In my german class, we were taught that, when making Passiv, we use these prepositions

Agens -

von: Personen, Institutitionen , (Naturkräfte)

durch: Vermittler, Mittel, Abstrakta

However, I notice that we do away with the prepositions sometimes. For example, consider this sentence converted to Vorgangspassiv:

Heute kann man fast alles über das Internet bestellen

Heute kann fast alles über das Internet bestellt werden.

Why is it that sometimes we introduce a preposition, and other times not?

1 Answer 1


Prepositions like "durch" and "von" are usually inserted in passive sentences to connect the actor (the subject in the active sentence) with the action.

In your specific sentence, there simply is no preposition because there is no actor that needs to be connected. (The "man" vanishes in the passive sentence)

  • A more or less over-correct agent specification would be: Heute kann von einem fast alles über das Internet bestellt werden. Besser: Heute kann von jedem fast alles über das Internet bestellt werden. But the crucial point in using the passive voice is that the agent is not necessarily mentioned explicitly - as in this sentence. Mar 23 at 13:44

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.