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    • Join Date: Sep 2006
    • Posts: 50
    #1

    which tense

    The phrase "the room is occupied" clearly refers to the current time with "is" but appears to use the past tense with the "ed" suffix on the verb "to occupy".

    What is the correct analysis of this phrase?


    • Join Date: Aug 2006
    • Posts: 3,059
    #2

    Re: which tense

    Quote Originally Posted by risby View Post
    The phrase "the room is occupied" clearly refers to the current time with "is" but appears to use the past tense with the "ed" suffix on the verb "to occupy".

    What is the correct analysis of this phrase?
    Hello Risby,

    "occupied" is the past participle form being used in conjunction with the 'be' verb to form a passive voice which means the same as the active voice,

    "People are using (occupying) the room.


    • Join Date: Sep 2006
    • Posts: 50
    #3

    Re: which tense

    Thanks for that. I've found this site which suggests when to use the past and present participles. I've still much to learn about the passive and active voice: which is shocking considering that I'm fifty years old and English is my mother tongue.


    • Join Date: Aug 2006
    • Posts: 3,059
    #4

    Re: which tense

    Quote Originally Posted by risby View Post
    Thanks for that. I've found this site which suggests when to use the past and present participles. I've still much to learn about the passive and active voice: which is shocking considering that I'm fifty years old and English is my mother tongue.
    You know all there is to know about the structure of your language, Risby and you knew it from about the age of five or six. There's a big difference between knowing consciously and knowing unconsciously.

    Language experts who have studied language for years don't stop because they have learned everything. They readily admit that they are often confounded by the complexities of language. Language is the most complicated thing a human will ever do.

    Can you explain the intricacies of breathing? I doubt it but I know, because we're having this exchange, that you're still doing it well. I hope that you stay in practice for at least another 50 years.

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