“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.
Fùmǔ màle tā
Parents scolded him
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.