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Thread: Nobody..

    • Join Date: Apr 2006
    • Posts: 124



    Here is another question!

    (a) Nobody believes that he was rich.

    by passivisation,

    (b) He is believed to have been rich by nobody.


    (c) It is believed by nobody that he was rich.

    Are both (b) and (c) ungrammatical? Then, why?

    Hoping for your priceless help!


    • Join Date: May 2006
    • Posts: 1,334

    Re: Nobody..

    Hi, Spoon,
    No, they are both incorrect. The Passive is used when you either don't want or can't name the doer. If you write He is not believed to have been rich then by nobody is just redundant.
    Sure, you can often see sentences with ...was done by Mr.X. Let's take an example.
    1. Jack totaled his father's car.
    2. Father's car was totaled by Jack.

    They both seem to have the same info. The difference is in what you choose to present as the main info. The main info is usually at the end.
    In 1 you tell what Jack did.
    In 2 you tell who did it. So here naming the doer is justified.
    I hope it helps.

  1. matilda

    Talking Re: Nobody..

    you know, some verbs can not be passivised, as one of my teachers told me.

    you MAY say:
    he is not believed to be rich.
    but it doesn't make that sense.

    you can say a sentence with the same meaning but not exactly passive of this verb and structure.

    i would say:
    nobody knows/consideres him a rich man.

    this sentence means the same as what you want.

    hope that helps


    • Join Date: Apr 2006
    • Posts: 124

    Re: Nobody..

    Thank both of you!

    Shall we consider one more sentence?

    Just like this:

    He is not belived to have been ... by anybody.

    The above sentence is the exact sentence passivized.

    We've already known that, but I'm curious about why 'nobody' is ungrammatical instead of 'not ... anybody' in passivezed sentence.

    Do you know the reason or is it for use of the native speakers?

    Hoping for more discussion!


  2. matilda

    Talking Re: Nobody..

    nobody can not be used with a negative in a senence.

    two negatives in ONE sentence ....?
    i have never seen two negatives in one sentence


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