1. Education

French Passive Voice

La voix passive


Voice is a grammatical term which indicates the relationship between a subject and verb. There are three different voices in French and English. In the passive voice, the action described by the verb is being done to the subject by an agent, which is usually introduced by one of two prepositions:

1. When the verb expresses an action, the agent is introduced by the preposition par:

Active voice
   David fait le ménage.
   David is doing the housework.

Passive voice
   Le ménage est fait par David.
   The housework is done by David.

Active voice
   Lise lit le livre.
   Lise is reading the book.
Passive voice
   Le livre est lu par Lise.
   The book is read by Lise.

2. When the verb expresses a state of being, the agent is either introduced by de or left out entirely:

Active voice
   Tout le monde le respecte.
   Everyone respects him.
Passive voice
   Il est respecté de tout le monde.
   He is respected by everyone.
   Il est éminemment respecté.
   He is highly respected.

Active voice
   Mes amis aiment ma mère.
   My friends love my mother.
Passive voice
   Ma mère est aimée de mes amis.
   My mother is loved by my friends.

Page 2: How to conjugate the passive voice
Page 3: Using and avoiding the passive voice

Passive voice quiz
  1. About.com
  2. Education
  3. French Language
  4. French Grammar
  5. Verbs
  6. Verb Tense, Mood, Voice
  7. Passive Voice
  8. French Passive Voice - La voix passive

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.