The formula for making passive voice with all modals are the same as follows:

modal + past participle + werden


Dem alten Mann muss geholfen werden.

Kann das Radio nicht repariert werden?

Erik soll nicht eingeladen werden.

Dieser Aufsatz durfte nicht geschrieben werden.

However, there is one modal that acts quite differently and that is " wollen ".

Er wird fotografiert werden wollen.

If we follow the passive modal formula, the above sentence should be like this:

Er will fotografiert werden.

Why does wollen become the last element in the sentence but other modals don't?

1 Answer 1


You are missing a crucial detail. Your passive voice sentence

Er will fotografiert werden.

indeed exists. The corresponding active voice sentence is

Er will fotografieren.

So what is the following sentence?

Er wird fotografiert werden wollen.

That's the passive voice sentence of the active voice sentence

Er wird fotografieren wollen.

That's both Futur I tense rather than Präsens.

  • Is the following sentence a double infinitive sentence? Er wird fotografieren wollen. Jun 16, 2023 at 15:59
  • 1
    It's a sentence with two infinitives. But such a thing as a "double infinitive sentence" does not exist outside of your learning materials. Because German doesn't care about the number of verbs that you stack. Example: Du weißt, dass ich heute schwimmen lernen gehen können will. That's four infinitives. Same building principle. German has a lot of such "half-modals" that take an infinitive as their argument.
    – Janka
    Jun 16, 2023 at 18:39

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