The Passive Voice (la voix passive) Flashcards Preview

Francais > The Passive Voice (la voix passive) > Flashcards

Flashcards in The Passive Voice (la voix passive) Deck (45):
1

The Passive Voice (la voix passive)
What is the difference between the active and passive voice?

In the active voice, the subject performs the action expressed by the verb and the object receives it. In a sentethe perfonce using the passive voice, the subject is acted upon. The performer of this action is called the agent and is generally introduced by the preposition ''par''. When a sentence using the active voice is changed into one using the passive voice, the object of the active sentence becomes the subject of the passive sentence, and the subject of the active sentence becomes the agent of the passive sentence.

2

The Passive Voice (la voix passive)
The police arrest the burglar.

La police arrête le cambrioleur.

3

The Passive Voice (la voix passive)
The burglar is arrested by the police.

Le cambrioleur est arrêté par la police.

4

The Passive Voice (la voix passive)
How is the passive voice formed?

The passive voice is formed by combing the desired tense of ''être'' with the past participle of the verb in question. English does the same using the verb ''to be''. The past participle of the verb agrees in gender and number with the subject of the sentence.
f.e. Je suis invité.

5

The Passive Voice (la voix passive)
I was being invited.

j'étais invité(e)

6

The Passive Voice (la voix passive)
I was / have been invited.

j'ai été invité(e).

7

The Passive Voice (la voix passive)
I have just been invited.

je viens d'être invité(e)

8

The Passive Voice (la voix passive)
I had been invited.

j'avais été invité(e).

9

The Passive Voice (la voix passive)
I was invited.

je fus invité(e).

10

The Passive Voice (la voix passive)
I will be invited.

je serai invité(e)

11

The Passive Voice (la voix passive)
I will have been invited.

j'aurai été invité(e)

12

The Passive Voice (la voix passive)
I am going to be invited.

je vais être invité(e)

13

The Passive Voice (la voix passive)
I would be invited

je serais invité(e)

14

The Passive Voice (la voix passive)
I would have been invited

j'aurais été invité(e)

15

The Passive Voice (la voix passive)
(that) I am invited (subj.)

(que) je sois invité(e)

16

The Passive Voice (la voix passive)
(that) I have been invited (subj.)

(que) j'aie été invité(e)

17

The Passive Voice (la voix passive)
(to) be invited

être invité(e)

18

The Passive Voice (la voix passive)
(to) have been invited

avoir été invité(e)

19

The Passive Voice (la voix passive)
Does the past participle agree with the subject in a sentence in the passive voice?

Whereas the past participle of ''être'' (été) is invariable, the past participle of the verb following verb ''être'' agrees with the subject.
f.e. La fôret a été détruite par le feu

20

The Passive Voice (la voix passive)
The flight was cancelled.

Le vol a été annulé.

21

The Passive Voice (la voix passive)
In France, the death penalty was abolished in 1981.

En France, la peine de mort a été abolie en 1981.

22

The Passive Voice (la voix passive)
Richelieu founded the Académie française.

Richelieu a fondé l'Académie française.

23

The Passive Voice (la voix passive)
The Académie française was founded by Richelieu.

L'Académie française a été fondée par Richelieu.

24

The Passive Voice (la voix passive)
If the agent of the passive sentence is expressed, when is it introduced by ''par''?

In most cases, especially when physical action is expressed.
f.e. Elle a été mordue par un chien.

25

The Passive Voice (la voix passive)
He was struck by lightning.

Il a été frappé par la foudre.

26

The Passive Voice (la voix passive)
If the agent of the passive sentence is expressed, when is it introduced by ''de''?

1. With verbs indicating a state (rather than an action).
- verbs expressing feeling and appreciation such as ''aimer, adorer, détester, admirer, respecter, apprécier, estimer, etc.''.
f.e. Notre professeur est aimé / estimé de nous tous.
- verbs of mental activity such as ''connaître, savoir, oublier, etc''
f.e. Le voleur est bien connu de la police.
- verbs used in descriptions such as ''être entouré, être couvert, être bordé, être décoré, etc.''
f.e. La chaise est couverte de poussière.

27

The Passive Voice (la voix passive)
The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

L'enfer est pavé de bonnes intentions.

