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    #1

    Verb

    Dear Teachers,
    I am often confused with the use of certain verbs. Which one is correct 1 or 2 (option 2 is what I have heard people say)?
    Examples
    1. The mirror is reflecting the light. The balance sheet reflects the losses.
    2. The light is reflecting (or should it be 'The light is being reflected'). The loss is reflected.

    1. The e-card is being loaded.
    2. The e-card is loading. (It means the e-card is lifting /putting something (loading) on the deck)

    1. The Flag is flickering in the air.
    2. The air is flickering the flag

    In which type of verbs do we use being ?

    Thank you
    Shad

  1. Calis's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Verb

    Quote Originally Posted by Shad View Post
    Dear Teachers,
    I am often confused with the use of certain verbs. Which one is correct 1 or 2 (option 2 is what I have heard people say)?
    Examples
    1. The mirror is reflecting the light. This means the mirror is physically reflecting the light. The balance sheet reflects the losses. This means the balance sheet is giving an indication of the losses.
    2. The light is reflecting (or should it be 'The light is being reflected') It should be in the passive voice. Light itself does not reflect, an object that light hits does and such an object is not specified here, therefore the agent is not known, so it has to be passive. The loss is reflected.
    That is correct.
    1. The e-card is being loaded. This would only make sense if it were being loaded (lifted) onto something.
    2. The e-card is loading. (It means the e-card is lifting /putting something (loading) on the deck) E-cards don't lift things onto decks – this sentence means it's loading as in starting up. But I'm pretty sure e-cards don't do that either.

    1. The flag is flickering in the air. This is correct
    2. The air is flickering the flag "To flicker" is an intransitive verb, it takes no object, therefore you can't say that something flickers something else, it just doesn't work. And I don't know what I'd say instead, I'd just use the first sentence.

    In which type of verbs do we use being ?
    Using "being" and a past participle is how you form the present passive continuous/progressive. Only transitive verbs can be put in the passive voice, the passive voice being an inversion of agent (subject) and patient (object). You can say "I was told" but not *"I was slept".

    Thank you
    Shad
    [Not a teacher]

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    #3

    Re: Verb

    Quote Originally Posted by Calis View Post
    [Not a teacher]
    Is the sentence 'E-card is loading' correct? or should it be 'E-card is being loaded'. Or should it be 'E-card loading'. I had seen the first option in one of the e-cards websites.
    Thank you
    Shad

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Verb

    Verbs can have an active voice, a passive voice, or a middle voice. (You can look for the word "ergative" for more information.)

    In the middle voice, a thing (or person) does whatever is being done to itself.

    I can bake a cake in the oven, or the cake can be baked by me, or I can say simply "The cake is baking in the oven."
    The system can load the card, or the card can be loading while you wait (and wait... and wait...)
    The mirror can reflect the light, or the light can reflect off the surface of the shiny surface.

    All are okay.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #5

    Re: Verb

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Verbs can have an active voice, a passive voice, or a middle voice. (You can look for the word "ergative" for more information.)

    In the middle voice, a thing (or person) does whatever is being done to itself.

    I can bake a cake in the oven, or the cake can be baked by me, or I can say simply "The cake is baking in the oven."
    The system can load the card, or the card can be loading while you wait (and wait... and wait...)
    The mirror can reflect the light, or the light can reflect off the surface of the shiny surface.

    All are okay.
    'The cake is baking in the oven' seems a little awkward. It give an impression that the cake is baking (something) in the oven as if cake is the baker. However, 'in the oven' makes the the obscurity a little mild.
    Thank you
    Shad

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Verb

    Quote Originally Posted by Shad View Post
    'The cake is baking in the oven' seems a little awkward.
    Not to a native speaker, it isn't.

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