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  1. #1
    cherries5451 is offline Newbie
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    Default Passive Voice in a Zero Conditional Sentence

    Hi!
    Could someone please explain the difference between these sentences?

    "When water boils, it turns into steam."
    and
    "When water is boiled, it turns into steam."

    I'm interested in the explanation why an active construction sounds better than the passive one. I found similar examples with this phrase "when water is boiled, it turns/becomes/gets...", so it is not a mistake to use the second sentence. But somehow the first one sounds better to me. Why?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    JarekSteliga is offline Member
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    Default Re: Passive Voice in a Zero Conditional Sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by cherries5451 View Post
    Hi!
    Could someone please explain the difference between these sentences?

    "When water boils, it turns into steam."
    and
    "When water is boiled, it turns into steam."

    I'm interested in the explanation why an active construction sounds better than the passive one. I found similar examples with this phrase "when water is boiled, it turns/becomes/gets...", so it is not a mistake to use the second sentence. But somehow the first one sounds better to me. Why?

    Thanks!
    Before a competent reply is given will you suffer me to make this uninitiated comment?

    I believe the second sentence suggests untruth in that it might be interpreted that once water is boiled it will continue turning into steam irrespective of whether it is still hot.

    This example should illustrate what I mean: "When wood is barked, it dries faster"

    To make reference to rapid evaporation of water under certain conditions I would write:

    "When water is boiling, it turns into steam"

    or

    "When water is being boiled, it turns into steam"

  3. #3
    cherries5451 is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Passive Voice in a Zero Conditional Sentence

    Thank you very much for your comment!:) I used Present Simple because it is a classic example which you can find in many grammar books. I do agree with your corrections though. "is boiling" and "is being boiled" describe the process of evaporation in a much better way. Thanks again!

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