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The regular passive
quickinfo

The regular passive, which is here taken as basis for comparison with less typical passive constructions, consists of a subject corresponding to the direct object or indirect object (see (1) and (2), respectively) of an active clause with transitivemain verb, and a periphrastic verb cluster consisting of a past participle together with word be.AUX.PASS.PRS is (being), is be.AUX.PASS.PST was (being) or was be.AUX.PASS.PRT had been as auxiliary. No terminological distinction will be made here between a passive and a past participle. (Aspectual and other differences between types of participles are described by Butler (2016)). The subject of the active clause is optionally represented as an adjunct headed by the prepositiondeur by.

1
a. Sy broer versorg die tuin goed.
his brother take.care.of the garden well
His brother takes good care of the garden.
b. Die tuin word goed versorg (deur sy broer).
the garden be.AUX.PASS.PRS well take.care.of.PST.PTCP by his brother
The garden is taken good care of (by his brother).
2
a. Iemand het hom vroeg al 'n graaf in die hand gegee.
someone have.AUX him early already a spade in the hand give.PST.PTCP
Someone gave him a spade to work with early on.
b. Hy is vroeg al 'n graaf in die hand gegee (deur iemand).
he be.AUX.PASS.PST early already a spade in the hand give.PST.PTCP by someone
He was given a spade to work with early on (by someone).

A number of constraints on passivisation are pointed out. For instance, verbs like weet know and ken know, be acquainted with resist passivisation, as in (3a). Constructions with reciprocal objects cannot be passivised, cf. (3b). A modal verb such as wil want to retains its semantic relationship with the sentential subject after passivisation, while the main verb has a new relationship with the subject, cf. (3c). In such cases active and passive sentences are therefore not synonymous.

3
a. *Alles word (deur my vrou) geweet.
everything be.AUX.PASS.PRS by my wife know.PST.PTCP
To mean: Everything is known by my wife.
b. *Hulle ken mekaar, maar mekaar word nie deur hulle geken nie.
they know each.other but.CNJ each.other be.AUX.PASS.PRS not by them know.PST.PTCP PTCL.NEG
To mean: They know each other, but each other are not known by them.
c. Sy wil die wêreld sien en sy wil deur die wêreld gesien word.
she want.to.AUX.MOD the world see.INF and she want.to.AUX.MOD by the world see.PST.PTCP be.AUX.PASS.PRS
She wants to see the world and she wants to be seen by the world.

Passivisation has a number of pragmatic implications or uses, such as disambiguation, as in (4b).

4
a. Julle sien ons selde.
you.2PL see us.OBJ seldom
You seldom see us.
you.2PL see we.SUB seldom
We seldom see you.
b. Julle word selde deur ons gesien.
you.2PL be.AUX.PASS.PRS seldom see.PST.PTCP by us
You are seldom seen by us.

The impersonal passive is a construction introduced by the adverb daar there, with a transitive or intransitive verb as main verb and a passive auxiliary, for example (5b):

5
a. Die komitee het besluit dat die president moet bedank.
the committee have.AUX decide.PST.PTCP that.COMP the president must.AUX.MOD resign.INF
The committee decided that the president should resign.
b. Daar is (deur die komitee) besluit dat die president moet bedank.
there be.AUX.PASS.PST (by the committee) decide.PST.PTCP that.COMP the president must.AUX.MOD resign.INF
It has been decided (by the committee) that the president should resign.

Pseudo-passive structures, which are exemplified in (6), share some of the characteristics of regular and impersonal passives.

6
a. Geen vermaak is in dié dorpie te vinde nie.
no entertainment is in this town.DIM PTCL.INF find.INF PTCL.NEG
No entertainment is to be had in this little town.
b. Die konsert moet dringend gereël kom.
the concert must.AUX.MOD urgently organise.PST.PTCP come.INF
The concert must be arranged urgently.
c. Jy moet die hek toegesluit hê teen vyfuur.
you.2SG must.AUX.MOD the gate lock.PST.PTCP have.INF by five.o'clock
You should have the gate locked by five o'clock.
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[+]Components and formation of the regular passive

