Passive Voice Conjugations

Italian passive voice conjugations
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Coniugazioni della voce passiva

Like compound tenses and moods, the passive voice has two components:

  verb conjugation
1. essere depends on tense/mood
2. main verb past participle

To turn the active voice into the passive voice, the verb essere is conjugated into whatever tense or mood was used in the active voice, and the main verb—the one originally conjugated into that tense or mood—turns into a past participle.

 The addition of essere means that there is always one more verb in the passive voice than in the active voice.

  • Simple verb forms, which have a single verb in the active voice, have two verbs in the passive.
  • Compound verb forms, which have two verbs in the active voice, have three verbs in the passive.

Per esempio…

Here is the verb vedere (to see) in the active and passive voices:

  • Present tense (simple conjugation) – I see  vs  I am seen.
  • Passato prossimo (compound conjugation) – I saw  vs  I was seen.
Present tense (simple)   Passé composé (compound)
Active Passive   Active Passive
io vedo sono visto / vista   ho visto sono stato visto / vista
tu vedi sei visto / vista   hai visto sei stato visto / vista
lui vede è visto   ha visto è stato visto
lei vede è vista   ha visto è stata vista
noi vediamo siamo visti / viste   abbiamo visto siamo stati visti / viste
voi vedete siete visti / viste   avete visto siete stati visti / viste
loro vedono sono visti / viste   hanno visto sono stati visti / viste

 Note that, as with essere verbs in the compound tenses, the past participle of the main verb must agree with the subject in the passive voice.

In addition, stato also has to agree with the subject.

Per esempio…

Questi trattamenti sono considerati invasivi.   These treatments are seen as (considered) invasive.
È stata vista qui ogni giorno.   She’s been seen here every day.

All verb tenses and moods can be used in the passive voice; it’s just a matter of conjugating essere into that tense or mood.

  Active voice   Passive voice
present   Marco lava il cane.
Marco is washing the dog.
  Il cane è stato lavato da Marco.
The dog is being washed by Marco.
imperfect   Marco lavava il cane.
Marco was washing the dog.
  Il cane era stato lavato da Marco.
The dog was being washed by Marco.
conditional   Marco laverebbe il cane.
Marco would wash the dog.
  Il cane sarebbe lavato da Marco.
The dog would be washed by Marco.
future perfect   Marco avrà lavato il cane.
Marco will have washed the dog.
  Il cane sarà stato lavato da Marco.
The dog will have been washed by Marco.

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Voce passivea - Italian passive voice

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