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    • Join Date: Jul 2009
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    Adjective or Passive Voice


    I read something about this here, but it's not exactly my doubt... What I read here, was focused on knowing whether it was an adjective or a passive voice, the word... But I want to know how to differentiate them, when I should use one or the other, tips, etc...

    My question has to do with choosing between an adjective or a passive voice when saying a sentence, mostly in present.

    For example: If I want to say that a door is not closed (“open”), it would be: “The door is open”, because “open” would be used as an “adjective”, right?, and not as a “passive voice”… To differentiate an “adjective” like this one (open), from the “passive voice” of the verb (opened), we just add “-ed”, so it’s easier to identify… But when we’re talking about other words, like “close”, the “adjective” and the “passive voice”, are both “closed”… There’s where one of the problems appear.

    The main problem is to identify when we’re speaking whether it’s an adjective or a passive voice, and not the other one. When they’re both written the same way, there’s no problem, but when they’re not, there’s where the problem lies.

    To make it clearer, let’s try with another example: I opened a file on the computer, and the I tried to open it again, because I didn’t remember I had already opened it, so what would I think, or say in that situation: “It is already open”, “It is opened”, “It is open”, just like the first example, or what… Because if I use “already”, I should use “present perfect”, but if I want to say it “It is…”??

    Probably one of the main reasons why I confuse it is that in Spanish it would be: “la puerta esta abierta”, and “la puerta esta cerrada”, and if I talk about something done?: “esta hecha”, “hecha” looks like “abierta”, but it’s past, in “It is done”…

    That is why I keep confusing it, and it’s something I use in everyday life…

    If you can help me with this I'll be really thankful, because when something like this comes to my mind, I just can't think of anything else (it's not that I can't sleep, but close enough )

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    Re: Adjective or Passive Voice

    If you want to talk about its state, then use "the file is open."

    If you want to emphasize the action that made it that way, then use "The file has already been opened."

    Don't say "The file is opened" to simply make a statement about the condition of the file. You might want to say something like "The file is opened automatically when you start the sub-routine" but that is actually the passive - something in the sub-routine opens the file.

    {not a teacher}

    By the way, if they are the same word, then don't worry about it. It won't aid you in your communication to say "Hmm. Is this an example of the passive, or am I used the participle as an adjective?" The vast majority of native speakers wouldn't stop to think about this.

    • Join Date: Jul 2009
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    Re: Adjective or Passive Voice

    Thanks!, everything helps, and even more answers like this, so fast, and brief! (I always write too much, English, Spanish, it doesn't matter! )

    But this makes me wonder something else related to this: When I'm talking about the door "The door is open", in a context: "The door is open because I opened it"... I opened it in the past, so that's confusing, because it can't be a passive voice, because if I try to make it, I can't... So then I know it's an adjective... But when I'm speaking, that's when problems appear ... And in this case because I did it in the past, so it's confusing...

    The worst of this, is that I feel a little bit stupid, because I'm talking about simple present and simple past, something I learned when I was at School (I'm 20, at College, and also at an English course)... but it's more than that ... If I had to choose, I would choose present perfect, because there I would say "The door has been opened", and that's it... If I was just talking about the door, and not about the whole sentence, about me having opened it before, etc... like on the one of the file "I have already opened the file"...

    When they're the same, passive or adjective, of course, I won't care, because I don't like to analyze word's functions, but when they're not the same, I don't have any other option left

  2. Senior Member
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    Re: Adjective or Passive Voice

    Mirate este enlace.

    Guide to Grammar and Writing

    Contiene mucho, y muy claro.

    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 3

    Re: Adjective or Passive Voice

    Sisi, Gracias!

    Lo miré un poco, y parece tener muy buenos temas (lo más probable que más alla de lo que yo necesito, pero además, siempre sirve tener más fuentes de información )

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