The Future II of the Passive Voice uses the perfect infinitive form of the Passive Voice,

geliebt worden sein,

in its formation, which thus runs as *

Ich werde geliebt worden sein,

Why doesn't the same perfect infinitive form of the Passive Voice apply to the formation of the Perfekt Passive (Ich bin geliebt worden), and that of the Plusquamperfekt Passive (Ich war geliebt worden)?

In keeping with the perfect infinitive form of the Passive Voice, shouldn't these two perfect tenses, when in the Passive Voice, also be formed like Future II of the Passive Voice?

Thus, instead of Ich bin geliebt worden, shouldn't there have been *Ich bin geliebt worden sein? Similarly, instead of Ich war geliebt worden, shouldn't there have been *Ich war geliebt worden sein?

Aren't these two perfect tenses of the Passive Voice similar to Future II of the Passive Voice? If the three of them are perfect tenses, why are they not formed in the same way?

2 Answers 2


You need to think of the perfect infinitive passive voice as a normal infinitive... so sein will be the verb that conjugates. I'll compare the normal verb sehen and its perfect infinitive in passive voice:

Ich sehe eine Frau.

Ich bin von einer Frau gesehen worden.

In both sentences the conjugated verb is in position 2. Think of gesehen worden as any other complement for a second... like müde for instance. The only difference is that the perfect complement contains time information and sets the statement in perfect tense.

Ich werde eine Frau sehen.

Ich werde von einer Frau gesehen worden sein.

In both cases we have the werden form in position 2 and the rest of the verbal phrase at the end. Again, the only difference is that the complement of sein sets the whole thing in perfect tense. Thus you get future 2.

Ich habe die Frau gesehen. / Ich sah die Frau.

Ich war von der Frau gesehen worden.

This is a little tricky since the passive version uses the preterit of sein and not bin gewesen. But just as before... think of gesehen worden as a complement like müde. Then war would be correct to build past tense. The complement adds the perfect notion and you get past perfect or in German Plusquamperfekt. It also makes sense that there is no such thing:

Ich bin von der Frau gesehen worden gewesen.

Because why would you have to have the perfect aspect twice.

So bottom line... you are conjugating sein as you normally would do. The complement of sein adds the notion of perfect and changes the time... you can see it as a (time-1) if you like.


The German Aktiv tenses with sein are

  • Präteritum: ich war
  • Präsens: ich bin
  • Futur I: ich werde
  • Futur II: ich werde sein (This is the completed state after Futur I. That future 1 process will have been finished. You need an additional sein to express that you will be in that completed state.)

The German Vorgangspassiv tenses work in the same way

  • Plusquamperfekt: ich war ge... worden
  • Perfekt: ich bin ge... worden
  • Futur I: ich werde ge... werden
  • Futur II: ich werde ge... worden sein

Again, sein is only necessary to express you'll be in that state after Futur I is over. Constructions like bin sein or war sein do not make sense.

(Note that war and bin of the Vorgangspassiv shift more into the past tenses, and we have these two ones also:

  • Präteritum: ich wurde ge...
  • Präsens: ich werde ge...)

You can compare also here at "Vorgangspassiv" and here at Passiv (Progressive/Continuous Formen).

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