I don't understand the structure used in this exercise:

enter image description here

What's it called?

  • 2
    The right answer is "worden", and it's a kind of passive, but I don't know how it's called exactly.
    – Landei
    Mar 4 '12 at 23:09
  • What's this exercise from?
    – nibot
    Mar 5 '12 at 10:27
  • @nibot: Here.
    – user508
    Mar 5 '12 at 10:48

There are two types of passive: "true passive" and "statal passive" (or "Zustandspassiv").

Compare these "true passive" sentences (of which one is analagous to the OP's):

Das Haus wird gebaut

Das Haus ist gebaut worden

to these "statal passive" sentences:

Das Haus ist gebaut

Das Haus war gebaut

According to the Handbuch zur Deutschen Grammatik, the difference between the two is a

[...] distinction between process and result. [... the] statal passive focuses on the "finishedness".


It is Perfekt Passiv of bauen ... Vorgangspassiv to be precise.

Das Haus wird gebaut. (Präsens)

Das Haus ist gebaut worden. (Perfekt)

Das Haus wurde gebaut. (Präteritum)

I will not give translations as the notion of the tenses in German and English are not the same. Both past forms are to an extend interchangeable. What threw you of was probably the missing ge. This is special for the verb werden. Its participle 2 (the ge-form) is geworden but as soon as it is combined with another participle 2 (gebaut) the ge disappears. Double ge would sound strange. We already know, that we are in Perfect Tense and once is enough.

  • 1
    +1, but I think the double "ge" is not the reason for using "worden". For example, consider "versetzt" or "verschönert" instead of "gebaut".
    – Jan
    Mar 5 '12 at 11:58
  • Concerning "worden" vs. "geworden", you might also be interested in this article.
    – elena
    Mar 5 '12 at 12:54
  • you 2 are right... It is just what I tell my students to remember it but I probably shouldn't post it like that so thanks for the completion :)
    – Emanuel
    Mar 5 '12 at 13:23

That's passive voice in perfect tense:

Das Haus ist 1924 gebaut worden.

The house has been built in 1924.

Passive in past tense would be

Das Haus wurde 1924 gebaut.

The house was built in 1924.

As to why this passive structure uses "worden" instead of "geworden", here's an explanation I found in a forum post:

Die Wäsche ist gewaschen worden.

Das Haus ist gestrichen worden.

Früher sind Kinder oft verprügelt worden.

Allgemein steht worden dann, wenn es mit einem Partizip Perfekt verbunden wird. Bei einem Adjektiv [...] muss geworden stehen:

Ich bin traurig geworden.

(links and emphasis mine)

  • 1
    ...undeleted on OP's request :-)
    – Jan
    Mar 5 '12 at 11:36

There are different problems with that sentence, i think. Besides the verb, there's a noun ellipsis, because the noun „im Jahr“ / „in the year“ is missing. Maybe it's easier to recognize with the noun at its place:

Das Haus ist im Jahr 1924 gebaut ....

  • Thank you. The missing part is still missing in your answer, was it intentional?
    – user508
    Mar 5 '12 at 10:47
  • @Gigili: is, it was, because there was nothing to add to Jan's and Emanuel's answer, i thought.
    – tohuwawohu
    Mar 5 '12 at 12:03

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