The passive voice is a way of highlighting an action done to an object without necessarily references the individual who is completing the action. In this lesson, we will cover passive agents as well as alternatives to the passive voice.
II. Agents with the Passive
Since the passive voice is used to highlight actions, it is not necessary to mention who is doing the action. However, when this information is provided, it is known as the agent
. An English example would be: “The documents were stolen.” Here, there is no mention of who is performing this action. Another example would be: “The documents were stolen by the spy.
” In this sentence however, we see who performed the action - the passive agent. In German, von or durch
are often used in conjunction with the agent.