A typical passive construction, as in (7b), when compared to an active construction, as in (7a), differs grammatically from it in three ways: (i) The direct objectdie muis a mouse, an internal argument of the transitive verb jaag chase, is promoted to the function of subject, or external argument, of the passive construction. (ii) The subject die kat the cat, the external argument of jaag, is demoted to an agentive adjunct – a prepositional phrase headed by deur by, for instance deur die kat by the cat. The preposition deur is also used in nominalisations, for instance die boek Jaffie deur Eitemal the book Jaffie by Eitemal. An older form of the agentive preposition is van from, a cognate of German von in the same function. Van is still used in nominalisations such as die oorwinning van die Geallieerdes the victory of the Allies, a genitive construction interpreted as agentive, and in fixed expressions, such as van lotjie getik crazy. (iii) The transitive verb jaag, in its base form, becomes a periphrastic verbal cluster consisting of gejaag, the past participle of jaag, and the auxiliary verb word, which may appear in verb-second position (as in (7b))(or in verb-first position in yes-no questions), or clause-finally after the past participle in subordinate constructions, as in (7c).

The deur adjunct may also be topicalised, as in (7d), though this is a marked order. The deur adjunct is also employed with nominalisations, e.g. die inval deur die Noormanne the incursion by the Norsemen, as in (7e).

7
a. Die kat jaag die muis.
the cat chase.PRS the mouse
The cat chases/is chasing the mouse.
b. Die muis word deur die kat gejaag.
the mouse be.AUX.PASS.PRS by the cat chase.PST.PTCP
The mouse is (being) chased by the cat.
c. Dit lyk asof die muis deur die kat gejaag word.
it seem.PRS as.if.CNJ the mouse by the cat chase.PST.PTCP be.AUX.PASS.PRS
It seems as if the mouse is (being) chased by the cat.
d. Deur die kat word die muis gejaag.
by the cat be.AUX.PASS.PRS the mouse chase.PST.PTCP
The mouse is (being) chased by the cat.
e. die inval deur die Noormanne
the incursion by the Norsemen
the incursion by the Norsemen

Though the deur adjunct is not realised in the majority of cases for pragmatic reasons, an agent is always implicitly present. According to Broekhuis et al. (2015:411) adverbs such as opsetlik, aspris on purpose and doelbewus intentionally, as in (8a), still imply an agent, as shown by (8b).

8
a. Piet het die blompot opsetlik/aspris/doelbewus gebreek.
Piet have.AUX the vase on.purpose/on.purpose/intentionally break.PST.PTCP
Piet broke the vase on purpose/intentionally.
b. Die blompot is opsetlik/aspris/doelbewus gebreek.
the vase be.AUX.PASS.PST on.purpose/on.purpose/intentionally break.PST.PTCP
The vase was broken on purpose/intentionally.

In the case of Afrikaans, the structural constraints on the regular passive are diminished in two senses: indirect objects and prepositional objects may also be promoted to subject of the passive, as in (9b) and (10b), respectively. The relationship between the main verb and active object / passive subject is not altered by passivisation.

9
a. Hulle het hom 'n rystoel gegee om makliker te kan beweeg.
they have.AUX him a wheelchair give.PST.PTCP for.COMP easier PTCL.INF can.AUX.MOD move.INF
They gave him a wheelchair to be able to move about more easily.
b. Hy is 'n rystoel gegee om makliker te kan beweeg.
he be.AUX.PASS.PST a wheelchair give.PST.PTCP for.COMP easier PTCL.INF can.AUX.MOD move.INF
He was given a wheelchair to be able to move about more easily.
10
a. Waarmee hulle die beeste voer, is nie duidelik nie.
REL.with they the cattle feed is not clear PTCL.NEG
It is not clear with what they feed the cattle.
b. Wat die beeste mee gevoer word, is nie duidelik nie.
that.REL the cattle with feed.PST.PTCP be.AUX.PASS.PRS is not clear PTCL.NEG
It is not clear what the cattle are fed with.

The auxiliaries is and was may be substituted for word to express the past tense or pluperfect, as in (11a) and (11b), respectively. The auxiliary is is commonly used for the past tense as well as the pluperfect. According to Ponelis 1979:267)was is used as a past tense form under English influence or to express the pluperfect in formal style. (Also cf.Kirsten (2015:165-168) .)

