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  1. Newbie
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    #1

    Passive to Active

    I actually posted this question yesterday, but I kind of typed it wrong.
    However, I still want to know if I'm right.

    "He was loved by his students, but his system was not accepted in his own time."
    Could this sentence be changed into:
    "He was loved by his students, but they did not accept his system."

    I thought that the first sentence seemed to mean that his system was rejected by the society of his time, while the second system meant that students rejected his system. However, my English teacher insists that they mean the same thing. Do they actually mean the same? How do you change this kind of sentence into a active voice?

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    #2

    Re: Passive to Active

    I think you're right and your teacher is wrong.

    You could transform the first clause. Did you notice that it's in the passive voice too? And also, if you make 'people' a subject of the second one, you will avoid the problem.

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    #3

    Re: Passive to Active

    Hello Jenna Ma,
    He was loved by his students, but his system was not accepted in his own time. Change 'in his own time' to either 'in his time' OR 'at the time' and then it is correct. It means society did not accept his system. It's not clear whether the students did or not.

    "He was loved by his students, but they did not accept his system." the sentence is correct and means only the students did not accept his system.

    Thus, your teacher is wrong on two accounts; incorrect grammar in sentence 1 and claiming yours and the first sentence meant the same.

  2. Newbie
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    #4

    Re: Passive to Active

    Wow thanks. I never noticed that the first clause was in passive voice, or that "in his own time" was wrong.
    I searched "in his own time" in google and found that a lot of people used that expression. Are they all wrong? There's even a book called "Hawthorne in His Own Time".

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    #5

    Re: Passive to Active

    Hello JennaMa,
    That's a good point re in his own time vs in his time. They are both right and it could be 'in his own time' is more common but I think there is a difference. In his time normally refers to a period in the life or activities of someone important and society's reaction to him. e.g. in George Bush's time or someone important to the speaker e.g in my dad's time or in my time.

    In his own time tends to be more analytical and includes others' opinions and reminiscences and often examines both the private and public life of someone important at the time or someone who later becomes important e.g Hawthorne, Shakespeare, Hemmingway.

    Therefore, in your example re an ordinary teacher, 'in his time' seemed to me to be more appropriate.

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Passive to Active

    Quote Originally Posted by bds51 View Post
    Therefore, in your example re an ordinary teacher, 'in his time' seemed to me to be more appropriate.
    By assuming that the subject is "an ordinary teacher", aren't you perpetuating the prejudices of the authorities at the time, who also did not recognise his brilliance?

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    #7

    Re: Passive to Active

    Hello Raymott,
    I didn't realize JennaMa's examples in this thread related to Hawthorne since she only mentioned his name after I posted. If the teacher is indeed Hawthorne and not simply an active and passive exercise using teacher, 'in his own time' is correct.

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