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  1. Newbie
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    #1

    Double Passives

    Hello, could you help me with this question?

    Some English verbs that have two objects (for example, ask, offer, teach, tell, lend, promise, sell, throw) can make two different passive sentences:

    I was given the book. / The book was given to me.

    But what about these verbs: explain, point out, announce, dictate, describe, mention, repeat, suggest, propose? Can these verbs make two passive sentences? I've read that it is imposibble with these verbs. But I don't understand why.

    So, I can say:

    The rule was explained to me. (it's OK)

    But can I say?:

    I was explained the rule. (Is it correct?)

    Thanks)

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Double Passives

    Welcome to Using English.

    Quote Originally Posted by svetta View Post
    But can I say?:

    I was explained the rule. (Is it correct?)
    No.
    The same with recommended.

    Jim recommended this restaurant to me.
    This restaurant was recommended to me (by Jim).
    NOT: I was recommended this restaurant.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  3. Piscean's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Double Passives

    Quote Originally Posted by svetta View Post
    Some English verbs that have two objects (for example, ask, offer, teach, tell, lend, promise, sell, throw) can make two different passive sentences
    Those verbs are ditransitive. They can take a direct and an indirect object. They can also take a direct object and a to + prepositional object phrase.
    :But what about these verbs: explain, point out, announce, dictate, describe, mention, repeat, suggest, propose?
    These verbs are monotransitive. They can take a direct object but not an indirect object. They can take a to + prepositional object phrase.

    Ditransitive verbs take two objects and can therefore have two passive forms.
    Monotransitive verbs take only one object and can therefore have only one passive form.

  4. Newbie
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    #4

    Re: Double Passives

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    These verbs are monotransitive. They can take a direct object but not an indirect object. They can take a to + prepositional object phrase.

    Monotransitive verbs take only one object and can therefore have only one passive form.
    Thanks for your explanation. I've understood. And one more question about monotransitive verbs) Monotransitive verbs can have only one active sentence too:

    He explained the rule to me. (it's ok)

    But we can't say:

    He explained me the rule. (it's not correct)

    That's why these verbs have only one passive sentence. Am I right?

  5. Piscean's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Double Passives

    Yes.

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