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    • Join Date: Dec 2008
    • Posts: 7
    #1

    have been accounted for

    Hi teachers,

    Here is my problem from VOA news:
    "I was in my office when a blast occurred a little after 8:30 a.m. and I certainly heard it but I didn't feel anything. We're still gathering information, however, to the best of our knowledge all U.S. Embassy personnel have been accounted for and there has been no damage to the Embassy."

    I am a little bit confused about the sentence " all U.S. Embassy personnel have been accounted for" above. Does it mean that the conclusion that there has been no damage to the Embassy is drawn from all U.S Embassy personnel?

    Thanks very much for your warm help!!


    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 2,036
    #2

    Smile Re: have been accounted for

    Quote Originally Posted by Ready2Work View Post
    Hi teachers,

    Here is my problem from VOA news:
    "I was in my office when a blast occurred a little after 8:30 a.m. and I certainly heard it but I didn't feel anything. We're still gathering information, however, to the best of our knowledge all U.S. Embassy personnel have been accounted for and there has been no damage to the Embassy."

    I am a little bit confused about the sentence " all U.S. Embassy personnel have been accounted for" above. Does it mean that the conclusion that there has been no damage to the Embassy is drawn from all U.S Embassy personnel?

    Thanks very much for your warm help!!
    It means that all employees at the U.S. Embassy, and who are U.S. citizens, are known to be alive and safe. To account for something is to report on something or to tell about something, and explain in any way necessary.



    • Join Date: Aug 2009
    • Posts: 4
    #3

    Re: have been accounted for

    They give the necessary explanation, it means. Or, it means they explain the reasons.


    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 2,036
    #4

    Smile Re: have been accounted for

    Quote Originally Posted by educator View Post
    They give the necessary explanation, it means. Or, it means they explain the reasons.
    I think it could be one or both of those. It's possible to account for things to different degrees. For instance, there is the phrase "provide a detailed account". An account of something does not have to be detailed, though it can be. The degree to which one provides details would vary from situation to situation.



    • Join Date: Aug 2009
    • Posts: 4
    #5

    Re: have been accounted for

    Btw, why is it in 'passive structure'?


    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 2,036
    #6

    Smile Re: have been accounted for

    Quote Originally Posted by educator View Post
    Btw, why is it in 'passive structure'?
    The writer, or speaker, uses passive voice in this particular context for a couple reasons here:

    1. The embassy personnel are more important than the person, or people, who accounted for them. Passive forms allow the receiver of an action to be more prominent by making the receiver of the action the subject of a sentence.

    2. It's possible that a number of people accounted for the embassy personnel, and it's not practical to attribute this action to one person or even more than one person.

    Also, although "accounted" is not technically an adjective, past participles in passive verb forms sometimes take on an adjective-type quality, and I think it's reasonable to take that view here.The phrase "be accounted for", I would say, is a very common passive structure, which is why I compared the past participle in this case to an adjective. In other words, "accounted for" is so common that it could seem that people or things are described as "accounted for".

    (accounted is a past participle or what some people call "third form" of a verb)



    • Join Date: Dec 2008
    • Posts: 7
    #7

    Re: have been accounted for

    Quote Originally Posted by PROESL View Post
    The writer, or speaker, uses passive voice in this particular context for a couple reasons here:

    1. The embassy personnel are more important than the person, or people, who accounted for them. Passive forms allow the receiver of an action to be more prominent by making the receiver of the action the subject of a sentence.

    2. It's possible that a number of people accounted for the embassy personnel, and it's not practical to attribute this action to one person or even more than one person.

    Also, although "accounted" is not technically an adjective, past participles in passive verb forms sometimes take on an adjective-type quality, and I think it's reasonable to take that view here.The phrase "be accounted for", I would say, is a very common passive structure, which is why I compared the past participle in this case to an adjective. In other words, "accounted for" is so common that it could seem that people or things are described as "accounted for".

    (accounted is a past participle or what some people call "third form" of a verb)


    Thanks so much for your help. It is the 'passive structure' that makes me bewildered.

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