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  1. #1
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    with or without been

    hi,
    in one of my classes,something happened and I want to ask you a question;
    the problem is the verb ''flood''.
    flood means cover with liquid,become filled to overflowing
    but I doubt if it's active or passive...
    our subject was ''must have V3''
    here is the question:
    -the roads were closed at the weekend.(be flooded)
    and the answer I gave and thought that's true is:
    -they must have been flooded
    I wonder if we can also use or if the correct answer is:
    they must have flooded(without been)
    thanks...

  2. #2
    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
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    Re: with or without been

    Hello Yuftos

    1. The roads must have flooded.
    2. The roads must have been flooded.

    Both are fine.

    You can use #1 when you simply want to state your conclusion that the roads were full of water. The agent of the flooding is unexpressed.

    You can use #2 in the same context as #1; the agent remains unexpressed, but the passive does at least imply an agent. It's a very slight change of emphasis.

    You can also of course use #2 when you want to specify the agent, e.g.

    3. The roads must have been flooded by the river.

    All the best,

    MrP

  3. #3
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    Re: with or without been

    This is the way I see it.
    A: The roads were closed over the weekend. Why were the roads closed?
    B: They must have been flooded. (They were under water.)
    As always, context is all-important.

    ~R

  4. #4
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    Re: with or without been

    Quote Originally Posted by MrPedantic View Post
    Hello Yuftos

    1. The roads must have flooded.
    2. The roads must have been flooded.

    Both are fine.

    You can use #1 when you simply want to state your conclusion that the roads were full of water. The agent of the flooding is unexpressed.

    You can use #2 in the same context as #1; the agent remains unexpressed, but the passive does at least imply an agent. It's a very slight change of emphasis.

    You can also of course use #2 when you want to specify the agent, e.g.

    3. The roads must have been flooded by the river.

    All the best,

    MrP
    I have probationers(I am not sure whether it's the right term.they are university students and they watch my lessons,take notes,prepare observation forms etc..).and one of them had cleaned ''been'' from the blackboard after I left the class.
    now I don't know what to do or say...she shouldn't have done that!
    fortunately my own students said that they had written it on the board again:)they believe in me:)they trust me!
    but can you tell me how I can explain the difference or mine is also true?
    but in my opinion;''been'' is better.because:
    -the river floods
    but
    -the roads are flooded
    when we say;the roads flood;doesn't it sound as if they did it by themselves?
    or must I think that some verbs are used both active and passive?

    ****by the way I wish you a Happy New Year!

    And..Here is a wishing that the coming year is a glorious one that rewards all your future endeavors with success..
    Thanks for everything you shared and will share:))
    with all my love
    ÷zlem

  5. #5
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    Re: with or without been

    <duplicate deleted>
    Last edited by MrPedantic; 30-Dec-2006 at 17:53.

  6. #6
    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
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    Re: with or without been

    Quote Originally Posted by yuftos View Post
    but
    -the roads are flooded
    when we say;the roads flood;doesn't it sound as if they did it by themselves?
    When a verb can be used both transitively and intransively, normally the subject does not change:

    1. Bill ate. (intrans)
    2. Bill ate the tomato. (trans)

    In both of these examples, Bill is the agent and the subject.

    In some verbs╣, however, this is not the case:

    3. Bill opened the door. (trans)
    4. The door opened. (intrans)

    In #3, Bill is the subject and agent; in #4, the door is the subject, and the agent is unspecified.

    Cf.

    5. The door was opened.

    This is the normal passive form: it's very close in meaning to #4. The main difference is one of focus: in #4, we see only the opening door; but in #5, there is also a hint of agency (more imaginative readers may see a shadowy hand on the doorknob).

    "Flood" is similar to "open": here,

    6. The road flooded.

    "flood" is intransitive, and "road" is the subject, but the agent is unspecified.

    This on the other hand is similar to #5, if we take it as a passive construction (i.e. the road was flooded by someone):

    7. The road was flooded.

    Note however that "flooded" can also be taken as a subject complement, as "flooded" can simply mean "full of water":

    8. The road was | flooded.

    Does that help at all?

