Voice

Passive 2

In this second module on the Passive Voice, you will learn more about the Passive with modal verbs in the present tense and past tense. We learned how to form these passive constructions in the module Passive 1, but here we will go over more examples and rules.

Activity 1

A.

First, let’s pay attention to the verbs and review how the passive is being formed in the present tense with modal verbs by reading the examples below. They are taken from Das Digitale Wörterbuch der Deutschen Sprache (DWDS), a large electronic collection of German texts known as a corpus.

B.

Which rule best describes the formation of the present passive?

Activity 2

Read the active voice sentences below and decide how these sentences should be changed into the passive voice with modal verbs in the present tense.

Summary for Activity 2:

Remember: to form the passive with modal verbs in the present tense, you need to use a conjugated form of the modal verb in the present tense, a past participle of the main verb, and the infinitive form of the helping verb werden.

Activity 3

Now, let`s review the passive voice with modal verbs in the past tense. Read the examples taken from DWDS below and decide on the correct rule for creating the passive with modal verbs.

  1. Zwei neue Stadien mussten gebaut werden, obwohl die in Gabuns Profiliga mit 14 Teams nie voll werden.
    Die Zeit, 01.02.2017 (online)
  2. Die Wohnungen sollten gekauft werden, über die Konditionen wollte man allerdings neu verhandeln.
    Die Zeit, 26.02.1988, Nr. 09
  3. Häuser konnten gebaut werden.
    Die Zeit, 24.06.1983, Nr. 26
  4. 30.07.2001 G-8-Gipfel Worthülsen helfen armen Ländern nicht. Am vorletzten Wochenende in Genua konnte man also lernen, was die Chefs der mächtigsten Staaten der Welt denken: Frieden ist gut, Krieg ist schlecht, Armut unerwünscht und Recht & Steuern Krankheiten sollten behandelt werden.
    Der Tagesspiegel, 29.07.2001

Activity 4

Next, choose the correct passive voice sentence with modal verbs in the past tense.

Activity 5

In the present tense and simple past passive, you can sometimes have no grammatical subject. In these types of sentences, how should we conjugate the helping verb werden?

A.

B.

Now, decide how to conjugate the helping verb.

Activity 6

On your own. Write 5 sentences in the Passive voice with modal verbs. You may use any tense and any modal verbs. Pay attention if an agent is used. Remember: if the agent is a person, von + dative must be used, and if the agent is not a person, durch + accusative is used. (You may review this rule in the module Passive 1).

For example:

Die Spiele dürfen von den Kindern gespielt werden.
Die Städte mussten wieder aufgebaut werden.
Das Haus konnte zerstört werden.