I'm editing a Spanish translation of a consent form for work. The presented draft reads "(noun) está llevando a cabo por ..." to mean "(noun) is being conducted by...". The phrase just feels clunky to me. Is there a more concise way to translate "(noun) is being conducted by..."? I initially proposed "(noun) se lleva a cabo por ...", but I think I prefer a single verb like "(noun) se conduce por..." over a verb phrase. Thoughts?

  • If you could provide more of the context, it might help pick the right words. Realizar might be appropriate. Conducir is probably one of your better choices if you're translating something like "... this investigation is being conducted by a third-party investigator..."
    – Kent A.
    Mar 6, 2015 at 0:10
  • The consent form is for a research study. The goal of the sentence in question is to simply identify the primary investigator, i.e. "the study is being conducted by (person's name)." Ideally, I wouldn't use the passive voice to achieve this, but the IRB-approved English version was written in passive voice. So, my hands are tied. Mar 6, 2015 at 0:16
  • Though we need more context, you could also say "está siendo realizado por" or "está siendo dirigido por", or you can convert the passive sentense to "... está realizando el estudio de ..." if it sounds better for you. Dirigido could work if it's achieved by other means or people and you control them.
    – skan
    Mar 7, 2015 at 13:30

5 Answers 5


You could use coordinar.

El estudio (o la investigación) ha sido coordinado por

Of course you can use "está coordinado", if the verb tense fits the description better.

You could also use dirigir (lead, manage)

El estudio ha sido dirigido por ....

These two stress the lead role of the primary investigator who is managing the research. Probably the P.I. is just one of many researchers involved in this study, effort, etc. A translation with "llevar a cabo" might leave out many of other collaborators (which may get offended, since in academia is important to get proper citation and credit for your contribution). Compare these two:

El estudio ha sido llevado a cabo por Diego

El estudio ha sido llevado a cabo por el equipo de investigación de Spanish.SE

You could even use 'liderar'

el estudio ha sido liderado por ...

This way you can credit the primary investigator and his important head role without implying he or she (or his/her team) was the only entity involved in the research and avoiding others feeling "left out".

  • Realizado is a good verb too
    – Dahnark
    Mar 12, 2015 at 21:29

Other possible verbs are desarrollar and efectuar:

La tarea está siendo desarrollada por los estudiantes.

La tarea está siendo efectuada por los estudiantes.

And it's not correct the way you are translating in your question example:

(noun) is being conducted by...

This does not translate as follows:

(noun) está llevando a cabo por ...


(noun) está siendo llevado a cabo por...

(noun) es llevado a cabo por...

  • 2
    I'm not sure I like se está llevando a cabo por. El pasivo reflejo no admite el agente con por (lo que sería el sujeto en una oración activa) — solo el pasivo de verdad como en está siendo llevado or es llevado lo admite. Mar 6, 2015 at 3:59
  • @guifa Toda la razón, borrado.
    – Rodrigo
    Mar 6, 2015 at 11:40

The study is being conducted by ...

Conducir should be an acceptable form: (La investigación, El estudio) se conduce por ...

Realizar can also be appropriate: (La investigación, El estudio) se realiza por ...

  • Side question: Our guidelines stipulate that the form require no more than an 8th grade reading level. In your opinion, would one of these two verbs fit this guideline more, or is either still appropriate? Both seem to fit the bill in my estimation. Also, thank you for your help. Mar 6, 2015 at 0:28
  • Good question. I learned Spanish as a young adult (19), so it's hard for me to judge. Maybe a native speaker could shed some light on this?
    – Kent A.
    Mar 6, 2015 at 0:48
  • @firsttimetranslator I don't think you'll have problems with any of the verbs suggested in any the different answers. efectuar might be a bit on the formal side for your purposes, but the others ought to all work. dirigir was the one that first came to my mind, but I wouldn't bat an eye at any of them. Mar 6, 2015 at 4:02
  • @KentAnderson just be careful as the fake passive doesn't allow for the agent to be expressed (that is, only anonymous passives where in English we can omit the by part). If you use se realiza, por could only be used, for example, for time/location of where it's being carried out. The only two options that include the agent are el estudio es realizado por [persona] (true passive), or [persona] realiza el estudio (active). Mar 6, 2015 at 4:05

Ideally, I wouldn't use the passive voice to achieve this, but the IRB-approved English version was written in passive voice. So, my hands are tied

I really don't think your hands are tied. Translation is not about exact word-by-word equivalencies or syntactical replicas of target texts. I would simply not use the passive voice to translate “the study is being conducted by (person's name).” It would probably lead to clunky translations like «El estudio esta siendo llevado a cabo por.» I would use «El estudio lo está llevando a cabo...» o «El estudio lo está realizando [person's name].»


Possible synonyms:

  • acometer
  • cumplimentar
  • efectuar
  • ejecutar
  • realizar
  • elaborar

but "llevar a cabo" sounds perfect for me ;)

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.