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  1. #1
    keannu's Avatar
    keannu is offline Key Member
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    Default I was bought a sweater by Grandma

    Is the reason why 2 is not used that 2 can give the sense of "I was sold", which is awkward?
    That's what I thought, but I'd like to confirm it.

    ex)Grandma bought me a sweater
    1. A sweater was bought for me by Grandma.
    2. I was bought a sweater by Grandma.

  2. #2
    HanibalII is offline Member
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    Default Re: I was bought a sweater by Grandma

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    Is the reason why 2 is not used that 2 can give the sense of "I was sold", which is awkward?
    That's what I thought, but I'd like to confirm it.

    ex)Grandma bought me a sweater
    1. A sweater was bought for me by Grandma.
    2. I was bought a sweater by Grandma.

    Personally, I would use 'Grandma bought me a sweater' as I think it sounds more natural.


    And no, I do not think it gives a sense of 'I was sold'. But it does sound un-natural.

    Also, are you confusing 'bought' with 'brought'?
    I'm not a teacher yet, but I am studying a Bachelor of Education with an English Literature major at Charles Sturt University, in NSW, Australia.

  3. #3
    keannu's Avatar
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    Default Re: I was bought a sweater by Grandma

    Why do you think it sounds unnatural? No reason?

  4. #4
    HanibalII is offline Member
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    Default Re: I was bought a sweater by Grandma

    Just based on the order of the words used. In most cases there isn't a reason behind it, just what sounds best to the listener/reader.
    I'm not a teacher yet, but I am studying a Bachelor of Education with an English Literature major at Charles Sturt University, in NSW, Australia.

  5. #5
    Chicken Sandwich's Avatar
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    Default Re: I was bought a sweater by Grandma

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

    1. Grandma bought me a sweater.
    2. A sweater was bought for me by grandma.
    3. I was bought a sweater by grandma.

    All of them are grammatical, but the active sentence is much more likely.

    Just because you can transform an active sentence into a passive one, doesn't mean you should. Check out this thread.

  6. #6
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Default Re: I was bought a sweater by Grandma

    One of the reasons I find all these active/passive exercises so utterly pointless is that we rarely use the passive if the active is possible and makes exactly the same information available. There are some circumstances where we always use it, for example "John was savaged by a dog and he's in hospital". "A dog savaged John and John is now in hospital" just doesn't give the same feel.

    With your example about the sweater, the question which crops up so often in these threads springs to my mind - Why on earth would you want to change "Grandma bought me a sweater" into the passive? There is absolutely no good reason to and that, in effect, is why it sounds unnatural.
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  7. #7
    Tdol is online now Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: I was bought a sweater by Grandma

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    2. I was bought a sweater by Grandma.
    There's nothing wrong with this sentence. While the active is more likely, 2 is a more likely passive sentence than 1 IMO. And it gives me no sense that I was sold.

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