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    #1

    passive voice or adjective?

    Hello,

    One of the recent threads has spurred me on to ask. Do we regard the following sentences as ones that use the passive voice or the combination of to be+adjective?

    The hotel is located in the town centre.
    Everyone said the house was haunted.
    The necklace was cursed.

    I think they are all in the passive voice technically; however, I found these examples in entries for located, haunted and cursed marked as adjectives.
    I'd be grateful for any comments.

    Thank you in advance.

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    #2

    Re: passive voice or adjective?

    Quote Originally Posted by Verona_82 View Post
    1. The hotel is located in the town centre.
    2. Everyone said the house was haunted.
    3. The necklace was cursed.
    I am not a fan of labelling, as you may have gathered from other posts of mine. If I had to choose in order to save my life, I would go for 'adjective'. In the sentences that follow, I'd go for 'passive':

    1. The hotel is located, by most cartographers, in the town centre.
    2. Everyone said the house was haunted by the ghosts of Tdol and Red5.
    3. The necklace was cursed by the mad fivejedjonic demon, just before it exploded.

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    #3

    Re: passive voice or adjective?

    Thanks
    Despite the curiosity killed the proverbial cat, I couldn't help asking :)

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    #4

    Re: passive voice or adjective?

    I don't really know much about what I'm about to talk about.

    I think they are indeed adjectives, even though I said otherwise in the thread you probably have in mind. I didn't think of that then. I understand that the distinction is made by trying to make an active version of a given sentence and finding out whether it means the same as the passive version.

    There is no active version of

    The hotel is located in the town centre.


    I suspect there may be some disagreement over the "haunted" sentence, because clearly we can make an active version of it. I would still consider it an adjective, because I think people don't really think about the activity of haunting when they say that something is haunted. It more of a feature of an object or place.

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    #5

    Re: passive voice or adjective?

    Quote Originally Posted by Verona_82 View Post
    Hello,

    One of the recent threads has spurred me on to ask. Do we regard the following sentences as ones that use the passive voice or the combination of to be+adjective?

    The hotel is located in the town centre.
    Everyone said the house was haunted.
    The necklace was cursed.

    I think they are all in the passive voice technically; however, I found these examples in entries for located, haunted and cursed marked as adjectives.
    I'd be grateful for any comments.

    Thank you in advance.


    NOT A TEACHER


    IMHO:


    The hotel is located downtown.

    (a) Seems to indicate that someone took the action to place it downtown.

    (b) "Where did they decide to locate the hotel?" "Downtown."

    (c) passive verb.

    Everyone said the house was haunted

    (a) Seems to indicate the condition of the house.

    (b) "Why did they finally tear down that house?" "Because everyone

    said it was haunted."

    (c) adjective.

    The necklace was cursed.

    (a) Seems to be imply an agent.

    (b) passive verb.

    Compare with:

    "The necklace is cursed."

    (a) Seems to suggest a condition.

    (b) "That necklace has been on sale for one year. Why won't

    anyone buy it?" "It's cursed. The last 10 owners have died

    in mysterious ways."

    (c) adjective.


    Respectfully yours,


    James

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    #6

    Re: passive voice or adjective?

    One could equally argue:

    The hotel is located downtown.

    'Located [...]adj. if sth is located in a particular place, it exists there...' ALD


    Everyone said the house was haunted
    Everyone said the house was haunted -i.e. ghost haunted it. Passive verb."

    It seems to me that there can be no definitive answer.
    Last edited by 5jj; 22-May-2011 at 16:59.

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    #7

    Re: passive voice or adjective?

    Thank you, Birdeen, fivejedjohn and TheParser.
    I see that it largely depends on the way one interprets such words. I guess it's more of a morphology-related thing than that of practical grammar.

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    #8

    Re: passive voice or adjective?

    Quote Originally Posted by Verona_82 View Post
    Hello,

    One of the recent threads has spurred me on to ask. Do we regard the following sentences as ones that use the passive voice or the combination of to be+adjective?

    The hotel is located in the town centre.
    Everyone said the house was haunted.
    The necklace was cursed.

    I think they are all in the passive voice technically; however, I found these examples in entries for located, haunted and cursed marked as adjectives.
    I'd be grateful for any comments.

    Thank you in advance.
    The test normally applied is whether the sentence in question (if constructed with a dynamic verb) denotes an action or a state. If the former, it is a passive construction, if the latter, it is adjectival.

    The first and third sentences here clearly denote states: the building is not located there anew every day, nor, presumably, was the necklace repeatedly cursed by somebody. Consequently, we would normally regard 'located' and 'cursed' used in this way as participial adjectives.

    The house of #2, on the other hand, could reasonably be said to be regularly haunted by some ghost/spirit and so could be construed as passive.
    Last edited by philo2009; 25-May-2011 at 06:25.

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