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Thread: Is this OK?

  1. #1
    Anonymous Guest

    Default Is this OK?

    Hello

    I find the following sentence in the exercise. In the case of the verb "buy", I wonder if person can be the subject in the passive sentence. I know it is OK with the verb "give"
    The sentence is this:
    #1 I was bought a nice bicycle for my birthday by my father.
    Is this grammatically accepted?

    Thank you. :)

  2. #2
    Mister Micawber's Avatar
    Mister Micawber is offline Key Member
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    Yes, it is acceptable, but not the normal form, which would be the active 'my father bought me a nice bicycle for my birthday'.

    More likely would be such as 'I was bought a bottle of mouthwash, but I don't know by whom!'

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Is this OK?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lina
    I was bought a nice bicycle for my birthday by my father.
    Is this grammatically accepted?

    Thank you. :)
    Well, actually, even though it seems to sound OK and speakers might use it, it's ungrammatical. :(

    With the verb 'bought', 'me/I' functions as the benefactive of the action:

    1. Someone bought the bike for me. (Benefactive) OK
    2. The bike was bought for me. (Benefactive) OK
    3. I was bought the bike. (Benefactive) Odd

    With the passive, the object undergoes the action of the verb. With benefatives that's not possible.

    1. He washed the bike for her. (Benefactive) OK
    2. The bike was washed for her. (Benefactive) OK
    3. She was washed the bike. (Benefactive) Odd

    :D

  4. #4
    Mister Micawber's Avatar
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    . . . And making mine:

    'Someone bought me a bottle of mouthwash, but I don't know who.'

    Yes, I like that better.

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    The point is that you can say "I bought her something" but you can't say "I washed her something".


    FRC

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Micawber
    . . . And making mine:

    'Someone bought me a bottle of mouthwash, but I don't know who.'

    Yes, I like that better.
    Oh, I agree. 'me' is OK. It's 'I' that's problematic. :wink:

    Someone bought (for) me.... (Benefactive) :D
    I was bought... (Benefactive) :(

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