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  1. #1
    MOONA is offline Newbie
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    Question Passive Of Imperative

    Hi, Please let me know, can we make the passive of imperative sectences?
    For instance,the verb is "go".How do we change it into passive.
    YOU ARE ORDERED TO GO.It's in my own english please let me know if it is right.

  2. #2
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: Passive Of Imperative

    Quote Originally Posted by MOONA View Post
    Hi, Please let me know, can we make the passive of imperative sectences?
    For instance,the verb is "go".How do we change it into passive.
    YOU ARE ORDERED TO GO.It's in my own english please let me know if it is right.
    I was about to post saying this is a logical impossibility:
    active:
    <actor_as_subject> <active_verb> <object>
    e.g. The boy kicks the ball
    passive:
    <object> <passive_verb> <subject>
    e.g. The ball is kicked by the boy
    You can't give an order to something, requiring it to be acted on (by someone who's not being ordered)

    But I thought of your example, which brought to mind an exception which may be worth remembering: the imperative 'Be gone'. But this is quite archaic and rarely used.

    There is also a pretty obscure usage, when the object is a person who is making sure that something gets done to them:

    [One criminal says to another] Go into the bar, and get picked up

    b

  3. #3
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
    MikeNewYork is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Passive Of Imperative

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    I was about to post saying this is a logical impossibility:

    active:
    <actor_as_subject> <active_verb> <object>

    e.g. The boy kicks the ball
    passive:
    <object> <passive_verb> <subject>

    e.g. The ball is kicked by the boy
    You can't give an order to something, requiring it to be acted on (by someone who's not being ordered)

    But I thought of your example, which brought to mind an exception which may be worth remembering: the imperative 'Be gone'. But this is quite archaic and rarely used.

    There is also a pretty obscure usage, when the object is a person who is making sure that something gets done to them:

    [One criminal says to another] Go into the bar, and get picked up

    b
    I'm pretty sure that many would find "gone" in your sentence to be an adjective.

  4. #4
    mykwyner is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Passive Of Imperative

    I don't know why English students shhould be concerned about creating sentences in the passive voice. As far as I'm concerned, the passive voice, unless it is used for effect by a skilled writer, is an error in student writing. I always caution my students against using anything but the active voice until they are accomplished writers.

  5. #5
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
    MikeNewYork is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Passive Of Imperative

    Quote Originally Posted by mykwyner View Post
    I don't know why English students shhould be concerned about creating sentences in the passive voice. As far as I'm concerned, the passive voice, unless it is used for effect by a skilled writer, is an error in student writing. I always caution my students against using anything but the active voice until they are accomplished writers.
    I get your point, but I don't agree with all the anti-passive voice rhetoric that comes from English teachers. I do grant you that expertise with the active voice is a prerequisite, however.

    The passive voice has many uses, the best of which is the avoidance of endless repetition of pronouns. When the agent is not important or is not the focus, it can be nicely eliminated in the passive voice.

  6. #6
    mykwyner is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Passive Of Imperative

    Well said.

  7. #7
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
    MikeNewYork is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Passive Of Imperative

    Quote Originally Posted by mykwyner View Post
    Well said.
    Why thank you!

  8. #8
    mykwyner is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Passive Of Imperative

    If you saw some of the writing I have to correct, you'd know why I'm a stickler for straightforward prose. Beginning (or inexperienced) writers have to be told that the more they try to sound literary, the less clear their message will be. For most of my students, our goal is to get the mechanical-error count to average less than one per word written.

    Mike W

  9. #9
    MOONA is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Passive Of Imperative

    I hv been more confused bt thnx 2 u all .Actually I asked this question to my teacher as well and HE said it is right(U r ordered 2 go)bt if it is wrong so what does it mean......u r ordered/requested 2 do sth

  10. #10
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    Default Re: Passive Of Imperative

    Quote Originally Posted by mykwyner View Post
    If you saw some of the writing I have to correct, you'd know why I'm a stickler for straightforward prose. Beginning (or inexperienced) writers have to be told that the more they try to sound literary, the less clear their message will be. For most of my students, our goal is to get the mechanical-error count to average less than one per word written.

    Mike W
    I feel your pain and I agree with your focus on the active voice in the early stages of English learning.

    I do a lot of medical editing and I suffer from the opposite problem. The writers are all college graduates and they seem to fear the passive voice (I believe from constant negative feedback). When I read a description of a surgical procedure or an experiment, I get so tired of he, she, and they, I just want to scream.

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