La voz pasiva

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La voz pasiva

The passive voice is usually constructed with the verbs ser or estar (to be) + participle + por (by)

Las tapas están hechas por Carolina.

The tapas are made by Carolina.

Las tapas son comidas por Nacho.

The tapas are eaten by Nacho.

The verb (ser or estar) is conjugated in the same tense as the verb in the sentence in the active voice.

El gato comió un ratón (comió = pretérito indefinido) Un ratón fue comido por el gato (fue = pretérito indefinido).

The cat ate a mouse (past tense) A mouse was eaten by the cat (past tense).

El gato ha comido un ratón (ha comido = pretérito perfecto) Un ratón ha sido comido por el gato (ha sido = pretérito perfecto).

The cat has eaten a mouse (present perfect tense) A mouse has been eaten by the cat (present perfect tense).

The participle agrees with the subject in terms of gender (♂♀) and number (singular, plural).

El cuadro fue pintado por Velázquez.

The painting was painted by Velázquez.

La bufanda está tejida a mano.

The scarf is hand knitted.

Notes:

  • In the passive voice, the subject who receives the action is emphasized, not the person or thing carrying out the action.

Alfonso Cuarón dirigió la película. La película fue dirigida por Alfonso Cuarón (enfatizamos en la película, que recibe la acción de Alfonso Cuarón).

Alfonso Cuarón directed the movie The movie was directed by Alfonso Cuarón (we’re emphasizing la película (the movie), which receives the action carried out by Alfonso Cuarón).

  • In the passive voice, we don't always say who carries out the action.

Todos los vuelos fueron cancelados (no sabemos por quién).

All flights were cancelled (we don’t know who cancelled them).

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