1

Wandel Passiv in Passiversatz um:

An der Uni soll ein großer Teil des Wissens eigenständig erarbeitet werden.

An der Uni bleibt ein großer Teil des Wissens eigenständig zu erarbeiten.

My teacher taught us ersatz passive very similar to how it is presented here. In a test we had, one of my friends reformulated the sentence like above and the teacher told his solution works too.

Why so? Could someone explain why?

1
  • The first sentence doesn't really make sense (and isn't passive), are you sure you copied it correctly?
    – DonHolgo
    Mar 31 at 19:01

1 Answer 1

2

An der Uni soll ein großer Teil des Wissens eigenständig erarbeitet werden.

That's the passive voice of a modal expression. A typical active voice sentence is:

An der Uni soll man einen großen Teil des Wissens eigenständig erarbeiten.

That method turns the subject of the passive voice sentence ein großer Teil des Wissens into the accusative object of the active voice sentences and invents an unpersonal subject man on the fly.


What your friend did is something different:

An der Uni bleibt ein großer Teil des Wissens eigenständig zu erarbeiten.

First, you can see that it's not the usual passive voice, as there is not werden involved. And neither sein so it's not static passive either.

Sein, werden, … do you know the third common verb from that group? … Yep, it's bleiben. Those are copula verbs. Actually, you can also phrase this with sein:

An der Uni ist ein großer Teil des Wissens eigenständig zu erarbeiten.

(Other matching copula verbs at this place are e.g. gelten als or scheinen. The copula werden doesn't work here for semantic reasons.)

Copula verbs take a predicative complement that explains the subject. That's the trick at this point. That predicative complement may be an adjective for example:

An der Uni ist ein großer Teil des Wissens uralt.

As participles can stand in for adjectives, we can put them there as well:

An der Uni ist ein großer Teil des Wissens widerlegt.

And this is also true for the third participle German has, the Gerundivum. Or rather, its zu-Infinitiv replacement form which is mandatory for predicative use:

An der Uni ist ein großer Teil des Wissens zu finden.

And that participle of what could be done or has to be done may be explained further as well:

An der Uni ist ein großer Teil des Wissens eigenständig zu erarbeiten.

The reason why this can stand in for the original sentence is the modal expression in passive voice. As that Gerundivum replaces exactly that: a modal expression in passive voice. It tells what could be done or has to be done.

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.