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  1. xpert's Avatar
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    #1

    Question Change into passive (Difficult)

    Hi there!

    Is it possible to change the following sentence into passive?

    The tourist slept in a canopy bed.

    I know that 'sleep in' is a intransitive verb. For this reason, we cannot change it, can we?

    Thanks in advance

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Change into passive (Difficult)

    Quote Originally Posted by xpert View Post
    Hi there!

    Is it possible to change the following sentence into passive?

    The tourist slept in a canopy bed.

    I know that 'sleep in' is a intransitive verb. For this reason, we cannot change it, can we?

    Thanks in advance
    It would be unusual, but you can say "The canopy bed was slept in by the tourist".

  3. Leandro-Z's Avatar
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    #3

    Exclamation Re: Change into passive (Difficult)

    I think so. I agree that it is possible. Anyway, whenever it comes to the every-day spoken English, we have to take into consideration that we need to stick to the commonest way something is spoken. What I mean is that you will never find a British saying "The canopy bed was slept in by the tourist". It is of vital importance to know that something could be gramatically okay, but it sounds awful. The fact is that, in conclusion, it would be wrong to turn that sentence into Passive Voice.

    See you, considerate my piece of advice, it`s useful since I am a constant learner of the language.

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    #4

    Re: Change into passive (Difficult)

    IMO, in general, the active voice is preferred unless you have good reasons to use the passive voice.

    not a teacher

  4. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Change into passive (Difficult)

    There are certain situations where the passive would come naturally to us. I think I posted this example somewhere else recently:

    Q - I heard that your friend is in hospital. What happened?
    A - Oh, it's terrible. He was hit by a car.

    We would be very unlikely to say "A car hit him".

    Going back to your original post and the statement "sleep in" is intransitive - "to sleep" is intransitive as it's perfectly possible to say "I sleep." "To sleep in" as a phrasal verb meaning "to sleep late" is also intransitive. However, if you say "I slept in" and you don't mean "I slept late", then you would have to put something else at the end of the sentence (I slept in a bed, I slept in the car, etc).

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    #6

    Re: Change into passive (Difficult)

    The sentence 'This bed hasn't been slept in' would be a perfectly natural passive sentence with the verb in question IMO.

  5. BobK's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Change into passive (Difficult)

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    The sentence 'This bed hasn't been slept in' would be a perfectly natural passive sentence with the verb in question IMO.
    Also, this sort of passive is common in history-based tourism - 'The bed in this room was slept in by Henry VIII.' Sometimes it is cloaked in another passive: 'The bed is said to have been slept in by so-and-so.'

    b

  6. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Change into passive (Difficult)

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    The sentence 'This bed hasn't been slept in' would be a perfectly natural passive sentence with the verb in question IMO.
    I agree with your example, but with the example sentence from the OP, the simple "The tourist slept in a canopy bed" sounds far less natural in the passive.

    As I said, there are times when the passive is the obvious structure for native speakers, and times when it's not. It's hard to explain the difference to students because it's frequently more a case of just what sounds better to us!

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    #9

    Re: Change into passive (Difficult)

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    I agree with your example, but with the example sentence from the OP, the simple "The tourist slept in a canopy bed" sounds far less natural in the passive.

    As I said, there are times when the passive is the obvious structure for native speakers, and times when it's not. It's hard to explain the difference to students because it's frequently more a case of just what sounds better to us!
    I think it's more a case of what you're talking about: with 'the bed hasn't been slept in' your interest is in the bed, but in the example given, your interest is in what the tourist did.

  7. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: Change into passive (Difficult)

    Quote Originally Posted by bertietheblue View Post
    I think it's more a case of what you're talking about: with 'the bed hasn't been slept in' your interest is in the bed, but in the example given, your interest is in what the tourist did.
    I agree - hence the "He was hit by a car" example. The important thing in the sentence is "he", not "the car".

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