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  1. #1

    Verb or be plus adjective


    Following is the text cut pasted from the link

    "when participial adjectives follow the verb be they look just like progressive or passive verb phrases. This can be particularly confusing with adjectives formed from past participles :
    He was married in June. =
    passive verb? (Someone married him) (a specific action in June -- the ceremony)
    or be + the adjective married ? (like He was single.) ( a state -- true in June, but we don't know when it began)
    It's not usually necessary to decide whether a phrase is a verb or be plus an adjective, and sometimes the line is very unclear. But note that the tense of the auxiliary/verb be is affected by whether the past participial is part of a passive verb phrase ("dynamic") or simply an adjective following the stative verb be :
    Dick is married now. He was married in Chicago in June. (Therefore, he has been married since June.)
    Harry isn't married now. He's divorced. He was married in June (when I saw him), but he was divorced in August. He had been married 6 years. "

    The above text says like its not necessary to decide whether a phrase is a verb or be plus an adjective.But unless it is known how to get the clear intention of a perticular sentence.

    consider the following example

    Jhon says to paul "Ask raman to give you the documents which are all reviewed"

    In this context how do we interpret the word "reviewed".If we interpret it as adjective it means like some documents have been reviewed and sentence means like ask Raman those documents which have been reviewed.And if we interpret it as verb (the sentence becomes simple present in passive) i see like some documents are being reviewed by somebody and ask Raman to give you those documents.

    Altogether,won't there be a confusion like to collect the documents that have been reviewed or that are still being reviewed?How does the listener gets the intention of the speaker when he hears these kind of sentences.Is it that such kind of sentences are always ambiguous or when the context is clearly established using such kind of sentences is ok.

    Suppose if jhon priorly said to paul like "we have to send atleast some documents to the customer by today.Seems like Raman's team has finished revieing some documents,so you ask raman to give you all the documents which are all reviewed and send them by today" Would it be ok using such sentences.

    And if the context is not clearly established should the speaker must and shopuld has to say either like this "Ask raman to give you the documents which are all been reviewed" or like this "Ask raman to give you the documents which are all being reviewed".

    Please give me clear explanation over this point.


  2. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
    • Posts: 12,970

    Re: Verb or be plus adjective

    He was married in June.

    Passive Sense: Someone married him in June.
    Adjectival Sense: He became married in June. <state of being>

    Ask Raman to give you the documents which are all reviewed.
    Adjectival sense: the reviewed documents. <kind of documents>
    Passive sense: *which someone reviewed. ungrammatical

    Note, "which are all reviewed" defines the noun documents;it's definite, whereas the passive;e.g., "someone reviewed the documents" carries an indefinite pronoun, "someone".

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