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  1. tzfujimino's Avatar
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      • Native Language:
      • Japanese
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      • Japan
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      • Japan

    • Join Date: Dec 2007
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    #1

    The tennis ball was lost by my brother.

    Hello.

    Is it possible to change the sentence #1 into the passive (as shown #2)?

    1. My brother lost the tennis ball. (active)
    2. The tennis ball was lost by my brother. (passive)

    I'm not confident because I've never read/heard a sentence like #2.

    Thank you.

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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      • England
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      • Czech Republic

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    #2

    Re: The tennis ball was lost by my brother.

    You have never heard it because native speakers use the passive far less frequently than some teachers and coursebooks seem to suggest. For most of us, the passive sentence, though grammatically correct, sounds unnatural.

    There are sound reasons for a passive to be used (!) sometimes but, if there is no sound reason, then most of us prefer the active.

    • Member Info
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    #3

    Re: The tennis ball was lost by my brother.

    I'd only use the passive voice for #2 if it were a particularly important tennis ball. You'll see xxx was lost used when the thing lost is more important that the person who lost it. There's no reason for it here.

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