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    #1

    Change it from passive to active

    Change this sentence to active voice:

    Tables are shared with up to three organizations.

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    #2

    Re: Change it from passive to active

    what does this sentence mean and imply?


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    #3

    Re: Change it from passive to active

    As many as three tables are shared with other organizations. ???


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    #4

    Re: Change it from passive to active

    Quote Originally Posted by anupumh View Post
    what does this sentence mean and imply?
    It means that at this particular function, representatives from up to three organizations can sit at one table.


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    #5

    Re: Change it from passive to active

    Quote Originally Posted by PROESL View Post
    Change this sentence to active voice:

    Tables are shared with up to three organizations.

    All tables are shared by up to three organizations? Which tables? How many tables?

    One table is shared by up to three organizations?

    Ambiguous, yes, but it's clear what the writer means to say.



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    #6

    Re: Change it from passive to active

    Quote Originally Posted by PROESL View Post
    All tables are shared by up to three organizations? Which tables? How many tables?

    One table is shared by up to three organizations?

    Ambiguous, yes, but it's clear what the writer means to say.


    There is no pronoun to indicate its in passive voice and to change it into active.

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    #7

    Re: Change it from passive to active

    Quote Originally Posted by PROESL View Post
    Change this sentence to active voice:

    Tables are shared with up to three organizations.

    In an active sentence we have to have a subject or doer.
    Here, for example it maybe "government", so it will be:
    Government shares with tables up to three organizations.

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    #8

    Re: Change it from passive to active

    I'm no expert (just a lowly ESL teacher), but I'll have a crack at this one:

    The sentence is ambiguous because there is no overt AGENT (because it lacks a "by-phrase"). Lacking the context of discourse, we cannot guess at the AGENT from the sentence alone because the setting seems to narrow to generalize.

    Compare with: A lot of beer is made in Germany.
    Even though this sentence lacks a by-phrase overtly denoting the AGENT, the AGENT is understood to be something like they or the German people.
    This is not the case with your tables sentence; we simply cannot generalize the AGENT.

    What's causing the ambiguity is the use of the "with-phrase". When used with the verb share, the preposition with denotes the RECIPIENT, not the AGENT. Therefore, in your passive sentence, we have a THEME (tables) and a RECIPIENT (up to three organizations) but no AGENT. Since we don't know who "does the sharing", we can't make this sentence active.

    Compare:
    a. passive: The cookies were shared by Timmy with three kids.
    active: Timmy shared the cookies with three kids.
    (since we have an AGENT:Timmy, we can make this sentence active)

    b. passive: The cookies were shared by three kids.
    active: Three kids shared the cookies.
    (this time, the AGENT denoted by the by-phrase is three kids, so we can make this sentence active).

    c. passive: The cookies were shared with three kids.
    active: ???
    There is no AGENT (neither overt nor understood) in the passive sentence. Hence, we don't know who does the sharing, and consequently we can't make it active.

    The crucial thing to understand is that in (b), the cookies are divided among 3 entities (3 kids) because they play the role of AGENT and there is no other RECIPIENT. On the other hand, in (a), the cookies are divided among 4 entities (3 kids:RECIPIENT + Timmy:AGENT). Since (c) lacks an overt AGENT, we're not only ignorant of who does the sharing; we also cannot guess at the number of entities who end up with some cookies:

    The cookies were shared with three kids (by Timmy? = 4 entities; by Timmy and his sister? = 5 entities).

    In short, I think the source of the confusion lies in the fact that "with" is sometimes erroneously taken to introduce an AGENT in passives (when used in conjunction with verbs like "share"), when its complement actually plays the role of RECIPIENT.

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