Is there a passive infinitive in Italian?

What is the passive infinitive of, e.g., amare in Italian? Verbix's conjugation says "avere amato". Is that correct or the only possibility?

Maiden & Robustelli, A Reference Grammar of Modern Italian p. 389 says:

The passive meaning associated with da + infinitive can also be expressed by a passive -si (cf. 14.36) attached to the infinitive

So is the passive infinitive amarsi or da amare?

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    You seem to be confusing the passive voice (a particular verb form which is the main way to express passive meaning) with a passive meaning of certain locutions. The passive meaning is not always expressed with the passive voice, even if it is so most of the time. In any case, the passive infinitive is essere amato. The two forms Maiden and Robustelli are referring to in this section are da amare and da amarsi in any case, the da is not optional (it expresses finality)
    – Denis Nardin
    May 15, 2023 at 7:56
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    Verbix is not reliable, but where does it say that “avere amato” is a passive form? (It isn't.)
    – DaG
    May 15, 2023 at 8:51

1 Answer 1


Yes, Italian has a passive infinitive for transitive verbs. As the other forms of passive voice (sono amato, saresti amato), it is formed with the auxiliary verb essere. The present passive infinitive of amare is essere amato; the past passive infinitive is essere stato amato.

As Denis remarks in a comment, one must not confuse the passive voice (voce or diatesi in Italian) of a verb with other constructions that involve a passive meaning, such as si passivante (as in In Italia si ama la pastasciutta), the mentioned da amarsi (which means “that has to be loved”), and other ones.

Verbix is not a reliable source, but the page linked doesn't even mention any passive infinitive: it lists in a haphazard way some verbal forms, without distinguishing, for instance, the present and past forms of the (active) infinitive. Websites as this one are often built automatically and mostly useless. Please consult reliable sources, such as those by Treccani or Zanichelli and, even better, an actual grammar book.

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