Examples for “passive voice”:
The order is: Hungarian sentence, English active sentence, English passive sentence
A leckét meg kell írni.
One must write the homework.
The homework must be written.
A törvényt tisztelni kell.
One must respect the law.
The law must be respected.
A rendőrök megtiltották a tüntetést.
The police have forbidden the manifestation.
The manifestation has been forbidden by the police.
Azelőtt jelentették fel a tanárt, hogy hallottam róla.
They had denounced the teacher long before I heard of it.
The teacher had been denounced long before I heard of it.
Három hónap után végre megvették a kocsimat.
After three month they bought my car at last.
My car was bought at last after three month.
In the the first two sentences the verbs express an action generally. Someone must do something, but we don’t know who. In this case, Hungarian uses impersonal verbs which do not require a subject. English says ‘one’ or uses passive voice.
Meg kellene neki mondani, hogy siessen.
One should tell him to hurry up.
He should be told to hurry up.
Don’t worry about such sentences. We’ll deal with them when discussing modal verbs.
Sinc there’s no passive voice in Hungarian, there’s no passive question, either. You simply form such questions with active sentences.
Ki ette meg az ebédet?
Who ate the lunch?
Who was the lunch eaten by?
Mi ölte meg a férfit?
What killed the man?
What was the man killed by?
Miért nem szóltak nekem?
Why didn’t they told me?
Why wasn’t I told?
and so on…
BY = ÁLTAL
Actually, it is possible to form somewhat passive statements when it comes to sentences like:
The solution offered by them is not achievable.
Az általuk felkínált megoldás nem megvalósítható.
So the equivalent for BY is ÁLTAL which precedes the past participle (contrary to English). The personal forms are:
by me – általam
by you – általad
by he/she/it – általa
by us – általunk
by you – általatok
by them – általuk
OR with proper names and professions:
by Peter – Péter által
by the doctor – az orvos által
A Péter által elmondott történet igaz.
The story told by Peter is true.
If there are more people involved, által stays singular!
A Péter és János által elmondott történet igaz.
The story told by Peter and John is true.
I think I told you everything you need about the non-existing Hungarian passive voice. If you have a question, drop me a comment and I’ll answer it. Next time phrasal verbs.