25: Spanish Grammar: Passive Voice

Generally we use the passive voice to indicate what happened to the subject of the sentence without saying who or what carried out the action, meaning that in the passive voice (voz pasiva), the subject is acted upon by an outside agent. When the agent is specified, the passive voice is expressed by:
subject + ser + past participle + por + agent.

For example: La mezquita fue construida por el Sultán Hassan (The mosque was built by the Sultan Hassan).

From active to passive voice:

24. Spanish Grammar: Difference between Saber and Conocer

The verbsConocer and Saber in Spanish frequently confuse English speakers since they both mean To Know. However, these verbs are NOT interchangeable since they have different meanings and are used depending on the context.

23. Spanish Grammar: Transitive and Intransitive Verbs

Look in just about any good Spanish or Spanish-English dictionary, and verbs will be listed as either transitive (verbo transitivo, often abbreviated in dictionaries as vt or tr) or intransitive (verbo intransitivo, often abbreviated to vi or int). These designations can give you an important clue as to how the verb is used in sentences.

22. Spanish grammar: The Conditional Tense

Frequently, the conditional is used to express probability, possibility, wonder or conjecture, and is usually translated as would, could, must haveor probably.

  • The student said that he would study one more hour. (probability, possibility)
  • What time could it have been? (wonder, conjecture)
  • He must have been at home. (wonder, conjecture)
  • We were probably busy when you called. (probability, possibility)

Note: when would is used in the sense of a repeated action in the past, the imperfect is used.

21. Spanish grammar: Spanish words with multiple meanings

In Spanish there are plenty of words with multiple meanings, and often radically different ones! Here’s a list we compiled of some of the most commonly used words that can be used in different ways:

20. Spanish grammar: Helpful vocabulary


To ask for something: pedir.

  Cuando Antonio tiene sed, siempre pide una cerveza bien fría. 

  El presidente va a pedir al Congreso que aprueben la propuesta. 


To ask for information: preguntar.

  Mi marido siempre me pregunta cuándo voy a llegar a casa. 


To ask about or for someone: preguntar por.

19. Spanish grammar: Leísmo, Loísmo and Laísmo

Leísmo ("using le") is a dialectal variation in the Spanish language that occurs largely in Spain. It involves using the indirect object pronoun le in place of the (standard) masculine direct object pronoun lo, especially when the direct object refers to a male person.

18. Spanish grammar: Difference between Por and Para

How does one say "for" in Spanish?
Simple question, huh?
Not really. In fact, understanding the answer to that seemingly simple question is one of the more difficult problems facing many Spanish students.

17. Spanish grammar: por que, porque, porqué and ¿por qué?

  •   Por que can be the union of the preposition por and the pronoun que.

La carretera por que pasamos siempre hoy está cortada.

(= La carretera por la que pasamos siempre hoy está cortada.)

La chica por que preguntas se llama Luisa.

(= La chica por la que preguntas se llama Luisa.) 

Te diré el motivo por que se fue.


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