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Thread: Passive Voice

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    Thumbs up Passive Voice

    Hello and please, help me understand the following sentences:

    a) A new bridge was buit.
    b) A new bridge has been buit.

    In American English, both mean the same and can be used but in British English (when I do not know when the situation happened), I should have used sentence (b). Am I right?

    More examples:

    * He has invented a new portable micro-apartment. / He invented a new portable micro-apartment.

    * He found the answer to our crowded cities. / He has found the answer to our crowded cities.

    Thank you so much!!!

  2. #2
    mykwyner is offline Key Member
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      • English Teacher
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      • English
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    Default Re: Passive Voice

    You can say: A new bridge was built in 1130 A.D. and lasted for two hundred years. or you could say: A new bridge was built in 1130 A.D. and it is still there today.

    If you say: A new bridge has been built. It must still be there today.

    Therefore, if the bridge is still there, you can say it either way.

    He has invented... and He invented...have no significant difference in meaning.

    Note: This is true in American English. Other dialects may treat the present perfect tense differently. I believe that the present perfect always refers to an action that happened in the past and is somehow connected to the present.

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