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The apple was eaten. The light was turned on. The guy was insulted.


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I would like to say these things is the passive form in Chinese.

Being able to express things with the passive form would make my life better.


The video was watched - The text was read - The guy was insulted.

The idea was expressed. - The thought was expressed. - I was allowed to leave the table earlier. 

The sentence was said.


Thank you so much for answering


Yusan (umbrella)

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The use of 被 is explained in a long discussion here:




But I have the sense that in spoken Chinese just as in spoken English, it's not too common a usage and can sound awkward at times. I think there's a strong colloquial preference in both languages for the active voice.

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We'd be able to help more if you give some examples of real things you need to say and the context. Just like in English there's multiple ways to say what happened without saying who did it. 

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Passive is less commonly used in Chinese than in English. Bear in mind that even in English, many things expressed in passive are better expressed in active. Use too much passive voice and you sound like a slimy politician trying to avoid accountability... "Mistakes were made", anyone?


Having said that, you could express these sentences as follows:




...but there might be better ways of expressing the same thought, depending on the context.

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From Chinese: A Comprehensive Grammar, Yip Po-Ching and Don Rimmington, Routledge, 2004, P.209:


The passive voice in Chinese may adopt any of the following three forms depending on the required tone and emphasis:

 (a) the notional passive - where no formal passive marker is employed. This passive normally carries an expository tone.

 问题||解决了。 wèntí || jiějué le

 (lit. problem || solve le) The problem was/has been solved.

 (b) the formal passive - where a passive marker like 被 bèi is introduced. Here the tone is usually narrative:

 问题||终被解决。wèntí || zhōng bèi jiějué

 (lit. problem || finally bei:by solve) The problem was finally solved.

 © the lexical passive - where a verb, indicating that the subject or the topic is the 'receiver' of the action, is followed by a nominalised verbal object. Whether this passive is built into a narrative or an exposition, the tone tends to be rather formal.

 问题||得到了解决。wèntí || dédào le jiějué

 (lit. problem || receive le solution)

 A solution was found for the problem.

 问题||得到解决了。wèntí || dédào jiějué le

 (lit. problem || receive solution le)

 A solution has been found for the problem.

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From the same book I quoted above:

It has often been suggested that the passive voice is not as commonly used in Chinese as in European languages. There is certainly some truth in this, in that the Chinese language, being meaning-oriented and not morphologically stringent, seems to rely more heavily on context than on grammatical form. The language avoids the use of formal passive voice markers (e.g. 被 bèi) until it is perfectly necessary, but from a broader perspective it is possible to see that the passive voice in Chinese in its various forms, marked or unmarked, does occur widely and, as such, may be just as frequently encountered in Chinese (both in speech and in writing) as in European languages.


And as others have pointed out, a proper translation depends on context, where you want to use it, what's your intention, etc. There are many ways to achieve the same effect, sometimes without resorting to the same grammatical device. For example:

你的良心被狗吃了吗? is passive in Chinese.

你的 nǐ de = your

良心 liángxīn = conscience

被 bèi = by (passive marker)

狗 gǒu = dog

吃了 chī le = eaten

吗 ma = (interogative marker)

So its literal meaning is "Has your conscience been eaten by a dog?"

But if I am to express the same feeling (strong reproof, anger, disbelief) in English, it's quite possible I say something like "Do you have no heart?" No passive involved.

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