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    #1

    Passive sentence - 'How long was this task spent on?'

    I've just been watching a youtube video on passive sentences, when the sentence in the title, 'How long was this task spent on?' was produced as the correct passive version of, 'How long did someone spend on this task?'.

    To me, the sentence, 'How long was this task spent on?' sounds incorrect.

  1. charliedeut's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Passive sentence - 'How long was this task spent on?'

    To me too. It should be "how long was spent on the task", although I doubt it is natural either. Most likely I would say "How long did the task take?" or "how long did it take to complete the task?" We'll have to wait for natives speakers to have their say.
    Last edited by charliedeut; 04-Jul-2013 at 15:22. Reason: typo
    Please be aware that I'm neither a native English speaker nor a teacher.

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    #3

    Re: Passive sentence - 'How long was this task spent on?'

    Quote Originally Posted by charliedeut View Post
    To me too. It should be "how long was spent on the task", although I doubt it is natural either. Most likely I would say "How long did the task take?" or "how long did it take to complete the task?" We'll have to wait for natives speakers to have their say.
    I am a native and I would also say, 'How long was spent on the task?' Though I'd like an explanation as to why and why the other version sounds incorrect.

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Passive sentence - 'How long was this task spent on?'

    Charlie is correct, though 'How long was spent on the task isn't particularly unnatural, in my opinion.
    Quote Originally Posted by shroob View Post
    I am a native and I would also say, 'How long was spent on the task?' Though I'd like an explanation as to why and why the other version sounds incorrect.
    'How long was this task spent on?' not only sounds incorrect, it is incorrect. The task was spent on nothing; it was time that was spent.

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