    All the best,

    MrP

    ╣ These verbs are often called "ergative". Alternatively, the construction is sometimes called the "middle voice". Similar verbs are "boil", "break", "sink", "shatter", etc. Some grammarians divide them into further sub-categories.

  7. #7
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    ergative verbs!!

    thanks a lot for giving me the information of ''ergative verbs''...
    let me see;
    **ergative verbs can be both transitive and intransitive?or in other words if we can use/change a transitive verb as/to an intransitive verb,this verb is called an ergative verb?
    --he broke the window.(an active sentence/here ''break'' is transitive as it has an object which is affected by the verb as usual and subject is the agent and object is the patient...)
    **but when we say:
    --the window broke.( the previous object is now our subject and it is again affected by the verb but now it's not as usual.because normally subject is not affected by the verb.subject is the agent and object is the patient but here subject is the patient not the agent of course,isn't it?..)
    **and I understand that:
    ''he broke the window''=''the window broke''=''the window was broken(by him)''they are all synonymous,are't they?
    **and if we want to translate them I think we have to translate ''the window broke''and''the window was broken'' in the same way as they are both passive in the meaning??
    and so ''break'' is an ergative verb..(by the way can you tell me the phonetic form of the word ''ergative''?)
    all in all,if so I understand the matter!(I hope:)

  8. #8
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    one more thing...

    and one more thing!
    --the road flooded(we see the ''flood'' and the agent is unspecified as you say and more maybe unimportant..the action is important not the thing that causes ''flood''-for example water..we just see the event of ''flood'')

    --the road was flooded(here the agent is again unspecified but the emphasis of the road's affection is seen when we choose to tell it like that;not the event as in the first sentence)it's a slight difference but it's the difference,isn't it?
    and I couldn't find it anywhere;did you mean ''flooded'' can also be a noun in this sentence:''the road was flooded''-rather than a passive form(I mean ''flooded'' here is not the third form of the verb;it's a noun)
    thanks a lot for your care and help!!

  9. #9
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    please!!

    Am I right?Is there anything wrong in/with my explanations?
    Please,I need your answers to be corrected if I misunderstood!!

  10. #10
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    Re: With or without been.

    Yuftos, you're driving me crazy with the punctuation errors!

    When writing in English, after every comma, you must leave a space.

    Prior to and after parenthesis, you must leave a space. Example: John and Iris (both students in my biology class) have volunteered to carry the extra backpacks. The purpose of the space is to differenciate between the phrase immediately preceeding (and/or following) the parenthesis and the phrase inside of the parenthesis.

    After every period and after every question mark, you must leave two spaces, because you're separating sentences. The purpose of the period and the question mark is to show the end of a sentence or a question.

    If you use a period within a sentence, such as saying Mr. Williams or Dr. Luisa Mondragon, you must leave a single space after the period.

    A decimal point, however, is different: "Gina paid $112.09 for the repairs, and she had enough money left over to eat lunch."

    ALL English sentences begin with a capital letter. For this reason, NO English sentence should ever begin with a number that is not spelled out.
    Incorrect:
    8 people are seated in the first compartment of the train.
    Correct:
    Eight people are seated in the first compartment of the train.

    Incorrect:
    22% of the buildings were damaged by the flood.
    Correct:
    Twenty-two percent of the buildings were damaged by the flood.

    A colon and a semi-colon are treated just like commas; you must leave a space between the colon or semi-colon and its following phrase.


    The reason I bring up these discrepancies is that it makes your writings much easier to read and much easier to understand when the punctuation and spacing are correct.
    .................................................. .................................................. ......

    As for the 'been' question, I agree with the multitude and the variety of answers you've received.

    I think it's more correct to say that the roads have been flooded, or that the roads were flooded; as opposed to the roads flooded, because the latter suggests that the roads committed the action of flooding. Roads are inanimate objects, so they canoot flood themselves. Flooding is the act that was perpetrated upon the roads.

    Having said that, it's not INcorrect to say the roads flooded, as in, "When the heavy rains fell, the roads flooded."

    It all depends on the greater context of the sentence as a whole.

    Thank you.

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