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    #1

    Voice constraints

    Hello! How are you?

    I wanted to ask about the reasons why these sentenses cannot change into passive voice. The sentences are:


    1. Terry got into his wife's car.
    2. People hope to succeed. (not sure about this... is "it is hoped to succeed" correct?)
    3. He walked out of the room and slammed the door behind him.


    I've been reading and studying Quirk, but for some reason, whenever I have to explain reasons I feel stuck.
    Thank you.

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    #2

    Re: Voice constraints

    Some things can't be active:

    We wouldn't say, 'The box got into the car', we have to say, 'The box was put into the car'.

    And some things can't be passive:

    1. Actually I think this one could be passive, but we generally don't think of a person being put into a car (although one certainly can be put into an ambulance, and we would put a baby in the car).
    2. Another person can't do your hoping for you. They can, however, hope that positive things happen to you, as in: 'People hope you succeed', but that's still active voice.
    3. In the same way, someone else can't walk or slam doors for you.

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    #3

    Re: Voice constraints

    Quote Originally Posted by J&K Tutoring View Post
    3. In the same way, someone else can't walk or slam doors for you.
    If you did put the second verb into the passive - the door was slammed behind him - it would be wrong because he slammed the door, while the passive would suggest that someone else slammed the door.

    We can use walk in the passive in some special cases- you could say that the dog was walked, meaning that it was taken for a walk.
    Last edited by Tdol; 10-Dec-2015 at 09:20.

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