I read this sentence:

Auf der Hochzeit war jedes Alter vertreten.

This seemed odd to me, because I would have said wurde vertreten instead. A German-speaking friend said that wurde would sound strange here, but she could not explain the grammatical rule behind it. Can someone explain the use of the stative passive here?

  • 1
    The expression here is vertreten sein = being present, being represented.
    – Ingmar
    Feb 24, 2016 at 17:17
  • "wurde jedes Alter vertreten" in your sentence would actually end up in meaning like: "A youngster represented the pensionists and a middle-aged the youngster"... and so on.
    – tofro
    Feb 24, 2016 at 17:30

2 Answers 2


As described in the comment above, the word is vertreten sein which means to be physically present.

vertreten werden, on the other hand, means to be represented by someone else (e.g. when you couldn't attend yourself due to health issues and send someone else instead).


The stative passive (with sein) describes a status while the dynamic passive (with werden) describes an action.

In your example, every age is being represented at the wedding. There is no action involved, the ages are just being there. If you used werden then something is actively being represented: I could be going to a counter to actively represent something there.

  • Stative passive,is it not'Zustandpassiv' e.g. der Laden ist geschlossen? Mar 3, 2016 at 13:14
  • @user1474062 Sorry, what’s your question?
    – Jan
    Mar 20, 2016 at 20:03

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