11
a. Die muis is deur die kat gejaag.
the mouse be.AUX.PASS.PST by the cat chase.PST.PTCP
The mouse was chased by the cat.
b. Die muis was deur die kat gejaag.
the mouse be.AUX.PASS.PRT by the cat chase.PST.PTCP
The mouse had been chased by the cat.

Van Schoor (1983:183) considers was clauses with adverbs such as al/reeds/klaar already, expressing action which has reached a state of completion, as adjectival rather than verbal. Both interpretations are illustrated in (12).

12
Toe ons by die hek kom, was dit al klaar oopgesluit.
when.CNJ we at the gate come.PRS was it already unlocked.ADJ
When we reached the gate it was already unlocked.
when.CNJ we at the gate come.PRS be.AUX.PASS.PRT it already unlock.PST.PTCP
When we reached the gate it had already been unlocked

Geword het alternated with is be.PRS in earlier formal language, as in (13):

13
die vergadering wat daar gehou geword het
the meeting which.REL there hold.PST.PTCP become.PST.PTCP have.AUX
the meeting which had been held there
J.D. Kestell: Christiaan de Wet, 1920, 3

When a modal verb forms part of the verbal cluster, word, as in (14), is the preferred auxiliary. However, with wil/wou want(ed) to as the modal, as in (15) and (17), wees be.INF is often used instead of word. This may entail a shift in aspect from an action to a state. In the perfect, gewees, as in (16), is preferred to geword; in (16) both gewees and word are in evidence.

14
Was byna of die gedierte geskiet wóú word
was almost as.if.COMP the animal shoot.PST.PTCP want.to.AUX.MOD.PRT be.AUX.PASS.INF
It was almost as if the animal wanted to be shot.
W. Anker: Buys, 2014, 30
15
dié hardkoppigheid om nie voorgesê te wil wees nie
this stubbornness for.COMP not dictate.PST.PTCP PTCL.INF want.to.AUX.MOD be.INF PTCL.NEG
this stubbornness to not want to be dictated to
A.Botes: Swart op wit, 2013, 227
16
Die baadjie lyk of dit by Edgars ... gekoop kon gewees het
the jacket look.PRS as.if.COMP it at Edgars buy.PST.PTCP can.AUX.MOD.PRT be.PST.PTCP have.AUX
The jacket looks as if it could have been bought at Edgars
F.Bloemhof: Doodskoot, 2016, 32
17
Sy wou ook onthou gewees het en bo alles liefgehê word
she want.to.AUX.MOD.PRT also remember.PST.PTCP be.PST.PTCP have.AUX and above all love.PST.PTCP be.AUX.PASS.PRS
She also wanted to be remembered and above all to be loved.
Beeld, 2015/10/13

The auxiliary word become is sometimes replaced by the copula raak become, get in the spoken language, as in (18), and often functions as auxiliary in some varieties of the language, as in (19).

18
moenie dat Evert se kar verwoes raak nie
must.not.AUX.MOD.IMP that.COMP Evert POSS car destroy.PST.PTCP get.PRS PTCL.NEG
Don't let Evert's car get destroyed.
TK
19
Omdat die meeste tjinners hierdie tyd van die aand gebore raak
because.CNJ the most children this time of the evening born.PST.PTCP get.PRS
because most children are born this time of the evening.
TK

The passive auxiliary word, Dutch worden become, is never optional in Afrikaans clause-finally:

20
Du. De muur moet geschilderd (worden).
the wall must.AUX.MOD paint.PST.PTCP be.AUX.PASS.INF.
The wall should be painted.
[+]The passive, overlapping and ambiguity

Passives with is was together with a past participle as verbal cluster may overlap with other constructions in a number of ways, with ambiguity resulting in some cases. Three of these construction pairs will be discussed.

(i) The verb Is may be interpreted as a copula and the past participle as a departicipial adjective, as in (21a), or is together with the past participle expresses the perfect in the passive, as in (21b). (See Butler (2016) for further discussion of the relationship between past participle and adjective.)

21
a. Die deur is deeglik gesluit.
the door is thoroughly locked.ADJ
The door is thoroughly locked.' (active)
b. Die deur is deeglik gesluit.
the door be.AUX.PASS.PST thoroughly lock.PST.PTCP
The door has been thoroughly locked. (passive)

(ii) The verb Is in combination with klaar finished together with the past participle of a durative verb, as in (22a), signals the end of a process; perfective aspect may also be expressed by employing the auxiliary het, as in (22c), but without klaar being obligatory. With is as auxiliary, as in (22b), a perfect tense passive is expressed.

