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  1. #1
    colloquium is offline Senior Member
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    Default Passive Tense Sentence Question

    This is an issue which arose in the "ask a teacher" section.

    I hope someone can help in this section.

    Examples

    Passive past perfect tense.


    She had her heart broken.

    Had - the aux verb. Broken - the past participle full verb.

    Passive present perfect tense.

    She has had her heart broken.

    Has - the aux verb. Had - the past participle full verb. Broken - the second and main full verb.

    Am I correct in my explanations of these sentences? Particularly the second one.

    Any advice would be very helpful.



  2. #2
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    Default Re: Passive Tense Sentence Question

    Quote Originally Posted by colloquium View Post
    This is an issue which arose in the "ask a teacher" section.

    I hope someone can help in this section.

    Examples

    Passive past perfect tense.


    She had her heart broken.

    Had - the aux verb. Broken - the past participle full verb.

    Passive present perfect tense.

    She has had her heart broken.

    Has - the aux verb. Had - the past participle full verb. Broken - the second and main full verb.

    Am I correct in my explanations of these sentences? Particularly the second one.

    Any advice would be very helpful.


    This is not passive as you claim.Can broken be a main verb?
    R-

  3. #3
    colloquium is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Passive Tense Sentence Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Ram100 View Post
    This is not passive as you claim.Can broken be a main verb?
    R-
    Can you explain why it isn't passive?

    I'm fairly sure "broken" can act as a main verb.


    Anyone else?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Passive Tense Sentence Question

    To form the passive, add BE + a past participle to the main verb--except with causative verbs. In such cases, use e.g., HAVE + verb's object + past participle, as in [1]:

    [1] She had her heart broken. Active <causative, passive>
    subject + verb + object + past participle


    [2] Her heart had been broken. Passive <standard passive>
    object + verb + BE + past participle
    Note that, with standard passives, the verb's object comes first, before HAVE, [2], whereas with causative passives, the verb's object comes after HAVE, [1].

    Have, a causative verb, can be used to refer to an event which is outside of a person's control.

    Read more here, and see the grid on "causatives"here
    Last edited by Soup; 22-Jun-2008 at 08:16. Reason: correction!

  5. #5
    colloquium is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Passive Tense Sentence Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Soup View Post
    To form the passive, add BE + a past participle to the main verb:
    She had her heart broken. Active
    verb + object + past participle

    Her heart had been broken. Passive
    object + verb + BE + past participle

    Have, a causative verb, can be used to refer to an event which is outside of a person's control.

    Read more here, and see the grid on "causatives"here
    Thank you! This has been eating away at me.

    I need to study causatives.

    Many thanks.

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    Default Re: Passive Tense Sentence Question

    Actually, there is a passive in this sentence but how you parse the sentence isn't obvious.

    First: There are active and passive versions of these sentences:
    Active: She had him break her heart. (Grammatically correct, but unusual, because you don't normally commission your own heartbreak. ;) )

    Passive: She had her heart broken.
    Compare:
    Active: She made him break her heart.

    *Passive: She made her heart broken.

    And:
    Active: She caused him to break her heart.

    Passive: She caused her heart to be broken.

    There is actually a progression, there:
    Her heart was broken.

    Her heart got broken.

    She got her heart broken.

    She had her heart broken.
    But the "had" is not an auxiliary that signals the past perfect tense; how you parse that is a bit more complex. It could be treated as a modal auxiliary, or as a transitive verb. The passive construction would be either in the main verb, or in a non-finite clause that functions as object complement respectively. (I'm sure there are other interpretations I can't think of right now.)
    Last edited by Dawnstorm; 21-Jun-2008 at 10:01.

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    Default Re: Passive Tense Sentence Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Dawnstorm View Post
    Actually, there is a passive in this sentence but how you parse the sentence isn't obvious.

    First: There are active and passive versions of these sentences:
    Active: She had him break her heart. (Grammatically correct, but unusual, because you don't normally commission your own heartbreak. ;) )

    Passive: She had her heart broken.
    Compare:
    Active: She made him break her heart.

    *Passive: She made her heart broken.

    And:
    Active: She caused him to break her heart.

    Passive: She caused her heart to be broken.

    There is actually a progression, there:
    Her heart was broken.

    Her heart got broken.

    She got her heart broken.

    She had her heart broken.
    But the "had" is not an auxiliary that signals the past perfect tense; how you parse that is a bit more complex. It could be treated as a modal auxiliary, or as a transitive verb. The passive construction would be either in the main verb, or in a non-finite clause that functions as object complement respectively. (I'm sure there are other interpretations I can't think of right now.)
    When there is no causative verb(original thread) how can the voice be changed?
    R-

  8. #8
    Soup's Avatar
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    Default Re: Passive Tense Sentence Question

    Quote Originally Posted by colloquium View Post
    Can you explain why it isn't passive?

    I'm fairly sure "broken" can act as a main verb.


    Anyone else?
    Only tense-carrying verbs can function as main verbs. Watch how the verb changes tense here:
    Active
    Someone has broken her heart.
    Someobe had broken her heart.

    Passive
    Her heart has been broken.
    Her heart had been broken.
    _____________________________
    Ex: She has had her heart broken.
    Ex: She had had her heart broken.
    Note, broken is a past participle:
    break
    broke
    broken
    Note also, past participles can also function as adjectives. To test this, insert a form of BE:
    ... her heart [is/was] broken ...

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    colloquium is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Passive Tense Sentence Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Soup View Post
    To form the passive, add BE + a past participle to the main verb:
    She had her heart broken. Active
    verb + object + past participle

    Her heart had been broken. Passive
    object + verb + BE + past participle

    Have, a causative verb, can be used to refer to an event which is outside of a person's control.

    Read more here, and see the grid on "causatives"here
    Thank you again Soup, your last post was helpful.

    Getting back to the above post, there's one thing I'm still unsure about.

    Dawnstorm (thank you for your input Dawnstrom) disagreed with you in stating "She had her heart broken is passive". I have checked one of my textbooks, which states "There are two distinct types of passive construction: 'standard' constructions and 'causative' constructions".

    One passive example the book uses is "He got his leg broken" - which is very similar to the sentence in question.

    The book is "Grammar for English Language Teachers" by Martin Parrot.

    So do you agree with Dawnstorm? Is this sentence a (causative) passive construction?

    I just want to be sure in my mind as I'm still very much in the process of learning and if I can't clearly identify things, it bothers me greatly!

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Passive Tense Sentence Question

    Quote Originally Posted by colloquium View Post
    So do you agree with Dawnstorm? Is this sentence [She had her heart broken] a (causative) passive construction?
    Dawnstorm's post is right. Mine, post #4, is wrong and I have since modified it to reflect the changes.

    1. She had him break her heart. <causative, active>
    2. She had her heart broken. <causative, passive>

    There are two basic causative structures - an active one (ex: "I had Mike fix my computer") and a passive one (ex: "I had my computer fixed"). It is often used with the following verbs: TO HAVE, TO LET, TO MAKE, TO GET, and a few others.

    FREE ENGLISH GRAMMAR TEST - VERB TENSES: Causative form/Causative structures 2

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