Spanish Passive Voice (all tenses)

Beginner Spanish - Level A2


The passive voice refers to a sentence in which the subject receives the action. In other words, the subject is passive, or acted upon. For example: El libro fue leído por Juan. In this sentence, the book receives the action performed by Juan, the agent.

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Spanish A2


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Passive Voice (All Tenses) in Spanish

When we use the passive voice, the receiver of an action gets moved to the subject position. This is done in order to shift the focus to whatever the action is that is being done, rather than the person.

Spanish has two forms of passive: the passive with “ser” and the “se - pasiva.”

There are two formulas you can use to form the passive form in Spanish:


Ser + past participle + por + agent

Ser + third person.


In the following sentences, we will form the passive in Spanish using several tenses such as past, and present. Note that the person who does the action is not the subject anymore, and the recipient of the action (written in bold) has become the subject.


El libro fue leído por Emilio.

The book was read by Emilio.


Se establecieron las casas hace muchos años.

The houses were established many years ago.


The passive voice is formed with the correct form of “ser + past participle, and the past participle works as an adjective when is used in the passive voice. It is important that it agrees with what it is describing:


La pizza fue comida inmediatamente.             The pizza was eaten immediately.

The preposition “con” (with) is often needed to introduce the grammatical agent of a passive sentence:

Fue golpeada con un martillo.                         She was hit with a hammer.


It is important that you are careful with the verb “estar” and past participles. These sentences look like passives but they do not have that function, as the past participle used acts as an adjective that refers to a specific situation:


La luz estaba encendida (semi passive)           The light was on.

La luz fue encendida (passive)                         The light was turned on.


This happens because many past participles are used as adjectives. The following sentences are examples of the passive form being used in different tenses:


l auto fue robado (past)                                     The car was stolen

El texto está siendo estudiado. (present continuous)           The text is being studied.


El dinero me ha sido devuelto (preterit perf)     The money has been given back to me.).

Ella puede ser arrestada. (future simple)         She can be arrested.

Debería haber sido reparado. (conditional)       It should have been repaired.

Esto es producido en Brasil (present simple)   This is produced in Brazil.

Impersonal structures such as “It is said,” “It is thought,” and so on, are translated by

Se + active verb.

Se dice que él es un ladrón                               It is said that he is a robber.

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Rewrite the following sentences in the passive tense.


  1. Han traído a la niña.



  1. Estoy arreglando el carro.



  1. Hemos comprado tres kilos de mariscos.



  1. No he podido hacer el exámen.



  1. Tendrás que poner las cajas detrás de la casa.



  1. Me vieron con ella en el cine.



  1. Te van a subir el sueldo la próxima semana.






  1. Ernesto irá a comprar la comida para la cena.



  1. Tina y Ana hicieron la tarea juntas.



  1. Hugo cocinó pollo, arroz y papas para el almuerzo.



Answer Key:

  1. La niña ha sido traída.
  2. El carro está siendo arreglado
  3. Los mariscos han sido comprados.
  4. El exámen no ha podido hacerse.
  5. Las cajas tendrán que ser puestas detrás de la casa.
  6. He sido visto con ella en el cine.
  7. El sueldo será subido la próxima semana.
  8. La comida para la cena, será comprada por Ernesto.
  9. La tarea fue hecha por Tina y Ana.
  10. Pollo, arroz y papas para el almuerzo, fueron cocinadas por Hugo.

Pollo - Chicken                            

Poco - Little bit

Carne - Beef                                

Mucho - A lot

Arroz - Rice                                  

Frejoles - Beans

Papas - Potatoes                        

Sartén - Frying pan

Vegetales - Vegetables                

Haber sido - Have been

Platillo - Saucer                            

Está siendo - Is being

Mariscos - Seafood                      

Con una cuchara - With a spoon

Lentejas - Lentils                          

He sido - I have been

Cocina - Stove/Kitchen                

a ser llevados - going to be taken

Pastel - Pie                                    

Por - For, through, by.

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