The Passive Voice in Chinese? Don’t 被 (bèi) afraid! 😆

by | Apr 21, 2021 | Chinese Grammar

“The Passive Voice in Chinese scares me” says no one.

That’s because we have a comprehensive breakdown for you of how to use the passive voice in Chinese correctly. Ace your HSK exam! with our clear breakdown (or take one of our free trial classes to double check anything you’re uncertain about).

This week, we introduce to you, one of the most common structures in Chinese: the 被 bèi structure.

With a little practise and the supportive NiHaoCafe team behind you, you’ll quickly find this structure is neither as daunting or difficult as the HSK textbook might have you thinking. If anything, learning all the measure words is a bigger task!

 The Passive Voice in Chinese breakdown:

The bèi structure is:
O + 被+ S + V (+ result/change)

So the main difference from the regular Chinese sentence structure (S+V+O) is that you place the Objects before the Subject.

咖啡 (O) + 被 + 我 (S) + 喝 (V) + 完了 (Result/Change)
Kāfēi bèi wǒ hē wán le.
The coffee was finished by me


When to use it?

In fact, Chinese people use the bèi structure when they talk about something they don’t want to happen.

父母骂了他
Fùmǔ màle tā
Parents scolded him

OR

他被父母骂了
Tā bèi fùmǔ mà le
He was scolded by his parents

This structure resembles a passive voice in English. That might help you remember it.

Is the Passive Voice in Chinese really that hard? We don’t think so.

Like any new grammar structure, it just requires learning and regular practise. You can do it though. Why not share your thoughts with us on social media if you liked our introduction? We can correct any mistakes or clear up any questions you might have!

View this post on all our social media accounts – and see how other learners have replied to it! 👉

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