauft
    Future: Er wird das Brot kaufen
    Future II: Er wird das Brot gekauft haben

    Passive voice doesn't mention who is doing the action. "The bread gets bought" is an example of the passive voice. As in English, in German you then need to conjugate the verb to the thing that was previously the object because it's now the subject. You also need a helping verb. English uses "gets" and German uses werden.

    Present: Das Brot wird gekauft
    Past (Preterite): Das Brot wurde gekauft
    Past (Perfect): Das Brot ist gekauft worden
    Past (PQP): Das Brot war gekauft worden
    Future: Das Brot wird gekauft werden
    Future II: Das Brot wird gekauft worden sein

    There are some other ways of formulating the passive voice too, which that link and others will inform you of. Things get even more interesting when you start complicating things with modal verbs, subjunctive mood, subclauses, or all of them at once!

    November 29, 2017

    Hi az_p,

    a great explantion. Hut ab!

    best regards Angel

    November 29, 2017

    Hi Bourg,

    for the passive voice I have a good site for you. I think the explanations there are not bad. For active voice I have to do some more digging. But maybe you find answers to your questions about active voice on this page, too.

    best regards Angel

    November 29, 2017
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