22
a. Die nagdiere is klaar gejag.
the nocturnal.animals be.AUX.PRS finished hunt.PST.PTCP
The nocturnal animals have finished hunting' (active).
b. Die nagdiere is klaar gejag.
the nocturnal.animals be.AUX.PASS.PST already hunt.PST.PTCP
The nocturnal animals have already been hunted (passive)
c. Die nagdiere het klaar gejag.
the nocturnal.animals have.AUX finished/already hunt.PST.PTCP
The nocturnal animals have finished hunting' (active).

(iii) In (23) is alternates with word to contrast a stative with a dynamic representation of a state of affairs, as in (23a) and (23b), respectively.

23
a. Die plaas is deur bome omgrens.
the farm is by trees surrounded.ADJ
The farm is (active) surrounded by trees.
b. Die plaas word deur bome omgrens.
the farm be.AUX.PASS.PRS by trees surround.PST.PTCP.
The farm is being (passive) surrounded by trees.

Example (23) above is ambiguous between a past tense passive and a present tense copular construction. Partial disambiguation is possible in both Dutch and Afrikaans, but while syntactic means would be employed in Dutch, Afrikaans would make use of morphological mechanisms. While in Dutch the passive is uniquely marked syntactically through the clause-final order of an auxiliary preceding a past participle (which is not an option in Afrikaans), as in (24a) and (24b), departicipial adjectives may be morphologically marked in Afrikaans, for example geseënd in (25ai), vs regularised geseën blessed in (25a), in former "weak" verbs, and gebroke vs regularised gebreek broken in former "strong" verbs, as in (25bi).

24
a. Du. dat de armen zijn gezegend
that.COMP the poor be.AUX.PASS.PST bless.PST.PTCP
that the poor were blessed (passive)
a.' Du. dat de armen gezegend zijn
that.COMP the poor bless.PST.PTCP be.AUX.PASS.PST, or:
that the poor were blessed (passive)/are blessed (active)
b. Du. dat de band is gebroken
that.COMP the bond be.AUX.PASS.PST break.PST.PTCP
that the bond was broken (passive)
b.' Du. dat de band gebroken is
that.COMP the bond break.PST.PTCP be.AUX.PASS.PST (passive), or:
that the bond was broken (passive)/is broken (active)
25
a. dat die armes geseën is
that.COMP the poor bless.PST.PTCP be.AUX.PASS.PST, or:
that the poor have been blessed (passive)/are blessed (active)
a.' dat die armes geseënd is
that.COMP the poor blessed.ADJ be.COP.PRS
that the poor are blessed (active)
b. dat die band gebreek is
that.COMP the bond break.PST.PTCP be.AUX.PASS.PST, or:
that the bond was (passive)/ is broken (active)
b.' dat die band gebroke is
thar.COMP the bond broken.ADJ be.COP.PRS
that the bond is broken (active)

Thus, in Dutch, the clause-final auxiliary followed by past participle order constitutes a verbal passive, while the inverse past participle and auxiliary order may signal either a verbal passive or a copular construction. Note that in the case of the copular construction the grammatical status of the past participle is that of a departicipial adjective. In Afrikaans only the second order is found clause-finally, but a small set of the strong past participles retain their irregular form in figurative or other functions, e.g. die gesproke woord the spoken word for the verb spreek speak, while a small set of weak past participles, which for instance express mental states, retains a final [d], e.g. verwonderd surprised, teleurgesteld disappointed and gefassineerd fascinated.

(ii) Example (22) above serves to demonstrate the fact that the passive may also overlap with a specialised copular construction expressing the completion of an action. It consists of be.PRS or be.PRT and a past participle, as in (26a), alternating with have.AUX and a past participle, as in (26b). The adverb klaar finished is obligatory with durative verbs such as eet eat, werk work and sing sing in (26). In (27) klaar would be optional, as the past participles aangetrek dressed and gepoeier powdered would readily be interpreted as perfective. In (28), where be.PRT is used to express past or pluperfect tense, ingetrek moved in would also receive a perfective interpretation.

