Icelandic: Dummy subject + að vera búinn að = passive voice

盲人瞎馬

Senior Member
Brazilian Portuguese
Hello.

I'd like to know if the construction dummy subject + að vera búinn að can be translated using the passive voice.

"Er (það) búið að styrkja hann?" = "Has he been strengthened?"
 
  • Segorian

    Senior Member
    Icelandic & Swedish
    I'd like to know if the construction dummy subject + að vera búinn að can be translated using the passive voice.

    "Er (það) búið að styrkja hann?" = "Has he been strengthened?"
    Yes, that is correct. Vera búinn að is a strange construction, and a literal translation of your question

    Er búið að styrkja hann?
    (I’m omitting það since it is not used in questions, but you are correct that it is implied)​

    would read:

    “Is (the act of) strengthening it finished?”​

    However, as you suggest, that simply means “Has it been strengthened?” I'm suggesting “it” rather than “he/him” as a translation of hann here because in a sentence where the verb styrkja is used in this way the pronoun nearly always refers to something else than a person. Two real world examples:

    Lítum fyrst á Jöfnunarsjóð sveitarfélaga. Hve mikið skyldi vera búið að styrkja hann…?
    [Sveitarstjórnarmál (periodical), 5th issue 1983] (referring to a public fund)​
    Að vísu er búið að styrkja hann vel og setja inn í hann öryggisbúr…
    [Dagblaðið Vísir (newspaper), 2 September 1998] (referring to a car)​
     
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