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German Status Passive

German grammar has two different types of passive voice. The process and the status passive voice.  This lecture is about the status passive, its construction, construction, word order, and meaning itself. More information about the process passive can be found in lecture 4.12.1 Process Passive.

The Status Passive

 

In process passive it´s all about the action. About what is happening. In status passive the action is already finished. ›It focuses on the condition after an action

That´s why only verbs that lead to an condition can use status passive. Who is acting doesn´t matter.

Examples:

  • ›„Die Frau wurde angefahren. Sie ist verletzt.“

During the action, the woman was injured.

⇒ Her current condition: she is injured.

⇒ Who hit the woman with the car doesn´t matter or is unknown.

Construction: Status Passive

In General

››The status passive is constructed from two parts:

sein + past participle

Example:

  • „Das Fenster ist geöffnet.“

›„sein“ ›is conjugated and the past participle goes at the end of the sentence.

With Modal Verbs

›The status passive with modal verbs is constructed from three parts

modal verb + past participle + sein

Example:

  • „Das Fenster muss geöffnet sein.“

››The modal verb is conjugated and „sein“ goes after the past participle at the end of the sentence.

Construction: All Tenses

Tense
Status Passive
Simple Present:
sein + past participle
Simple Past:
waren + past participle
Future 1:
werden + past participle + sein

It is impossible to form status passive in other tenses.

Examples

Simple Present:

  • „Der Mann ist schwer verletzt.”
  • „Der Zaun ist frisch gestrichen.”

Simple Past:

  • „Der Mann war schwer verletzt.”
  • „Der Zaun war frisch gestrichen.”

Future 1:

  • „Der Mann wird schwer verletzt sein.”
  • „Der Zaun wird frisch gestrichen sein.”

Further Information

  • If we talk about passive in general, we don´t mean the status passive. We mean the process passive.
  • To form the status passive you need the verbs “sein“, “werden” (in the past) and the past participle.

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