Anglais > Grammaire > Verbes >  Passif  

Le Passif est la voix, qui, au contraire de l'actif, permet de mettre en sujet l'élément qui subit l'action du verbe.
Celui qui fait l'action n'est souvent pas mentionné ou peut être indiqué par un complément d'agent introduit par la préposition 'by'
La conjugaison d'un verbe au passif consiste à conjuguer l'auxiliaire be suivi du verbe au participe passé :
Emploi
Conjugaison
Actif Passif
Man pollutes Nature. L'homme pollue la nature. Nature is polluted (by man). La nature est polluée (par l'homme).

Le passif se forme selon les temps suivants :


Simple Present Present Be + Ving Present Perfect
Present Nature is polluted (by man).
La nature est polluée (par l'homme).
Nature is being polluted here.
La nature est en train d'être polluée ici.
Nature has not been polluted here.
La nature n'a pas été polluée ici.

Simple Past Past Be + Ving Past Perfect
Past Was nature so polluted in the past?
La nature était-elle si polluée dans le passé ?
Nature was being polluted there.
La nature était en train d'être polluée là-bas.
Nature had not been polluted there.
La nature n'avait pas été polluée là-bas.

Il s'emploie aussi après les auxiliaires modaux :

It will be polluted. Ce sera pollué. [futur] It may be pollutedCe peut être pollué. It can be polluted. Ce peut être pollué. It must be polluted.  Ce doit être pollué.
It would be polluted. Ce serait pollué. [conditionnel] It might be pollutedCe pourrait être pollué. It could be polluted. Ce pourrait être pollué. It should be pollutedCe devrait être pollué.

Il s'emploie à l'infinitif après la préposition 'to' : They want not to  be polluted. = Ils veulent ne pas être pollués.
Il s'emploie avec la forme en Ving : Being polluted is not inevitable. = Etre pollué n'est pas inévitable.

Avec les modaux, l'infinitif et la forme en Ving, il existe une forme passée avec l'auxiliaire have suivi de been + verbe au participe passé :
He will have been killed. = il aura été tué [futur antérieur]. It would have been seen. = ça aurait été vu. [conditionnel passé] ...
To have been selected is a real chance. = Avoir été sélectionné est une vraie chance. / Having been seen, he was caught. = Ayant été vu, il a été attrapé.

Exercices : différence actif/passif (irregular verbs) - de l'actif au passif (irregular verbs)-  Voir les tableaux de conjugaison plus bas. haut de page


Emploi haut de page

Le passif anglais traduit le passif français : Nature is polluted (by man). La nature est polluée (par l'homme).

Le passif est cependant plus utilisé en anglais qu'en français. Il correspond aussi à beaucoup de structures qu'on traduit souvent en français par 

- un verbe pronominal :
I am called Nancy. = Je m'appelle Nancy.
The passive is more often used in English. = Le passif s'emploie plus souvent en anglais.

- une voix active commençant par "on" :  I am well known here. = On me connait bien ici. (Je suis bien connu ici).

Exercice de traduction

Spécificités anglaises :
1- Un verbe anglais suivi d'une préposition peut se conjuguer au passif, au contraire du français. On traduira par "on" à l'actif :
   Actif They often talk to him. = Ils lui parlent souvent. Someone is looking at you. = Quelqu'un te regarde. Someone cheated on them. = Quelqu'un les a trompés.
   Passif He is often talked to. = On lui parle souvent. You're being looked at. = On te regarde. They were cheated on. = On les a trompés.

