Passive form with “-s” in Swedish

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Passive sentences in Swedish

We are going to talk about sentences in a passive form in Swedish today. We will become familiar with the usage and creation of passive sentences. Let's get it started!

What is a passive sentence and when do we use it in Swedish? Wiki says that a passive sentence is when the noun or noun phrase that would be the object of an active sentence (such as Our troops defeated the enemy) appears as the subject of a sentence or clause in the passive voice (e.g. The enemy was defeated by our troops).

Using a passive form is not that common in Swedish as in English. We use it when we are not interested or we do not precisely know who a subject of an action is.

How to create a passive sentence in Swedish

The rule how to make a passive form of any sentence is pretty straight-forward. We basically add -s to infinitive, present, past or perfect form of a verb.

Taking a look at the examples below will make the whole problematic very easy to follow.

Infinitive + “-s”

Man måste minska utsläppen. — Utsläppen måste minskas.
One has to reduce emissions. — Emissions have to be reduced.

Present -“(e)r” + “-s”

De bygger mycket på stan. — Det byggs mycket på stan.
They are building a lot in the city centre. — It is being built a lot in the city centre.

Past + “-s”

Vi använde bilar för mycket. — Bilar användes för mycket.
We were using cars too much. — Cars were being used too much.

Perfect + “-s”

De har tillåtit det. — Det har tillåtits.
They have allowed it. — It has been allowed.

But be careful

As usual, it is not that easy with the grammatical rules. Note that not all verbs ending with “-s” are in a passive form.

Jag trivs som fisken i vattnet — I feel comfortable (in this situation).
Man andas hela sitt liv. — One breathes all one's life.
Jag hoppas. I believe.

This is all for today’s lesson. I hope that you like this lesson and find it helpful and interesting. Thank you for coming here and see you soon. Bye bye!

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