The passive voice is widely used in arabic without the negative associations regarding style that the passive voice has in English. American students are often uncomfortable with the passive voice when reading arabic texts because the unvoweled passive conjugations often look exactly like ****** voice conjugations. Since many students often are horrified at the thought of reading for meaning and recognizing words in context, and since they are usually very weak in grammar, sentences in the passive often are totally misunderstood.
Passive conjugations are differentiated from ****** conjugations by internal vowel changes. You can see from the conjugations above that the vowel on the first consonant is always a dhamma and that the stem vowel is always a kasra. These are the only differences. The suffixes are exactly the same as for the ****** voice. If you write out these passive conjugations without the short vowels, they will look just like ****** conjugations. Therefore context is what will tell you what is going on.
Now we will see how the passive is used and what it means. Let’s use “I studied the book” as a model sentence. This sentence is in the ****** voice. It is also a very boring sentence. Anyway, if we wish to convert this sentence to the passive voice in English we would say, “This book was studied by me.” (This is a gross barbarism in English, but such sentences do occur.) Now let’s look at the arabic versions of these sentences.