2- Avec les verbes qui, à l'actif, peuvent être suivis de deux compléments, le sujet de la phrase passive sera plutôt l'objet indirect que l'objet direct, au contraire du français.
   exemple : give someone something (donner quelque chose à quelqu'un):
      phrase active : Peter gave Mary this book. = Peter donna ce livre à Mary.
      phrase passive à partir de l'objet indirectMary was given this book by Peter.  (Il n'existe pas de traduction littérale en français : Mary a reçu ce livre de Peter.)
      phrase passive à partir de l'objet direct: This book was given to Mary by Peter. = Ce livre fut donné à Mary par Peter (forme bien plus rare en anglais).

   autres exemples : 
   tell
someone something (dire quelque chose à quelqu'un): Mary was told this story. On raconta cette histoire à Mary.
   show someone something (montrer quelque chose à quelqu'un): Mary was shown the solution. On montra la solution à Mary.
   send someone something (envoyer quelque chose à quelqu'un): Mary was sent a letter. On envoya une lettre à Mary.
   forgive someone something (pardonner quelque chose à quelqu'un): Mary was forgiven for her mistakes. On pardonna ses erreurs à Mary.
   lend someone something (prêter quelquechose à quelqu'un): Mary was lent a pen. On prêta un stylo à Mary.
   de même : offer (offrir) - owe (devoir) - promise (promettre) - teach (enseigner) - pay (payer) - charge (faire payer) - pass (passer) - bring (apporter) - buy (acheter) - sell (vendre) - write (écrire) - take (apporter) - allow (permettre) - ask (demander) - award a prize (attribuer un prix) - build (construire) - grant (octroyer) - hand (donner) - leave (laisser) - 

Exercice de traduction

Exercice de traduction

3- De même, une grande partie des verbes suivis d'une proposition en to + V :
      ask someone to do something: Mary was asked to do this. On demanda à Mary de faire ceci.
      tell someone to do something: Mary was told to do this. On dit a Mary de faire ceci.
      expect someone to do something: Mary was expected to do this. On s'attendait à ce que Mary fasse ceci.
      teach someone to do something: Mary was taught to do this. On apprit à Mary à faire ceci.
      aussi : invite (inviter) - forbid (interdire) - order (ordonner) - allow (autoriser) - permit (permettre) - 
   Certains verbes suivis à l'actif de la base verbale V recourent à la préposition to à la forme passive:
      make someone do something: Mary was made to do this. On fit faire ceci à Mary. (voir la traduction de faire faire)
      see someone do something: Mary was seen to do this. On vit Mary faire ceci.
      hear someone do something: Mary was heard to do this. On entendit Mary faire ceci.
Exercice de traduction

4- Finalement, avec les verbes believe (croire) - know (savoir) - say (dit) - think (penser) - understand (comprendre), on a les deux structures formelles suivantes :
   1 - Sujet personnel + passif + to + V ... Sujet personnel + passif + to + have Ved ...
      She is believed to have a lover. = On croit qu'elle a un amant.
      He is said to live in America. = On dit (de lui) qu'il habite en Amérique.
They are thought to have been poisoned. = On pense qu'ils ont été empoisonnés.
He is known to have suffered a lot. = On sait qu'il a beaucoup souffert.
   2 - Sujet impersonnel + passif + that
      It is generally understood that he is alive. = D'après ce que l'on sait, il est vivant.
      It was believed that he could fly. = On croyait qu'il pouvait voler.
      It has been said that they loved luxury. = On a dit qu'ils aimaient le luxe.

Conjugaison de call au passif à l'affirmative (pour la négation et l'interrogation, cliquer sur le titre du temps) haut de page
Simple Present Present Perfect Present Be + ing
I am called I have been called I am being called
he is called he has been called he is being called
we are called we have been called we are being called
you are called you have been called you are being called
they are called they have been called they are being called
Simple Past Past Perfect Past Be + ing
I was called I had been called I was being called
he was called he had been called he was being called
we were called we had been called we were being called
you were called you had been called you were being called
they were called they had been called they were being called

Simple Present :

Forme affirmative Forme négative Forme interrogative
complète contractée complète contractée affirmative nég.complète nég. contractée
I am called I'm called I am not called I'm not called am I called? am I not called? aren't I called?
he is called he's called he is not called he isn't / he's not called is he called? is he not called? isn't he called?
we are called we're called we are not called we aren't / we're not called are we called? are we not called? aren't we called?
you are called you're called you are not called you aren't / you're not called are you called? are you not called? aren't you called?
they are called they're called they are not called they aren't / they're not called are they called? are they not called? aren't they called?

