- 1 Post By Mar Rojo
Is the mediopassive worth learning?
Some students can be quite testing, and I had one such student last week. He had come across a discussion on the mediopassive in English and wanted a few examples from me. I offered these:
This shirt irons easily.
The book reads well.
X the soup that eats like a meal.
pole telescopes to 5 inches
He the asked me if I thought the mediopassive was worth classroom and home-study time, and my first response was in the negative, but now I have changed my mind. It seems the mediopassive is growing in English. It appears in marketing texts and in product leaflets, so could be useful to any student wanting to work in sales, or a similar area of business. The thing is, most of my colleagues disagree. Some of them say it doesn't work in English, and others say it is much too uncommon to be given attention in class.
So, apologies for such a long explanation in one of my first posts here, but what do you all think. Is it worth learning how to use the mediopassive?
Re: Is the mediopassive worth learning?
One of the big problems for teachers is that there is not much written about this in in easily accessible literature. Also, there is little agreement on the terminology - medio(-)passive? middle voice? ergative verbs?
I tended to treat this as lexis as much as grammar. When such verbs came up, I would point out the way in which they could be used both transitively and (with a similar meaning to the transitive passive) intransitively. I did not think the use of any of the terms I put in bold above helpful - but that was just a personal opinion.
I disagree with your colleagues who feel that it is too uncommon to be dealt with in class. It's common enough for students to know about. That's just an opinion, too.
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