Passive Constructions

French passive constructions
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Constructions passives

The best-known passive construction is the passive voice, which has a verb performing on a subject (e.g., he is seen), in comparison to the active voice, where the subject performs the action (he sees). But did you know that French has several other passive constructions that are just as important to recognize and use? Take a look at these links for detailed lessons and more examples.

Passive Voice

Être + past participle

La glace est mangée en été.   Ice cream is eaten in the summer.
Rien n’a été fait.   Nothing was done.

Passive Infinitive

À + infinitive

La glace est à manger en été.   Ice cream is to be eaten in the summer.
Il n’y avait rien à faire.   There was nothing to do / to be done.

Passive Reflexive

Se + conjugated verb

La glace se mange en été.   Ice cream is eaten in the summer.
Rien ne s’est fait.   Nothing was done.

Reflexive Causative

Se faire + infinitive

La glace se fait manger en été.   Ice cream gets eaten in the summer.
Rien ne s’est fait faire.   Nothing got done.

Indefinite Subject Pronoun

On + conjugated verb

On mange la glace en été.   Ice cream is eaten in the summer.
On n’a rien fait.   Nothing got done.

 Related lessons

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French passive constructions

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