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Heute wird man unter 200 PS gar nicht mehr ernst genommen.

The above sentence is written in passive voice (wird genommen) but there is the word (man) here without either (von) or (durch).

Shouldn't it be (von einem) instead of (man)?

Is it correct to say" Wird man ............ ernst genommen?

As far as I know, it should be:

Wird ......... von einem ernst genommen?

2 Answers 2

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Don't let man confuse you. Yes, man is a subject. But passive voice clauses can feature a subject. In fact, whatever is the accusative object in the active voice clause becomes the subject in the passive voice clause.

Heute nehmen einen die Leute unter 200 PS gar nicht mehr ernst.

Heute wird man von den Leuten unter 200 PS gar nicht mehr ernstgenommen.

Or with einer/von einem:

Heute nimmt einen einer unter 200 PS gar nicht mehr ernst.

Heute wird man von einem unter 200 PS gar nicht mehr ernstgenommen.

Or with your man/von einem:

Heute nimmt man einen unter 200 PS gar nicht mehr ernst.

Heute wird man von einem unter 200 PS gar nicht mehr ernstgenommen.

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  • I think you made it a little more confusing by adding a third element! Sep 19, 2023 at 20:47
  • Which third element?
    – Janka
    Sep 19, 2023 at 20:48
  • Heute wird man von einem unter 200 PS gar nicht mehr ernstgenommen. In this sentence there are 3 elements: 1) man 2) von einem (subject of passive or object of active) 3) unter 200 PS (what is this?!) second subject or object? Sep 19, 2023 at 20:49
  • Please start with the first example. I marked the accusative object of the active sentence bold. It becomes the subject of the passive sentence, also marked bold. Likewise, I marked the subject of the active sentence. It becomes an adverbial in the passive sentence.…
    – Janka
    Sep 19, 2023 at 20:52
  • Unter 200 PS refers to cars that have less than 200 horsepower. This phrase should be the subject of passive. Sep 19, 2023 at 20:52
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The sentence is correct. A von or durch is not necessary.

Actually one reason to use the passive is that one can avoid to tell who the actor is. This can be achieved in an active sentence by using man:

Man nimmt einen nicht ernst.

But a passive sentence achieves this more eleganty:

Man wird nicht ernstgenommen.

Here, the actor appears nowhere in the sentence. So if one wants to avoid to state anything about the actor, the passive is a natural choice.

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