You are here:

Italian Language/essere / passive voice

Advertisement


Question
Dear Maria,

Can you please tell me if I am correct in thinking that the verb “essere” cannot be used in the passive voice because “essere” is a linking verb - which is a type of intransitive verb, and intransitive verbs cannot be used in the passive voice.

Would you also please tell me if I am correct in thinking that “sarebbe stata” is an example of the past conditional of essere in the following sentence  -  not the passive voice of essere in the present conditional:

innanzitutto  la frase che tu hai tentato di scrivere in Italiano, e cioè: “Per favore, potresti dirmi se il verbo italiano “fare” è mai usato come un verbo ausiliario come il verbo ausiliario  “to do” è usato  in inglese?” sarebbe stata più corretta, se tu avessi scritto:“Per favore, potresti dirmi se il verbo italiano “fare” è mai usato  come il verbo ausiliario  “to do” è usato  in Inglese?”


Thank you very much

Sincerely,

Rich

Answer
Dear Rich,

you are  correct in thinking that the verb “essere” cannot be used in the passive voice because “essere” is a linking verb - which is a type of intransitive verb, and intransitive verbs cannot be used in the passive voice.

Also,  you are  correct in thinking that “sarebbe stata” is an example of the past conditional of "essere", active voice, in the sentence  that you mention,  not the passive voice of "essere" in the present conditional.

In fact, the present conditional of "essere” is “Io sarei, tu saresti, egli sarebbe, noi saremmo, voi sareste, essi sarebbero”, whereas the past conditional is “Io sarei stato/stata, tu saresti stato/ stata, egli/ella/lei sarebbe stato/ stata, noi saremmo stati/ state, voi sareste stati/ state, essi/esse/loro sarebbero stati/ state”.

Best regards,
Maria

Italian Language

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Maria

Expertise

Italian is my mother tongue and I'll be glad to answer any questions concerning Italian Language.

Experience

Over 25 years teaching experience.

Education/Credentials
I received my Ph.D.in Classics (summa cum laude) from Genova University (Italy).

This expert accepts donations:

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.