26
a. Ons is klaar geëet (gewerk, gesing, etc.)
we be.PRS finished eat.PST.PTCP (work.PST.PTCP, sing.PST.PTCP)
We have finished eating (working, singing, etc.)
b. Ons het klaar geëet.
we have.AUX finished eat.PST.PTCP
We have finished eating.
27
Gelukkig is Jacqueline klaar aangetrek en gepoeier.
luckily be.PRS Jacqueline finished dress.PST.PTCP and powder.PST.PTCP
Luckily Jacqueline has finished dressing and powdering.
TK
28
Eers later het ek gehuil, toe ek in die klein woonstelletjie ingetrek was.
only later.on have.AUX I cry.PST.PTCP when.CNJ I in the small flat.DIM in.move.PST.PTCP be.PRT
I only cried later on, when I had moved into the flatlet.
M. Hobbs: Score my, 2013, 117

(iii) With a number of verbs of extent, such as begrens border, omsirkel encircle, omgewe surround, omring surround, bedek cover (see (29) to (31)), which may express an enduring situation, a dynamic vs stative perspective may be expressed by employing the passive auxiliary word or the copula be.PRS, respectively. Note that even with be.PRS a fully agentive deur adjunct is possible. In some cases, such as (29b), the active version seems rather unlikely compared to the passive, perhaps because the subject of the active comes across as more agentive than a locative would merit. Examples:

29
a. wat dikwels omgewe is deur 'n ligkrans
which.REL often surrounded.ADJ is by an aureola
which is often surrounded by an aureola
TK
b. ? 'n Ligkrans omgewe die heiligdom.
an aureola surround.PRS the sanctuary
An aureola surrounds the sanctuary.
30
albei is in die ooste begrens deur die Rooi See
both be.COP.PRS in the east bordered.ADJ by the Red Sea
both border on the Red Sea in the east
TK
31
Ons is omring deur berge en woude.
we be.COP.PRS encircled.ADJ by mountains and forests
We are surrounded by mountains and forests.
TK
[+]Constraints on passivisation

The default position in regard to passivisation seems to be that propositions with agentive human or animate subjects and transitive verbs are likely to have passive correlates, and that the direct object of the active form becomes the subject of the passive. According to Broekhuis et al. (2015:25) passivisation is, however, not ruled out for transitive verbs with non-human or inanimate subjects, as long as those subjects are construed as agentive or causal:

32
a. Die storm het die plantegroei verwoes.
the storm have.AUX the vegetation destroy.PST.PTCP
The storm destroyed the vegetation.
b. Die plantegroei is deur die storm verwoes.
the vegetation be.AUX.PASS.PST by the storm destroy.PST.PTCP
The vegetation was destroyed by the storm.

Afrikaans differs from Dutch and is closer to English by also allowing an indirect object (cf. (33c)) to be promoted to subject, e.g.

33
a. Die hoof bied haar 'n oorsese studiebeurs aan.
the principal offer her an overseas scholarship on
The principal offers her an overseas scholarship.
b. 'n Oorsese studiebeurs word haar deur die hoof aangebied.
an overseas scholarship be.AUX.PASS.PRS her by the principal on.offer.PST.PTCP
An overseas scholarship is offered her by the principal.
c. Sy word deur die hoof 'n oorsese studiebeurs aangebied.
she be.AUX.PASS.PRS by the principal an overseas scholarship on.offer.PST.PTCP
She is offered an overseas scholarship by the principal.

In Afrikaans, the prepositional object of a prepositional object verb also readily functions as the subject of a passive clause, as in:

34
sy wil nie mee gesukkel wees nie
she want.to.AUX.MOD not with pester.PST.PTCP be.AUX.PASS.INF PTCL.NEG
She doesn't want to be pestered.
TK

Though copular clauses are usually not amenable to passivisation, this cannot be ruled out entirely, as shown by (35) – an example that makes a rather fabricated impression.

35
maar as daar grênd gewees moet word, moet daar mos in Engels gepraat word
but.CNJ if.CNJ there grand be.PST.PTCP must.AUX.MOD be.AUX.PASS.PRS must.AUX.MOD there of.course in English speak.PST.PTCP be.AUX.PASS.INF
but if it is necessary to be "grand", English must of course be spoken.
H.Wasserman: Anderkant, 2004, 102

Verbs like weet know and ken know, be acquainted with resist passivisation, according to Broekhuis et al. (2015:416), because the subject is an internal argument – an experiencer, in particular.

