Student or Learner
Hi, my dear friends, your help is appreciated here .
I know we can use " apply oneself to sth or doing sth" to mean " be busy with sth or be busy in doing sth",eg:
He applied himself to writing a novel.
can we use its passive form to express the same meaning? In other words,is the sentence " He was applied to writing a novel" right?
In my opion, it is acceptable, because many prases alike have parallel forms, eg, "employ oneself in / be emploied in sth or doing sth"," occupy oneself in/be occupied in sth or doing sth",but I don't know whether I am right.
Right here waiting for your answer!
You will notice they are not really parallel, but this doesn't seem to be the reason you can't use it.
employ oneself in;to be employed in
occupy oneself in/with; to be occupied in/with
commit oneself to; to be committed to
adjust oneself to; to be adjusted to
apply oneself to; -
So, it is not the preposition that makes "to be applied to" strange.
"He was applied to his writing" tends to suggest that he was stuck to it, as in "The paint was applied to the wall".
You'll find that, while you have discovered a useful principle, it doesn't always work. Sometimes the verb has other meanings that make it sound strange when used that way.