La voz pasiva | Gramática Inglesa | EF

La voz pasiva

Funciones de la voz pasiva

La voz pasiva se utiliza para mostrar interés por la persona o cosa que es objeto de una acción, en lugar de la persona o cosa que realiza dicha acción. Dicho de otro modo, la persona o cosa más importante pasa a ser el sujeto de la oración.

Ejemplos
  • The passive voice is used frequently. (= nos interesa la voz pasiva, no quién la usa.)
  • The house was built in 1654. (= nos interesa la casa, no quién la construyó.)
  • The road is being repaired. (= nos interesa la carretera, no quién la está arreglando.)

En ocasiones empleamos la voz pasiva porque desconocemos o no queremos mencionar quién realizó la acción.

Ejemplos
  • I noticed that a window had been left open.
  • Every year thousands of people are killed on our roads.
  • All the cookies have been eaten.
  • My car has been stolen!

La voz pasiva suele utilizarse en textos formales. Cambiar a la voz activa hará que lo que escribes resulte más claro y fácil de leer.

Pasiva Activa
A great deal of meaning is conveyed by a few well-chosen words. A few well-chosen words convey a great deal of meaning.
Our planet is wrapped in a mass of gases. A mass of gases wrap around our planet.
Waste materials are disposed of in a variety of ways. The city disposes of waste materials in a variety of ways.

Si queremos decir quién o qué realiza la acción en una construcción en pasiva, empleamos la preposición "by". Cuando sabemos quién realizó la acción y el sujeto nos interesa, siempre es mejor optar por la voz activa.

Pasiva Activa
"A Hard Day's Night" was written by the Beatles. The Beatles wrote "A Hard Day's Night".
The movie ET was directed by Spielberg. Spielberg directed the movie ET.
This house was built by my father. My father built this house.

Consulta más información sobre la voz pasiva y sus equivalentes en activa para todos los tiempos verbales del inglés.

Formación de la voz pasiva

En inglés, la voz pasiva está compuesta por dos elementos:
la forma apropiada del verbo "to be" + "past participle"

Afirmativa Negativa Interrogativa Interrogativa negativa
The house was built in 1899. The house wasn't built in 1899. Was the house built in 1899? Wasn't the house built in 1899?
These houses were built in 1899. These houses weren't built in 1899. Were these houses built in 1899? Weren't these houses built in 1899?
"To clean", voz pasiva
Sujeto + "to be" (conjugado) + "past participle" + resto de la oración
Simple present
The house is cleaned every day.
Present continuous
The house is being cleaned at the moment.
Simple past
The house was cleaned yesterday.
Past continuous
The house was being cleaned last week.
Present perfect
The house has been cleaned since you left.
Past perfect
The house had been cleaned before they arrived.
Future
The house will be cleaned next week.
Future continuous
The house will be being cleaned tomorrow.
Present conditional
The house would be cleaned if they had visitors.
Past conditional
The house would have been cleaned if it had been dirty.
Inifinitivo
The house must be cleaned before we arrive.
La voz pasiva con infinitivos

El infinitivo en la voz pasiva se emplea detrás de los verbos modales y de la mayoría de los verbos que normalmente van seguidos de infinitivo.

Ejemplos
  • You have to be tested on your English grammar.
  • John might be promoted next year.
  • She wants to be invited to the party.
  • I expect to be surprised on my birthday.
  • You may be disappointed.
La voz pasiva con el "gerund"

El "gerund" en la voz pasiva se utiliza después de las preposiciones y verbos que normalmente van seguidos de "gerund".

Ejemplos
  • I remember being taught to drive.
  • The children are excited about being taken to the zoo.
  • The children are excited to be taken to the zoo.
  • Most film stars hate being interviewed.
  • Most film stars hate to be interviewed.
  • Poodles like to be pampered.
  • Poodles like being pampered.
Uso de "to be born"

"To be born" es una formación pasiva y suele emplearse en pasado. Sin embargo, en algunos casos, el presente o el futuro resultan apropiados.

Ejemplos
  • I was born in 1976.
  • Where were you born?
  • Around 100 babies are born in this hospital every week.
  • We don't know on exactly which day the baby will be born.

En ocasiones, la voz pasiva se forma utilizando los verbos "to get" o "to have" en lugar del verbo "to be". Estas particularidades se tratan en una página aparte, modos alternativos de formar la voz pasiva.