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  1. engee30's Avatar
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    #1

    Unhappy passive voice, by + agent

    Hello everybody,
    Ever since I had an encounter with the passive voice, I've been having a problem with the agent followed by the preposition by.
    Is there any rule for the position of the agent in the passive voice sentence? Where should it be put to be sure of its correct position?
    My father gave this watch to me on my eighteenth birthday.
    I was given this watch by my father on my eighteenth birthday.
    or
    I was given this watch on my eighteenth birthday by my father.

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: passive voice, by + agent

    Either in this case, though the first is more common.

    b

  3. engee30's Avatar
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    #3

    Red face Re: passive voice, by + agent

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    Either in this case, though the first is more common.

    b
    Thanks. However, it so happens that the alternative you chose is more correct than the other, according to the book which the sentences were taken from.
    The thing is that some textbooks one time don't admit of the choice of my own, and another time they do. It usually depends on the book I'm using.
    And what if I was taking an exam? What rule should I follow, if there's any? It's not that easy for me, a foreigner, to know whether the choice I'm going to make is more common or not. That's my genuine concern.

  4. BobK's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: passive voice, by + agent

    Quote Originally Posted by engee30 View Post
    ...
    The thing is that some textbooks one time don't admit of the choice of my own, and another time they do. It usually depends on the book I'm using.

    And what if I was taking an exam? What rule should I follow, if there's any? It's not that easy for me, a foreigner, to know whether the choice I'm going to make is more common or not. That's my genuine concern.
    You're right. There's no consistency, either in books or in exams. The question is, which standard does your exam apply - and I'm afraid I don't have the experience to tell you.

    The only way you can find out which usage is most common, is to read and listen. I know that's not a very helpful or welcome piece of advice, but that's the way it is.

    (If some other teacher can propose a rule you can apply in this case, I'll be listening...)

    b

  5. engee30's Avatar
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    #5

    Cool Re: passive voice, by + agent

    That's what I'm going to do - read and listen as much as possible.
    But in my humble opinion, I think teachers shouldn't pay too much attention to the position of the agent in the sentence as long as it is in one of its permissible positions.
    Thank you very much. I'll be listening as well...

  6. BobK's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: passive voice, by + agent



    b

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