28

The Passive Voice (la voix passive)
The house is surrounded by a fence.
The house is surrounded by the police.

La maison est entourée d'une clôture. (state)
La maison est entourée par la police.

NOTE
Sometimes, a verb can express physical action in one context and a static situation in another.

29

The Passive Voice (la voix passive)
She is followed by her dog.
She is followed by a stranger.

Elle est suivie de son chien.
Elle est suivie par un inconnu.

NOTE
If the verbs ''accompagner'' and ''suivre'' are used in the litteral sense, the choice of ''de'' or ''par'' depends on how active the agent is considered to be.

30

The Passive Voice (la voix passive)
When is the passive voice used?

1. The passive voice is used to emphasize the person or thing who/which receives the action, i.e., the object of the verb.
f.e. L'imprimerie a été inventée par Gutenberg.
2. The passive voice is also used to avoid expressing the agent, either because the speaker does not know the identity of the agent or does not want to reveal it, or because the performer of the action is obvious.
f.e. Le coupable sera puni.

31

The Passive Voice (la voix passive)
President Kennedy was assassinated in 1968.

Le président Kennedy a été assassiné en 1968.

32

The Passive Voice (la voix passive)
The French president is elected by universal direct suffrage.

Le président français est élu au suffrage universel direct.

33

The Passive Voice (la voix passive)
Which object (direct or indirect) of an active sentence can become the subject of a passive voice in Fench?

French only allows a direct object to become the subject of a passive sentence. Verbs that take an indirect object in the active voice, such as ''téléphoner, demander, répondre'', are never used in a passive construction. Therefore, common English statements such as ''I was told/asked/allowed/given/offered/promised'' cannot be translated literally into French.
f.e. The letter answered by her father. - impossible in French
Pierre was offered a job by them. - impossible in French

34

The Passive Voice (la voix passive)
A beverage will be offered to the passengers.

Une boisson sera offerte aux passagers.

35

The Passive Voice (la voix passive)
The passengers will be offered a beverage.

In French, this is not possible, because ''passagers'' is an indirect object in the active sentence.

36

The Passive Voice (la voix passive)
When French prefers the active voice?

Although the passive voice can be found in French (especially in the press and in the news on radio and television), passive constructions are used less frequently in French than in English.

1. If the agent of the action is expressed
a) French frequently uses the active instead of the passive voice.
f.e. The mail was distributed by the mailman. - Le facteur distribue le courrier.
b) French always uses the active voice
- with verbs that do not allow a passive construction, i.e., with verbs that take an indirect object.
f.e. I was asked by the police officer to stay in the car. - Le policier m'a demandé de rester dans la voiture.
- if the agent would be a personal pronoun
f.e. This cake was baked by me. - J'ai fait ce gâteau.

2. If the agent of the action is not expressed and the action is performed by a human being.
- French frequently use ''on+active voice'' instead of the passive voice
f.e. They were taken hostage. - On les a pris en otage.
- French always uses ''on+active voice'' with verbs that do not allow a passive construction.
They were told to wait. - On leur a dit d'attendre.

3. If the agent of the action is not expressed, and if the subject of the passive verb is a thing, French frequently uses a pronominal construction in the third person singular and plural (se+verb) to translate an English passive sentence.
f.e. Portuguese is spoken in Brazil. - Le portugais se parle au Brésil.

37

The Passive Voice (la voix passive)
French is spoken here.

On parle français ici.

38

The Passive Voice (la voix passive)
You are wanted on the phone.

On vous demande au téléphone.

39

The Passive Voice (la voix passive)
She was given a gift.

On lui a offert un cadeau.

40

The Passive Voice (la voix passive)
The city was totally destroyed.

La ville a été totalement détruite.

41

The Passive Voice (la voix passive)
How is that written?

Comment (est-ce que) ça s'écrit?

42

The Passive Voice (la voix passive)
That is written as it is pronounced.

Ça s'écrit comme ça se prononce.

43

The Passive Voice (la voix passive)
Revenge is a dish (which is) best eaten cold.

La vengeance est un plat qui se mange froid.

44

The Passive Voice (la voix passive)
These items sell (=are sold) like hotcakes.

Ces articles se vendent comme des petits pains.

45

The Passive Voice (la voix passive)
White wine is drunk chilled.

Le vin blanc se boit frais.