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Passive Voice - Passiewe Stem

What is Passive?

The passive voice moves the normal focus away from the subject, and now the focus is on either the object or the verb.

You make passive sentences whenever the subject is not the focus.

Active Sentences
Passive Sentences
• The driver crashed into the wall.
• The driver broke down the wall.
• The driver painted the wall.
• The wall was crashed into.
• The wall was broken down.
• The wall was painted.

You will notice, the driver is not even mentioned, although you could add "... by the driver." The focus is what happened to the wall.

More passive examples:

The documents were destroyed. (by the crook)
My dad was asked to come to school. (by the principal)
A new building was constructed. (by the construction company)

How do you form Passive in Afrikaans?

Study these examples:

Die polisie het die dief gevang. (active)
       > Die dief is gevang. (The thief was caught)
Die polisie vang die dief. (active)
       > Die dief word gevang. (... is being caught)
Die polisie sal die dief vang. (active)
     > Die dief sal gevang word. (... will be caught)

The ACTIVE VERB (vang in this case) is not the verb anymore in the passive. It is now GEVANG and the verb is WORD (present tense), IS (past tense) and SAL WORD (future tense).

Die president het die ambassadeur by die paleis ontvang.
       >  Die ambassadeur is by die paleis ontvang.
Die president ontvang die ambassadeur by die paleis.
       >  Die ambassadeur word by die paleis ontvang.
Die president sal die ambassadeur by die paleis ontvang.
      >  Die ambassadeur sal by die paleis ontvang word.

So, IS is past. Think of it -- Hy is siek. Hy is betaal. (paid) It happened in the past. It is fact.
WORD means it is happening now. Hy word siek. Hy word betaal.
SAL WORD means it will happen in the future. Hy sal siek word. Hy sal betaal word.


Present: Ek werk by die bank.

Present: By die bank word werk.
Past:      By die bank is gewerk.
Future:  By die bank sal gewerk word.


Present: Ek verkoop die boek.  Die president mislei die publiek.

Present: Die boek word verkoop.  Die publiek word mislei.
Past:      Die boek is verkoop.  Die publiek is mislei.
Future:  Die boek sal verkoop word. Die publiek sal mislei word.


Present: Ek sit die boek weg.

Present: Die boek word weggesit.
Past:      Die boek is weggesit.
Future:  Die boek sal weggesit word.

What is next?  Under PASSIVE VOICE (Column on the right)

Practice the passive voice with:
• B1 Regular Verbs
• B2 Prefixed Verbs and Inseparable Compound Verbs
• B3 Separable Compound Verbs

Passive does not work with WEES/Hê, nor with Link Verbs or Reflexive Verbs.