Status Passive

In German, there are two types of passive: Process Passive and Status Passive. They have different meanings, constructions, and uses. In this lesson we focus on the status passive.

The Status Passive

In the process passive, the focus is on the action. In the status passive, the action has already been completed, and the focus is on the status after the action. Therefore, only verbs that result in a change of status can be put into the status passive voice.

Who does the action and causes the change in status is not important.

Examples:

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

The action has already taken place.

⇒ During the action, the woman was injured.

⇒ Her current status: she is injured.

Constructing the Status Passive

Present Tense

It's made of 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

It's made of three parts.

modal verb + past participle + sein

Example:

  • „Das Fenster muss geöffnet sein.“

The modal verb is conjugated and "sein" goes at the end of the sentence. The past participle goes in the second to last position.

Status Passive in All Tenses

It is impossible to form the status passive in any other tense.

Examples of the Status Passive

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."

Word Order


Related Topics:

There is another type of passive: Process Passive. There is a special form of the process passive called the impersonal passive.

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