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    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
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      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Oct 2007
    • Posts: 1,618
    #1

    seen to be coming out

    In the following sentences, the second one with 'seen to be coming out' sounds a bit strange. Can we omit the 'to be' without changing the meaning of the sentence?

    Then something astonishing happened. One day, early in the morning, thin
    columns of white smoke were seen to be coming out of the tops of the tall
    chimneys of the factory! People in the town stopped and stared.
    (Taken from CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY)

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
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      • England
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      • Ireland

    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 25,624
    #2

    Re: seen to be coming out

    Quote Originally Posted by joham View Post
    In the following sentences, the second one with 'seen to be coming out' sounds a bit strange. Can we omit the 'to be' without changing the meaning of the sentence?

    Then something astonishing happened. One day, early in the morning, thin
    columns of white smoke were seen to be coming out of the tops of the tall
    chimneys of the factory! People in the town stopped and stared.
    (Taken from CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY)
    It's fine as it is.

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