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Ah, I’m delighted because this is a question I have had for a long time and haven’t found a satisfying answer to yet. Now I learn that there are even two different terms for it – or maybe not? Maybe it’s different things?
Are these sentences middle voice or mediopassive?
This fabric washes well.
Synthetic shirts iron easily.
Polished surfaces clean easily.
Thrillers and detective stories sell well.
My bike brakes poorly.
The fabric washes itself well. No.
The fabric is washable. Yes.
I don't have a problem with usage, and if in doubt I usually find a smart way around it to avoid a potential gaffe. But I want to understand the principle and the grammatical explanation for both terms. So far the lightbulb effect hasn't occurred
Last edited by 5jj; 11-Oct-2011 at 13:41. Reason: typo
Polys and Pollis.
Dupond et Dupond?
Thompson and Thomson?
Polys, Pollis - whatever. Maybe Trollis.
But is there - possibly, perhaps, please - a way for me to learn what the difference between middle voice and mediopassive is? Or am I just too thick to get this?
SCV/SVC: subject-complement-verb / subject-verb-complement.
Type 'mediopassive' in the search box at the top and you'll be taken to a couple of threads, though you won't learn a great deal there.
Basically, we are taalking about verbs such like 'break' mentioned above, though few British grammarians consider that there is a 'middle' voice or 'mediopassive' as such in English. It's one of those red herrings that crop up when people like trollis appear on the scene. I doubt if one percent of teachers of English have heard of the terms.