Is there any difference in meaning in the past passive voice used with or without "был"?

Москва основана в 1147 году.

Москва была основана в 1147 году.

2 Answers 2


Of course. There is no difference in your case, however, the variant without "был" refers to the present state. Nowadays you cannot say "Советский Союз образован в 1922" because Soviet Union does not exist anymore. Moscow does, so you can use both.


The easiest analogy is as follows:

  • Moscow was founded in 1147. (w/o быть)
  • Moscow has been founded in 1147. (w быть)
  • Only in English the second sentence is hardly possible.
    – Shady_arc
    Jul 19, 2014 at 0:46

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