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    #1

    derive

    Dear teachers,
    I found the following examples in a dictionary. My questions is:

    A. The English word 'olive' is derived from the Latin word 'oliva'.
    B. The story derives from a very common folktale.
    Can I replace 'is derived ' in sentence one with 'derives' ? And can I replace 'derives' in sentence two with 'is derived'?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang

  1. BobK's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: derive

    In those two cases, yes you can; but there is a slight difference (to my ear at least). The active "derives" suggests 'that's where it came from', whereas the passive "is derived" suggests that there was a process [and that the process is of interest]. In your first sentence, in fact, I'd prefer "derives". Generally in natural language, I'd talk about "deriving" rather than "being derived" - except in cases where there's an artificial creative effort (such as in a recent string, when I invented a word which was derived from 2 Greek words).

    b

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    #3

    Re: derive


    Dear BobK,

    Thank you very much for your explanation. Now I see.

    Jiang
    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    In those two cases, yes you can; but there is a slight difference (to my ear at least). The active "derives" suggests 'that's where it came from', whereas the passive "is derived" suggests that there was a process [and that the process is of interest]. In your first sentence, in fact, I'd prefer "derives". Generally in natural language, I'd talk about "deriving" rather than "being derived" - except in cases where there's an artificial creative effort (such as in a recent string, when I invented a word which was derived from 2 Greek words).

    b

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