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      • Native Language:
      • Malayalam
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      • India
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    #1

    the passive voice

    When I reached home, the door had been closed.
    When I reached home, the door was closed.
    Insofar as I know, the first refers to an acton and the second to a state.
    Do they differ in meaning in any respects?
    Doesn't an action like this sometimes have a state as its result?
    Other examples:
    The window has been broken.
    The window is broken.
    The man has died.
    The man is dead.

  1. RonBee's Avatar
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      • Native Language:
      • American English
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      • United States
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    • Join Date: Feb 2003
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    #2

    Re: the passive voice

    When I reached home, the door had been closed. (Somebody had closed the door.)

    When I reached home, the door was closed. (The door was closed, but it is not an issue how it got that way.)

    The window has been broken. (We are interested in how the window got broken, and we probably want to know who broke it.)

    The window is broken. (The state the window is in is what is of interest to us.)

    The man has died. (This is news about what happened to the man.)

    The man is dead. (This is a statement about the man's condition.)

    ~R

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