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  1. #1
    TheParser is offline VIP Member
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    has (been) improved

    (1) "My English has improved by watching American movies every day."

    (2) "My English has BEEN improved by watching American movies every day."

    Would you please tell me whether both sentences are correct English?

    If they are, would you kindly explain the difference?


    Thank you.


    James

  2. #2
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Re: has (been) improved

    'Improve' is one of a number of verbs that carry a similar (not identical) meaning when used intransitively in the active and transitively in the passive. In the active use, the 'causer' of the action is not mentioned, and may not even exist. In the passive use, the causer may not be mentioned, but does often exist.

    Similar examples are:

    The door opened/was opened.
    The car is moving/being moved.
    The cake is baking/being baked.

    ps. Sorry. Both your sentences are fine.
    Last edited by 5jj; 15-Jun-2011 at 11:54. Reason: ps added

  3. #3
    TheParser is offline VIP Member
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    Re: has (been) improved

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    'Improve' is one of a number of verbs that carry a similar (not identical) meaning when used intransitively in the active and transitively in the passive. In the active use, the 'causer' of the action is not mentioned, and may not even exist. In the passive use, the causer may not be mentioned, but does often exist.

    Similar examples are:

    The door opened/was opened.
    The car is moving/being moved.
    The cake is baking/being baked.

    ps. Sorry. Both your sentences are fine.

    Thank you very much for your answer.

  4. #4
    5jj's Avatar
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    Re: has (been) improved

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    If they are, would you kindly explain the difference?
    I didn't spot that part. Age!

    In these two particular sentences there is no real difference.

  5. #5
    Allen165 is offline Key Member
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    Re: has (been) improved

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    (1) "My English has improved by watching American movies every day."

    (2) "My English has BEEN improved by watching American movies every day."

    Would you please tell me whether both sentences are correct English?

    If they are, would you kindly explain the difference?


    Thank you.


    James
    NOT A TEACHER.

    I don't like either sentence.

    "My English has improved by watching American movies every day" sounds like your English watched movies, not you. I'm probably overinterpreting - I often do - but my preference would be: "I've improved my English by watching movies."

    The second sentence sounds even worse to me, probably because it's in the passive. It gave me the impression that someone improved your English, which is not the intended meaning.

    Just my opinion. Feel free to ignore it; as I said, I may be overinterpreting.

  6. #6
    Mannysteps is offline Member
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    Re: has (been) improved

    Although maybe wrongly, I would find the following quite acceptable:


    "My English has improved through watching American movies every day"


    Taking a subject other than “my English”, the following in active and passive also seem fine, to me:


    “The living conditions in many countries have improved through the putting into practice of adequate policies”


    “The living conditions in many countries have been considerably improved by the humanitarian aid they received".


    Curious about it,


    M.
    Last edited by Mannysteps; 15-Jun-2011 at 15:41. Reason: correction

  7. #7
    5jj's Avatar
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    Re: has (been) improved

    Quote Originally Posted by Allen165 View Post
    I may be overinterpreting.
    You are and you aren't. As I have just said in another thread,Are the 'which clauses' below relative clauses?:

    If we were to reject everything that was not as clear as it could be, perhaps half of the English written and 90% of that spoken in real life would be rejected.

    The Parser asked if both sentences were correct. I gave my answer as I did, feeling that both were of a type commonly used and easily understood by native spakers.

  8. #8
    Mannysteps is offline Member
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    Re: has (been) improved

    That's why I like English: always open to debate since quite a lot of it is correctly wrong or wrongly correct

    Thanks,

    M.

  9. #9
    TheParser is offline VIP Member
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    Re: has (been) improved

    [QUOTE=Allen165;763311]


    "My English has improved by watching American movies every day" sounds like your English watched movies, not you. I'm probably overinterpreting - I often do - but my preference would be: "I've improved my English by watching movies."

    The second sentence sounds even worse to me, probably because it's in the passive. It gave me the impression that someone improved your English, which is not the intended meaning.


    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Hello, Allen:

    (1) Everyone who has kindly posted has given me valuable advice.

    (2) I am relieved that Teacher Fivejedjon assures me that both sentences

    are grammatically correct and the same in meaning.

    ***

    (3) I found your comments most insightful, too.

    (4) A very qualified ESL teacher says that the following sentence is

    grammatical:

    Maggie's English has really been improved by her recent studies in Canada.

    But the teacher quickly points out that the sentence is not "ideal."

    The teacher -- echoing your sentiments -- writes:

    "I think Maggie also had at least a little something to do with her

    own improvement."

    ***

    (5) Congratulations on your sharp mind.

    (6) All of us, I am sure, see a bright future for you in the legal field.


    James

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