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  1. #1
    tyrp is offline Junior Member
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    Default Passive voice word order of adverbs

    Hello everybody,

    My troubles with the passive voice are not yet over. This time the question gnawing at my mind concerns the word order.

    Which of the sentences below sounds best and most natural:
    Your story was much spoken of.
    Your story was spoken of much.
    Your story was spoken much of.


    The teacher speaks well of Peter.
    Peter is well spoken of by the teacher.
    Peter is spoken well of by the teacher.
    Peter is spoken of well by the teacher.


    Should the prep go right after the verb or not? Does the position of the prep change the meaning of the phrase or does it make the sentence sound odd?

    The other question deals with verbs in phrases.

    I'm almost sure that it's impossible to make up a sentence like this:
    People made fun of him. - Fun was made of him.
    Much better must be:
    He was made fun of.


    But does it depend on the phrase? What about the expressions like 'to pay attention to sth', 'to put an end to' etc? Can we passivise the sentence making the noun of such phrases the subject?

    Hence, which is better?

    Much attention was paid to the problems of environmental pollution.
    The problems of environmental pollution were paid much attention to.

    An end will be put to the problems of environmental pollution.
    The problems of environmental pollution will be put an end to in our country.


    Sorry for such a long post.

    Thanks a lot in advance! I always appreciate your help!

    PS Having got no answers (at all) to my previous post on the same subject, I decided to close that thread and open it again under a new, clearer title. Hope, it's ok now and I will get at least some feedback.

  2. #2
    TheParser is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Passive voice word order of adverbs

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


    Tyrp,

    (1) May I make a very gentle suggestion? Maybe you would get faster and more answers if you used one-question posts.

    I think that long posts turn off many people/ turn many people off. ( = discourage them)

    (a) People are often turned off by long posts.

    (2) You have asked some great questions, and I am sure that many of my fellow members would also like to know the

    answers. Hopefully, some people will soon answer you.

    (3) I can only offer something that I found in one book. The scholar said both ways are possible:

    (a) "Insufficient attention was paid to dictionary compilation."

    (b) "Dictionary compilation was paid insufficient attention to."

    He did not give the active sentence, which I guess was something like: Scholars paid insufficient attention to dictionary compilation.

    (4) This scholar also claims that the direct objects of these verbs are "part of the idiom":

    pay attention to
    make a mess of
    keep an eye on
    get hold of
    etc.

    I guess he means that we should consider "attention" as being part of an idiom. That is, the direct object is -- in his words --"cohesive with the verb." That is, very closely tied to the verb. So I guess the direct object of "pay attention to" is very different from, for example, "pay money to someone."

    He adds that these examples are "not completely fixed." That is, you can also say "give much more attention to" or

    "pay insufficient attention to."

    Source: The Oxford English Grammar (1996) by Professor Sidney Greenbaum. Page 284.

  3. #3
    tyrp is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Passive voice word order of adverbs

    Dear TheParser,

    Thanks a lot for your help and kind attention!

    PS I'll follow your advice and make my posts shorter. Thanks for that, too.

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