Finnish for busy people

Past passive object sentence examples

I find that sometimes the best way to learn a topic is to look at a group of example sentences. In this article, I’ve compiled sentences with verbs in the past passive tense (ie. the passive imperfect). One interesting way to use this tense is in past passive object sentences.

Hänet herätettiin koomasta “He was woken up from a coma”

1. Function of the passive

The sentence “Lääkäri herätti hänet koomasta” (The doctor woke him up from a coma) becomes “Hänet herätettiin koomasta” when we don’t say who did the action . The latter sentence means that there was a human involved doing the action, but we’re not saying who. This can be because you don’t know who is doing the action, but also when you choose not to mention them. This is the typical function of the passive tense (both present and past).

2. Word order

Note the word order in the passive phrase: in passive sentences you will place the object (in my examples: hänet) at the beginning of the sentence.

3. Object verbs

All the verbs in the list below are object verbs. I picked these because the usage of e.g. minut, sinut, hänet can take some getting used to for new learners, who haven’t run into the accusative case before.

I decided to stick to verbs with a total object, but I could also have made a section with partitive verbs. This list would have contained phrases such as “Häntä autettiin kotitöissä” and “Häntä rakastettiin tosi paljon“.

4. Conjugation of the object

When comparing the object of a passive sentence to that of a regular sentence, you will generally have to pay attention to the case the object is inflected in. In my list below, this is not an issue because I’m using hänet as the object in all phrases.

However, if I had used a name rather than a pronoun, we’d have noticed a case difference. You should acknowledge what happens when we make sentences active or passive. In an active sentence, you will use the suffix -n: Lääkäri herätti Arin koomasta. In a passive sentence, you will drop the -n: Ari herätettiin koomasta.

Note that we’re using the verb herättää here, not herätä. The verb herätä is intransitive: “Ari heräsi” (Ari woke up) while the verb herättää is transitive: Minä herätin Arin (I woke up Ari).

5. Hänet – he/she

For the sake of consistency, I’ve translated the hänet in all the sentences below as “he”. However, hän can mean both “he” and “she”. The pronoun “they” is becoming increasingly commonplace as a gender-neutral form for “he” and “she” in English.

2. Past passive object sentences

Verb Example Translation
asettaa Hänet asetettiin karanteeniin. He was put in quarantine.
herättää Hänet herätettiin koomasta. He was woken up from a coma.
haudata Hänet haudattiin hautausmaalle. He was buried in the cemetery.
havaita Hänet havaittiin lähellä rantaa. He was spotted near the beach.
häätää Hänet häädettiin kodistaan. He was evicted from his home.
irtisanoa Hänet irtisanottiin puhelimessa. He was fired on the phone.
johdattaa Hänet johdatettiin harhaan. He was misled.
jättää Hänet jätettiin yksin kotiin. He was left home alone.
kantaa Hänet kannettiin ulos huoneesta. He was carried out of the room.
karkottaa Hänet karkotettiin maasta. He was deported from the country.
korvata Hänet korvattiin toisella näyttelijällä. He was replaced by another actor.
kuljettaa Hänet kuljetettiin sairaalaan. He was transported to the hospital.
kutsua Hänet kutsuttiin häihin. He was invited to the wedding.
lahjoa Hänet lahjottiin valehtelemaan siitä. He was bribed to lie about it.
laittaa Hänet laitettiin käsirautoihin. He was put into handcuffs.
lähettää Hänet lähetettiin kotiin. He was sent home.
löytää Hänet löydettiin pahasti loukkaantuneena. He was found badly injured.
nimittää Hänet nimitettiin puheenjohtajaksi. He was appointed Chairman.
nähdä Hänet nähtiin juna-asemalla. He was seen at the train station.
opettaa Hänet opetettiin soittamaan viulua. He was taught to play the violin.
ottaa Hänet otettiin vangiksi. He was taken prisoner.
pakottaa Hänet pakotettiin allekirjoittamaan paperit. He was forced to sign the papers.
palkata Hänet palkattiin ohjelmoijaksi. He was hired as a programmer.
palkita Hänet palkittiin lahjakortilla. He was rewarded with a gift card.
panna Hänet pantiin selliin. He was put in a cell.
polttaa Hänet poltettiin elävältä. He was burned alive.
pudottaa Hänet pudotettiin joukkueesta. He was dropped from the team.
pysäyttää Hänet pysäytettiin rajalla. He was stopped at the border.
päästää Hänet päästettiin eilen vapaaksi. He was released yesterday.
saada Hänet saatiin kiinni poliisikoiran avulla. He was caught with a police dog.
siirtää Hänet siirrettiin toiseen sairaalaan. He was transferred to another hospital.
sulkea Hänet suljettiin yöksi vankilaan. He was locked into prison for the night.
surmata Hänet surmattiin kodissaan Oulussa. He was killed in his home in Oulu.
taivuttaa Hänet taivutettiin muuttamaan Suomeen. He was persuaded to move to Finland.
tappaa Hänet tapettiin kylmäverisesti. He was killed in cold blood.
testata Hänet testattiin koronan varalta. He was tested for COVID.
todettaa Hänet todettiin virallisesti kuolleeksi. He was officially found dead.
toimittaa Hänet toimitettiin terveyskeskukseen. He was taken to the health center.
tunnistaa Hänet tunnistettiin kuvien perusteella. He was identified based on the pictures.
tuntea Hänet tunnettiin nimellä Ari Kaski. He was known as Ari Kaski.
tuomita Hänet tuomittiin vankeusrangaistukseen. He was sentenced to imprisonment.
valita Hänet valittiin arkkipiispaksi. He was chosen as archbishop.
vangita Hänet vangittiin maaliskuussa. He was imprisoned in March.
viedä Hänet vietiin ambulanssilla sairaalaan. He was taken to hospital by ambulance.
äänestää Hänet äänestettiin pääministeriksi. He was voted prime minister.

This article contained past passive object sentences. In addition to this, I have a similar article with accusative total object verb sentences, which you might want to check out as well!.

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Hänet korvattiin toisella näyttelijänä. – Shouldn’t it be näyttelijällä?

Inge (admin)

Someone pointed that one out on Discord as well 🙂 Thank you!