12.2 formation of the passive voice


Concerning the construction venire + participio passato things are a little bit more weired. Let's recapitulate.

The passive with essere + participio passato in the presente is always a static passive.

  example    
Io sono eletto. I am elected (not: I am being elected.)

If one really wants to describe a process, but not the result of a process, a state, one should use the structure venire + participio passato.

  example    
Io vengo eletto. I am being elected. (not: I am elected.)
  Io venni / venivo eletto. I was being elected. (not: I was elected.)

In the case of the presente or the imperfetto essere can't be substituted by venire without changing the meaning of the sentence.

dynamic passive, describing a process: Io vengo eletto. <=> I am being elected.
static passive, describing the result of a process: Io sono eletto. <=> I am elected.

In the compound tenses (passato prossimo, trapassato prossimo) the construction venire + participio passato can't be used. The construction venire + participio passato can only be used in the simple tenses.

  example    
correct: Io sono stato eletto. I am elected.
  wrong: Io sono venuto eletto.
  correct: Io ero stato eletto. I was elected.
  wrong: Io ero venuto eletto.

The difference between a static passive and a dynamic passive can be crucial. If you are invited to a party and the cake is already eaten, you have a big problem. If they are eating it at the moment of your arrival, the situation is much better.

  example  
The cake is eaten. <=> La torta è mangiata.
  The cake is being eaten. <=> La torta viene mangiata.





contact privacy statement imprint