2A man was murdered yesterday in the park. In Spanish and English, the passive voice is used when the person doing the action is unclear or unknown. Look at this sentence:A man was murdered yesterday in the park.(It is not known who killed the man, so the passive voice is used here.)Newspapers often use the passive voice when the reporters don’t know who the person doing the action (the agent) was.
3Forming the passive voice is fairly easy to do in Spanish Forming the passive voice is fairly easy to do in Spanish. First you use the passive voice pronoun “se”, then you use either the singular third person form (if there is only one person involved) or the plural third person form (if more than one person was involved). Look at these sentences:A man was murdered yesterday in the park.Se mató un hombre ayer en el parque.Two men were murdered yesterday in the park.Se mataron dos hombres ayer en el parque.Notice in the first blue sentence that the singular form of the verb “matar” was used, because one man was killed. In the second blue sentence, the plural form of the verb is used, because more than one man was killed.
4Spanish also uses the passive voice for impersonal expressions like “How do you spell that?” (“How does one spell that?”) or “Spanish is spoken here.” The passive voice is used here because there is not a specified person doing the action.No se permite fumar aquí.Smoking is not permitted here.¿Cómo se dice “dog” en español?How do you (does one) say “dog” in Spanish?
5Let’s do a few more. No _______ aquí. (estacionar) Let’s do some practice. Write the correct passive voice form of the given verb. Don’t forget the “se” first! _______ casas aquí. (vender)That’s right… it’sse venden!Let’s do a few more. No _______ aquí. (estacionar)That’s right… it’sse estaciona!
6Ayer [past tense] _______ dos muchachos. (arrestar) That’s right… it’sse arrestaron!Ayer [past tense] _______ un retrato del museo. (robar)That’s right… it’sse robó!
7No _______ hablar inglés en la clase de español. (permitir) That’s right… it’sse permite!_______ vegetales en el mercado. (vender)That’s right… it’sse venden!
8VOILA!See how easy that was? Now try some on your own – click the button to do a practice quiz.PracticeQuizReplay