More Examples For Passive + Passive Question

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.

PASSIVE QUESTION

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.

Bye! 🙂

“Passive voice”

To begin with, Hungarian stopped using passive voice a long time ago. People talked like that a hundred years ago, but not anymore. It was expressed with these suffixes: -atik, -etik. Examples:

it is said – mondatik
it is proclaimed – kihirdettetik

You can find such verbs in old texts. And what about the present time?

Hungarian expresses passive voice WITH ACTIVE SENTENCES!!!

So the formation goes like this:

3rd PP form of the verb with definite or indefinite conjugation

Examples:

The house was sold. – A házat eladták.
The soup is cooked. – A levest megfőzték.
The cars will be mended. – A kocsikat meg fogják javítani.

So Hungarian says they sold, they cooked, they will mend even if we don’t know who we’re talking about.

For a native English speaker the problem comes with Present Simple and Present Perfect if you want to translate English passive voice in Hungarian. Look at this:

to build = építeni > they built = építették
meg
> verbal prefix expressing completeness

The house is built. – A házat megépítették.
The has been built. – A házat megépítették / építik.

Both sentences are translated with past tense in Hungarian. Why? Because the first Present Simple sentence says the house is built, so it is finished. And it had to be built in the past so that we can say it is built. Therefore Hungarian uses past tense.
As for the Present Perfect sentence, it can express the completeness or the continuity of an action, therefore Hungarian uses past tense for completeness and present tense for continuity.

The house has been built at last!
A házat végre megépítették!

The house has been built for a year now.
A házat már egy éve építik.

See what I mean? The first sentences refers to a house already finished, the second refers to a house still being built.

The rest of the tenses shouldn’t be a problem. You just use the same tense as in English. Examples:

Past Simple
The house was built.
A házat megépítették.

Future Simple
The house will be built.
A házat meg fogják építeni.

If it comes to a continous tense, you can put ÉPPEN before the verb, but it is not necessary. Hungarian verbs without a verbal prefix (like meg-) express continuity by themselves.

Present Simple Continuous
The house is being built.
A házat éppen építik.

Past Simple Continuous
The house was being built.
A házat éppen építették.

Future Simple Continuous
The house will be being built.
A házat éppen építeni fogják.

First digest the stuff above, and in the next entry I’ll write more examples and more stuff to learn about “passive voice”.