36
a. Anton weet alles.
Anton know.PRS everything
Anton knows everything.
b. *Alles word deur Anton geweet.
everything be.AUX.PASS.PRS by Anton know.PST.PTCP
To mean: Everything is known by Anton.
37
a. Anton ken almal.
Anton know.PRS everyone
Anton knows everyone.
b. *Almal word deur Anton geken.
everyone be.AUX.PASS.PRS by Anton know.PST.PTCP
To mean: Everyone is known by Anton.

As a prepositional object verb, however, weet is sporadically encountered in a passive:

38
Om nie te veel te wil weet nie, en om nie van geweet te word nie.
for.COMP not too much PTCL.INF want.to.AUX.MOD know.INF PTCL.NEG and for.COMP not of know.PST.PTCP PTCL.INF be.AUX.PASS.INF PTCL.NEG
Not to want to know too much, and not to be known about.
C.Luyt: Meer as een grens, 2013, 230
39
dat hier ook mense woon wat van geweet wil wees
that.COMP here also people live who.REL of know.PST.PTCP want.to.AUX.MOD be.AUX.PASS.PRS
that people are also living here who want to be known about
P.Pieterse: Manaka, 2005, 17

The passivisation of reflexive or reciprocal constructions is excluded in cases of full or partial coreference between the subject and object, for example when the main verb is obligatorily reflexive, as in (40); when the object refers to a body part of the agentive subject, as in (41), or when the object is reciprocal, as in (42), cf. Van Schoor (1983:180-181). However, when the object of a transitive proposition is overtly marked as coreferential with the subject by a suffix such as -self, passivisation may take place, as in (43).

40
a. Sy het haar geskaam oor haar uitlatings.
she have.AUX her.REFL shame.PST.PTCP for her remarks
She was ashamed of her remarks.
b. *Sy is (deur haar) geskaam oor haar uitlatings.
she was by her.REFL shame.PST.PTCP of her remarks
To mean: She was ashamed of her remarks.
41
a. Hy knik sy kop instemmend.
he nod.PRS his head agree.PRS.PTCP
He nods his head in agreement.
b. *Sy kop word instemmend (deur hom) geknik.
his head be.AUX.PASS.PRS agree.PRS.PTCP by him nod.PST.PTCP
To mean: 'He nods his head in agreement.
42
a. Hulle sien mekaar in die spieël.
they see each.other.REFL in the mirror
They see each other in the mirror.
b. *Mekaar word (deur hulle) in die spieël gesien.
each.other be.AUX.PASS.PRS by them in the mirror see.PST.PTCP
To mean: They see each other in the mirror.
43
Vorige getuienis ... het aangedui dat Henri se wonde deur homself toegedien is.
previous evidence have.AUX indicate.PST.PTCP that.COMP Henri POSS wounds by himself inflict.PST.PTCP be.AUX.PASS.PST
Previous evidence has indicated that Henri's wounds were inflicted by himself.
Huisgenoot, 2017/9/12

The constraints on passivisation dealt with thus far only involved main verbs and auxiliaries. Verbs may, however, also form clusters through the addition of modal or other lexical verbs – sometimes referred to as linking verbs – to the main verb. While some verb clusters passivise easily, others resist passivisation in various ways. For example, when a modal verb is introduced into the verbal cluster, its functional relationship with the subject may differ from that of the main verb to the subject. From (44a) to (44b) agentivity in regard to wil want to is transferred from the active to the passive subject. From (45a) to (45b) the capability ascribed to the active subject by kan be able to is transferred to the passive subject as 'possibility'. In all cases the agentive relation between the main verb and the entity referred to by the active object remains the same. The pairs of active and passive sentences in (44) and (45) therefore do not correspond semantically.

44
a. Hy wil haar nou alleen laat.
he want.to.AUX.MOD her now alone leave
He wants to leave her alone now.
b. Sy wil nou alleen gelaat wees.
she want.to.AUX.MOD now alone leave.PST.PTCP be.AUX.PASS.INF
She wants to be left alone now.
TK
45
a. Hy kan die las maklik dra.
he can.AUX.MOD the burden easily bear.INF
He can bear the burden easily.
b. Die las kan maklik gedra word.
the burden can.AUX.MOD easily bear.PST.PTCP be.AUX.PASS.INF
The burden can be borne easily.

