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Thread: passive

  1. #1
    hela is offline Senior Member
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    Default passive

    Dear teachers,

    1) Though these verbs are written in the active form, do they have a passive meaning ?

    ex: Those new houses are selling well. (= are easily sold?)
    Her car drives well. (= are easily driven?)
    My watch winds easily. (= is easily wound?)

    Other examples?

    2) Which verbs other than “to be reputed to be” are used only in the passive form?

    3) Would you have a sentence in the passive where the agent cannot be omitted?

    4) How can we turn the following sentences into the active form?

    a) Having been designed for off-road performance, the Pathseeker does not always behave well on paved highways.

    What is a “pathseeker”?

    Because they have designed the pathseekers for off road performance, they do not always behave well on paved highways?

    b) The stone steps, having been worn down by generations of students, needed to be replaced.

    Because generations of students have worn down the stone steps, they needed to replace them?

    c) Having been hurt before, the child was very careful.

    Because the child hurt / had hurt himself, he was very careful?

    d) Upon being questioned by the police, the man confessed his crime.

    When the police questioned the man, he confessed his crime?

    e) Without being asked, Joan did the job herself.

    Nobody asked Joan to do the job, yet she did it?

    5) What rule governs the following usage?
    a) He likes people to call him “sir”.
    He likes to be called “sir”.

    b) Somebody saw him pick up the gun.
    He was seen to pick up the gun.

    c) I want everyone to understand this lesson.
    I want this lesson to be understood by everyone.

    6) Do you have more examples for all these cases, please?

    Thank you for your help.
    Héla

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default

    1) Though these verbs are written in the active form, do they have a passive meaning ?

    ex: Those new houses are selling well. (= are easily sold?) = are being sold
    Her car drives well. (= are easily driven?) is easily driven
    My watch winds easily. (= is easily wound?)

    Given that none of them actually do the action described, it's fair to say that they have a passive meaning.

  3. #3
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default

    3) Would you have a sentence in the passive where the agent cannot be omitted?

    Many car accidents are caused by alcohol.

    Here, it would make no sense without the agent.

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default

    a) Having been designed for off-road performance, the Pathseeker does not always behave well on paved highways.

    You could make it active by saying 'we have designed the Pathseeker...'

    I'm not sure what it is; it sounds like a vehicle of some sort. And, yes, it means that it might not behave too well on metalled roads.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: passive

    The following are reflexive in structure. (Note, the subject and the object are one and the same.)

    1a) Those new houses are selling (themselves) well.
    1b) Her car drives (itself) well.
    1c) My watch winds (itself) easily.

    :D

  6. #6
    hela is offline Senior Member
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    Default

    Dear teachers,

    Could you please tell me if the 2 following stces have a similar meaning? Is b) the passive form of a) and how?

    a) People believed that he was waiting for a message.
    b) He is believed to have been waiting for a message.

    The passive form of “believed” is it not “was believed”?
    In b) are we obliged to use “is believed” because of the infinitive form that follows i.e. “to have been waiting”?

    I hope that you will find some time to answer all my questions.
    Thank you all for your help.
    Héla

  7. #7
    hela is offline Senior Member
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    Default

    Dear Casiopea,

    Thank you for your answer. Would you have more examples regarding the passive stces that have a reflexive structure?

    Thank you very much.
    Héla

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