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I know how you would usually convert a sentence to its passive form using the verb werden. So for instance, if I had to convert the following sentence:

Der Mann baut die Brücke

I would do that as follows:

Präteritum:

Die Brücke wurde vom Mann gebaut.

Präsens:

Die Brücke wird vom Mann gebaut.

Plusquamperfekt:

Die Brücke war vom Mann gebaut worden.

But I'm kinda lost with this one:

Eine Sage berichtet, dass die Stadt Rom im Jahre 753 vor Christus von den Zwillingsbrüdern Romulus und Remus gegründet wurde

Could anyone give me a headstart on it?

Edit: I was basically having trouble because of the fact that this sentence had a subordinate clause, which made it confusing to decide where I make the change.

I’ve come to the solution at last:

Präsens:

Eine Sage berichtet, dass die Stadt Rom im Jahre 753 vor Christus von den Zwillingsbrüdern Romulus und Remus gegründet wird.

plusquamperfekt:

Eine Sage berichtet, dass die Stadt Rom im Jahre 753 vor Christus von den Zwillingsbrüdern Romulus und Remus gegründet worden war.

However I would still like a thorough explanation on this, since it’s still not all that intuitive to me.

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  • 1
    Sorry, I meant the 1st example. Romulus und Remus performed the action (gründen). Jul 29 '20 at 13:39
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    Welcome to German.SE. Please include "what confuses you" into your question. While the comments are for clarification, the question has to stand without comments as "fully describing the problem". Jul 29 '20 at 14:18
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    The sentence you provided is already passive, hence you can't transform it into one.
    – David Vogt
    Jul 29 '20 at 14:34
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    It's still unclear to me what you are trying to do that you need a head start for. Translate it? Set it to passive voice (the "dass" sentence already is)? Set it to Präsens?
    – HalvarF
    Jul 29 '20 at 14:52
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    @sadElephent: please include all clarification into your question. otherwise it is a unclear question and will get closed and thus needed not to be closed. Jul 29 '20 at 18:21
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That's basically the same temporal form as the Präteritum example you mentioned.

If we break the sentence down, it goes as follows:

Die Stadt Rom wurde von Romulus und Remus gegründet.

as compared to your sentence

Die Brücke wurde vom Mann gebaut.

And if we form the same sort of sentence using your example, it would sound like this:

Eine Sage berichtet, dass die Brücke vom Mann gebaut wurde.

I think your problem with the sentence is the fact that the Präteritum is embedded in a subordinate sentence.

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  • So in Präsens that would be: Eine Sage berichtet, dass die Stadt Rom wird im Jahre 753 vor Christus von den Zwillingsbrüdern Romulus und Remus gegründet ? The thing with this one it's kind of like two sentences so I don't know where to begin, plus the subordinate sentence is already in präteritum and it already uses 'wurde'.
    – se718
    Jul 29 '20 at 13:35
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    No, there is "wird" missing in the end. And of course that sentence in present tense would be nonsense because its content makes it clear that is must be past tense or past perfect.
    – Roland
    Jul 29 '20 at 13:42
  • Well then what would it be like in präsens or plusquamperfekt?
    – se718
    Jul 29 '20 at 13:56
  • @sadElephent Before asking for each single case, you're probably better off looking here first: de.wiktionary.org/wiki/Flexion:werden If you still have problems or doubts in understanding you can come back and ask a well written question about it here. Jul 29 '20 at 14:16
  • @Roland Well, sometimes it is used in kind of headlines: "753 vor Christus: Rom wird von den Zwillingsbrüdern Romulus und Remus gegründet." Jul 29 '20 at 14:33
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Let's convert the following sentence into passive:

Eine Sage berichtet, dass die Stadt Rom im Jahre 753 vor Christus von den Zwillingsbrüdern Romulus und Remus gegründet wurde.

Because the subclause is already passive, only the main clause can be converted.

When we do this, we get:

Durch eine Sage wird berichtet, dass die Stadt Rom im Jahre 753 vor Christus von den Zwillingsbrüdern Romulus und Remus gegründet wurde.

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