Ihr Antrag ist abgelehnt

I think this use present perfect but ablehnen doesn't take sein and also this isn't passive sentence either because there's no werden in this sentence so I can't understand what it means as well as what kind of structure it is.

If it is passive sentence then I think it mean "your proposal/request is refused"

  • 3
    You are right about the missing werden, but this is Zustandspassiv.
    – Carsten S
    Commented Sep 7, 2015 at 9:52
  • Thank, I'm learning on internet so from many link, it only say about passive using werden
    – aukxn
    Commented Sep 7, 2015 at 10:10
  • 1
    Actually, even though I am a native speaker and had some grammar at school, I would until recently also have claimed that this is not passive, for the same reason as you.
    – Carsten S
    Commented Sep 7, 2015 at 10:15

3 Answers 3


This form is called Zustandspassiv. You are right that Vorgangspassiv would have involved werden:

Ihr Antrag ist abgelehnt worden.


Ihr Antrag wurde abgelehnt.

But now that it has been rejected, it is in a rejected state:

Ihr Antrag ist abgelehnt.

Damit ist meine Antwort beendet.

  • Hi, so how can people avoid confusion between Zustandspassiv and Perfekt which require sein like kommen?
    – aukxn
    Commented Sep 7, 2015 at 10:18
  • @aukxn, this confusion can only arise with transitive verbs, and I think that most of them form the Perfekt with "haben". Otherwise: With the help of context and common sense.
    – Carsten S
    Commented Sep 7, 2015 at 11:19
  • @CarstenS Well, as a passiv can only be formed with transitive verbs... ;-) Besides, where is there confusion? I don't get the point?
    – mramosch
    Commented Sep 13, 2015 at 22:32
  • @mramosch, ich denke aukxn meint, wenn jemand einen Marathon gelaufen ist (schlechtes Beispiel aus mehreren Gründen, aber mir fällt kein besseres ein), könnte man analog zu dem obigen „der Marathon ist gelaufen“ sagen, und wüsste dann nicht, ob der Marathon selber gelaufen ist oder gelaufen wurde.
    – Carsten S
    Commented Sep 13, 2015 at 22:39
  • @CarstenS: Nun, wenn der Marathon 'läuft', dann ist das aber auch ein intransitiver Gebrauch des Verbes mit einer anderen Bedeutung...
    – mramosch
    Commented Sep 13, 2015 at 22:43

It is a passive voice. Your request is declined.
Participle II.

Everything is very logical in German grammar. Since there is ge inside the conjugated verb, it is a past form: ablehnen - abgelehnt.

Here are the conjugations: http://www.verbformen.de/konjugation/ablehnen.htm

  • 1
    "Everything is very logic in German." That almost deserves a downvote. ;-)
    – chirlu
    Commented Sep 7, 2015 at 10:01
  • @chirlu but it truly is! :-) At least in Grammar. I will do some edits though... )) Commented Sep 7, 2015 at 10:02

While claiming a Zustandspassiv formed with sein is not wrong, the construction can also be analysed differently.

Abgelehnt, being the past participle of ablehnen, can also function as an adjective.

Der abgelehnte Antrag.

Many adjectives can be used both attributively (as in the example I just presented) and predicatively. Predicative usage would be

Der Antrag ist abgelehnt.

I don’t know why grammar apparantly prefers the Zustandspassiv description, but I feel that the predicative adjective description is a lot more logical so I will keep favouring that.

  • But it is still -> 'Der Antrag, der abgelehnt ist/wurde'...
    – mramosch
    Commented Sep 13, 2015 at 22:34
  • @mramosch and what does that change in the argument?
    – Jan
    Commented Sep 13, 2015 at 22:40
  • You are confusing an analysis of 'modes' or 'voices' with an analysis of 'tenses' - They go together - not alternatively... - One thing is being 'attributive/predicative' - another being 'active/passiv voice'.
    – mramosch
    Commented Sep 13, 2015 at 22:48
  • @mramosch I am not confusing any analysis. My argument is that abgelehnt both in your comment’s example an in the OP’s question can be both a conjugated verb and an adjective.
    – Jan
    Commented Sep 13, 2015 at 22:55
  • That's simply wrong! It is a participle in an attributive use-case but NOT and adjective. Although there are verbs who's participles get grammaticalized to adjectives because of a semantic shift...
    – mramosch
    Commented Sep 13, 2015 at 23:12

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