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  1. #1
    ykw123456 is offline Newbie
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    Default Is "distributed" a verb or a adj??

    Hi, I would like to ask something about the difference between adj and passive voice
    here is a sentence quoted from a passage in Animial science 2006: Musk deer are distributed in most of the forest areas in China.

    I checked a dictionary that gives an example for the usage of "distribute"

    "This species of butterfly is widely distributed over our country."
    from Dreye.com

    It says "distribute" is used as vt in the above example. Does it mean that someone distributes the butterflies widely over our country? or distributed is an adj?
    Last edited by ykw123456; 10-Nov-2008 at 12:03.

  2. #2
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    engee30 is offline Key Member
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    Smile Re: Is "distributed" a verb or a adj??

    Quote Originally Posted by ykw123456 View Post
    Hi, I would like to ask something about the difference between adj and passive voice
    here is a sentence quoted from a passage in Animial science 2006: Musk deer are distributed in most of the forest areas in China.

    I checked a dictionary that gives an example for the usage of "distribute"

    "This species of butterfly is widely distributed over our country."
    from Dreye.com

    It says "distribute" is used as vt in the above example. Does it mean that someone distributes the butterflies widely over our country? or distributed is an adj?
    Since the verb distribute is transitive, it is possible to form a passive voice sentence with it. And it so happens that that verb is used more often in the passive rather than in the active. There's no need to know what or who distributes musk deer or whatever over an area. This is one of the advantages the passive voice has - not naming the doer is sufficient for us to understand the meaning.


  3. #3
    ykw123456 is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Is "distributed" a verb or a adj??

    Quote Originally Posted by engee30 View Post
    Since the verb distribute is transitive, it is possible to form a passive voice sentence with it. And it so happens that that verb is used more often in the passive rather than in the active. There's no need to know what or who distributes musk deer or whatever over an area. This is one of the advantages the passive voice has - not naming the doer is sufficient for us to understand the meaning.

    Sorry, I still don't uderstand that why we don't use active voice since it's the deer distributing themselves over an area not someone distributes them over the area, so why can't "Muck deer distributed in most of the forest areas in China"? or can I consider the word "distributed" as a adj because it sounds very strange when active voice is used? I am very confused.......

  4. #4
    engee30's Avatar
    engee30 is offline Key Member
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    Cool Re: Is "distributed" a verb or a adj??

    Quote Originally Posted by ykw123456 View Post
    Sorry, I still don't uderstand that why we don't use active voice since it's the deer distributing themselves over an area not someone distributes them over the area, so why can't "Muck deer distributed in most of the forest areas in China"? I am very confused.......
    Why you can't say who distributes the deer is the reason for not using the active voice to say the same thing.


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    ykw123456 is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Is "distributed" a verb or a adj??

    Quote Originally Posted by engee30 View Post
    Why you can't say who distributes the deer is the reason for not using the active voice to say the same thing.

    Umm...but it is actually the musk deer distributing themselves over an area, isn't it?
    and can i consider "distributed" as adjective? thankyou

  6. #6
    engee30's Avatar
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    Cool Re: Is "distributed" a verb or a adj??

    Quote Originally Posted by ykw123456 View Post
    Umm...but it is actually the musk deer distributing themselves over an area, isn't it?
    It's hard to say.

    Quote Originally Posted by ykw123456 View Post
    and can i consider "distributed" as adjective? thankyou
    No, you can't.


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    Airone is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Is "distributed" a verb or a adj??

    Quote Originally Posted by ykw123456 View Post
    Umm...but it is actually the musk deer distributing themselves over an area, isn't it?
    and can i consider "distributed" as adjective? thankyou
    In the sentence you provided, "are distributed" looks like a verb in the passive form to me.

    However, Merriam Webster does list "distributed" as an adjective and indeed it is used as such in expressions like "distributed denial of service attack"

    Googling "past participle as adjective" turned up two interesting, similar discussions in the first two results; I'm sure you can find more.

  8. #8
    Clark is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Is "distributed" a verb or a adj??

    In your sentence 'distributed' is participle II (or past participle) functioning as the nominal part of a compound nominal predicate. In this function it is adjectivised (devoid of the idea of action).

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