German Passive Voice Alternatives
Using "Man"- Man is a pronoun that is the equivalent of the English man, one, they or you - an impersonal pronoun that refers to non-specified person(s).
Making a verb reflexive- Reflexive constructions typically suggest that something can be done. Any verb, hypothetically, can be used with the reflexive constructions, which have nothing to do with the actual reflexive verbs.
Using Infinitive Clauses- Using infinitive clauses in lieu of the passive voice implies that something can, must or should be done.
The German Passive voice is most typically formed with the auxiliary verb “werden” and the participle of another verb. There, however, a few alternatives that can be used.
1. “sein + zu + infinitive”
The best way to translated “sein + zu + infinitive” is “is to be done”, such as “rules are to be followed, or “Incidents are to be reported”.
Die Regeln sind zu beachten.
The rules are to be observed.
Der Rasen ist zu mähen.
The lawn is to be mowed.
Das Auto ist leicht zu reparieren.
The car is easy to fix.
2. “gehören + participle”
“gehören” as a verb means “to belong”. (e.g. Das Buch gehoert mir – The book belongs to me). The formula “gehören + participle” can be used as a passive voice alternative, used to express something that should/needs to be done. (lit. it “belongs done”.
Das Auto gehört repariert.
The car needs to/should be fixed.
Das Zimmer gehört aufgeräumt.
The room needs to/should be tidied.
3. “Bekommen/kriegen + Participle”
Both the verbs “bekommen” and “kriegen” mean “to receive/get/obtain”. “Kriegen” is a bit more informal and used more colloquially. The formula “bekommen/kriegen + participle” is another passive voice alternative that is used that something is being done, or more accurately, that someone is having something done.
“Bekommen” or “kriegen” is conjugated to the person that is having something done.
Ich bekomme/kriege ein Paket geschickt.
I am being delivered a package.
Die Patienten bekommen/kriegen das Essen gebracht.
The patience are being brought the food.
Meet one or more times weekly with a dedicated German instructor online at a pace and schedule that custom fits your busy life.
Join an Academy course for course content built on top of leading German curriculum: includes videos, vocabulary, quizzes and certificate.
Common European Framework of Reference for Languages
The CEFR is an international standard used to describe language ability. Here are specific details of the CEFR for this topic.