- For Teachers
Hi guys! Here are some more questionable verbs which take two objects:
read, bring, and choose.
Please check the below sentences whether they are grammatical or not.
1. He read me a book. ->I was read a book (by him) => I don't think it is correct.
2. My mom brought me an umbrella -> I was brought an umbrella by mom
3. She choose me a pretty doll. -> I was chosen pretty doll (by her)
Last edited by wotcha; 13-Oct-2012 at 18:37.
1 This is a possible sentence, though unlikely, implying that the book was read aloud to you. It's more likely to be used with something like 'I was read a story before I went to bed.'
2 This is possible, but not a very good example of a passive sentence without more context. The use of the agent makes it less likely.
3 This doesn't work for me.
It's not simply a matter of whether we can generate a passive sentence, but whether we would and why. None of these sentences as they stand are natural.
NOT A TEACHER
Tdol brings up an excellent point. You cannot just simply transform any active sentence into a passive sentence. I can say, 'I'm eating a sandwhich' but I really can't imagine anyone saying, 'A sandwich is being eaten by me.' It may be grammatical, but I don't think that anyone would actually say it.
I think it's much more useful to study how passive structures are used in real English sentences. Raymond Murphy provides a number of examples in English Grammar in Use on pages 84 - 93.
It seems that exercise books (and some classes) are full of examples of "Please change this active sentence into a passive sentence" with absolutely no regard for whether or not the passive sentence will ever be required.
As others have said, just because you can transform something from the active to the passive, does not mean you should.
Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.
This is a flaw of exercise books- we don't transform active sentences into passive ones- we use active sentences and passive ones and they are not the same. I do think that this teaching of the passive causes a number of problems, along with the garbage in grammar checkers that suggest that any passive form may be better in the active because it is clearer and more comprehensible. Few, if any, grammatical forms have been subjected to such brutal and incorrect treatment.