Simple Past :

Forme affirmative Forme négative Forme interrogative
complète complète contractée affirmative nég.complète nég. contractée
I was called I was not called I wasn't called was I called? was I not called? wasn't I called?
he was called he was not called he wasn't called was he called? was he not called? wasn't he called?
we were called we were not called we weren't called were we called? were we not called? weren't we called?
you were called you were not called you weren't called were you called? were you not called? weren't you called?
they were called they were not called they weren't called were they called? were they not called? weren't they called?
Tableau récapitulatif des conjugaisons - haut de page
Present Perfect :
Forme affirmative Forme négative Forme interrogative  
complète contractée complète contractée affirmative nég. contractée
I have been called I've been called I have not been called I've not been called Have I been called? Haven't I been called?
he has been called he's been called he has not been called he's not been called Has he been called? Hasn't he been called?
we have been called we've been called we have not been called we've not been called Have we been called? Haven't we been called?
you have been called you've been called you have not been called you've not been called Have you been called? Haven't you been called?
they have been called they've been called they have not been called they've not been called Have they been called? Haven't they been called?

Past Perfect :

Forme affirmative Forme négative Forme interrogative  
complète contractée complète contractée affirmative nég. contractée
I had been called I'd been called I had not been called I'd not been called Had I been called? Hadn't I been called?
he had been called he'd been called he had not been called he'd not been called Had he been called? Hadn't he been called?
we had been called we'd been called we had not been called we'd not been called Had we been called? Hadn't we been called?
you had been called you'd been called you had not been called you'd not been called Had you been called? Hadn't you been called?
they had been called they'd been called they had not been called they'd not been called Had they been called? Hadn't they been called?
Tableau récapitulatif des conjugaisons - haut de page

Present Be + ing :

Forme affirmative Forme négative Forme interrogative  
complète contractée complète contractée affirmative nég. contractée
I am being called I'm being called I am not being called I'm not being called Am I being called? Aren't I being called?
he is being called he's being called he is not being called he's not being called Is he being called? Isn't he being called?
we are being called we're being called we are not being called we're not being called Are we being called? Aren't we being called?
you are being called you're being called you are not being called you're not being called Are you being called? Aren't you being called?
they are being called they're being called they are not being called they're not being called Are they being called? Aren't they being called?

Past Be + ing :

Forme affirmative Forme négative Forme interrogative  
complète complète contractée affirmative nég. contractée
I was being called I was not being called I wasn't being called Was I being called? Wasn't I being called?
he was being called he was not being called he wasn't being called Was he being called? Wasn't he being called?
we were being called we were not being called we weren't being called Were we being called? Weren't we being called?
you were being called you were not being called you weren't being called Were you being called? Weren't you being called?
they were being called they were not being called they weren't being called Were they being called? Weren't they being called?
Tableau récapitulatif des conjugaisons - haut de page

Get s'emploie parfois, de façon familière, à la place de be pour exprimer un passif dû à un accident ou un hasard :
He is often called. = He often gets called. = Il est souvent appelé. / He is easily hurt. = He easily gets hurt. = il se blesse facilement.
 
Dans ce cas, get indique une action ou un changement d'état. Il est seulement suivi d'un verbe d'action, pas d'un verbe d'état.
Ainsi : to get stolen = être volé, to get broken = être cassé, to get injured = être blessé, to get killed = être tué, to get fired = être viré, etc.

Pour certains verbes, il existe une différence de sens entre be + Ved (état traduit par un passif français) et get + Ved (changement traduit par un verbe pronominal) :
I am dressed. = Je suis habillé. >< I get dressed. = Je m'habille
They are married. = Ils sont mariés. >< They get married. = Ils se marient.
We were lost. = Nous étions perdus. >< We got lost. = Nous nous sommes perdus.
I was used to this. = J'étais habitué à cela >< I got used to this. = Je me suis habitué à cela.