Lexical clustering, with one or even more so-called linking verbs preceding the main verb, is extremely frequent in Afrikaans. Verbs which enable clustering include the following: laat let (causative and permissive), bly keep, remain, begin begin, help help and probeer try. Although the following examples have been attested and are clearly marked as passive through the use of the passive auxiliaries word become or be.PRS, it is not certain that they will be acceptable to all speakers.

46
Jou broer moet van Lusaka af laat kom word (causative)
your brother must.AUX.MOD from Lusaka off.POSTP let.LINK come.INF be.AUX.PASS.INF
Your brother needs to be sent for from Lusaka.
P.Pieterse: Manaka, 2005, 50
47
die handdoekie wat ná een keer se gebruik ... laat val word (permissive)
the towel.DIM that.REL after one time POSS use.NMLZ let.LINK fall.INF be.AUX.PASS.PRS
the towellette which is dropped after being used once
TK
48
Die polisie sal bly oorweldig word deur dié omstandighede.
the police will.AUX.MOD keep.on.LINK overwhelm.PST.PTCP be.AUX.PASS.INF by these circumstances
The police will continue to be overwhelmed by these circumstances.
Rapport, 2008/2/19
49
a. tussen die gedigte ... begin gesprekke aangeknoop word
among the poems begin.LINK conversations on.tie.PST.PTCP be.AUX.PASS.INF
conversations are beginning to be struck up among the poems
TK
b. Daar moet begin gedóén word.
there must.AUX.MOD begin.LINK do.PST.PTCP be.AUX.PASS.INF
People should start doing something.
Spoken on RSG radio
50
dié ... wat deur haar in die lewe help bring is
those who.REL by her in the life help.LINK bring.INF be.AUX.PASS.PST
those who were helped by her to be born
TK
51
Wat moet ten alle koste probeer voorkom word?
what must.AUX.MOD at all costs try.LINK avoid be.AUX.PASS.INF
What must one try to avoid at all costs?
TK
[+]Passives and pragmatics

The passive is often employed because it allows the speaker to omit mention of the source or agent of an action. Apart from the obvious advantage of densification, the omission allows the speaker to focus on the action itself rather than its cause. Other advantages include the avoidance of tautological or predictable information. Thus Ponelis (1979: 414-5, 308) mentions several reasons for omitting the agentive adjunct: the agent is highly predictable (52); the potential agent is very general (53); the agent cannot be identified (54); a first person agent is avoided for diplomatic reasons (55), and phrases such as na beweer word allegedly and na verwag word according to expectation are used to cover up the source of information (56).

52
Antibiotika word al hoe minder voorgeskryf.
antibiotics be.AUX.PASS.PRS all the more.seldom prescribe.PST.PTCP
Antibiotics are prescribed less and less.
53
Diere moenie mishandel word nie.
animals must.not.AUX.MOD maltreat.PST.PTCP be.AUX.PASS.INF PTCL.NEG
Animals should not be maltreated.
54
My kar is sopas gesteel.
my car be.AUX.PASS.PST just steal.PST.PTCP
My car has just been stolen.
55
Hiermee word verklaar dat dit die waarheid is.
PN.by be.AUX.PASS.PRS declare.PST.PTCP that.COMP this the truth is
It is hereby declared that this is the truth.
56
Hy is na beweer word die skuldige.
he is according allege.PST.PTCP be.AUX.PASS.PRS the guilty
He is allegedly the guilty one.

In the organisation of old and new information, the speaker may prefer to topicalise the theme rather than the agent, and to rather formulate the content of (57a) as (57b).

57
a. Dié mense voer nog steeds mense as slawe weg.
these people take.PRS still continually people as slaves away
These people are still continuing to abduct people as slaves.
b. Mense word nog steeds as slawe weggevoer.
people be.AUX.PASS.PRS still continually as slaves away.take.PST.PTCP
People are still being abducted as slaves.

Topicalisation may also allow the speaker to move from one clause to another without changing the topic: