a question of passive voice

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Anonymous

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Hello

When I'd like to ask about the agent of passive voice, can I use both sentences?
Or is "By whome " not used in daily life?

For example:
1) By whom was the cake eaten?
2 Who was the cake eaten by?

Thank you. :)
 

Steven D

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2004
Member Type
English Teacher
Lina said:
Hello

When I'd like to ask about the agent of passive voice, can I use both sentences?
Or is "By whome " not used in daily life?

For example:
1) By whom was the cake eaten?
2 Who was the cake eaten by?

Thank you. :)


I would simply expect to hear, "Who ate the cake?"

Passive voice would most likely not be used here in my opinion. It's really not necessary.
 

Casiopea

VIP Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2003
Member Type
Other
Lina said:
Hello
When I'd like to ask about the agent of passive voice, can I use both sentences? Or is "By whom" not used in daily life?

For example:
1) By whom was the cake eaten?
2 Who was the cake eaten by?

Thank you. :)

I agree with X Mode. :D

The function of the passive is to take focus off the agent, the doer of the action, and emphasize the object. Though, in our example sentence the agent is emphasized:

Passive: Whom was the cake eaten by? (Agent)
Passive: Who was the cake eaten by? (Agent)

There's no need to use the passive to emphasize the agent. Active works best, as X Mode suggests:

Active: Who ate the cake?

By the way, 'by' is a preposition so its object should be 'whom', but some speakers will use 'who':

Passive: The cake was eaten by whom?
Passive: The cake was eaten by who?

All the best, :D
 

Steven D

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2004
Member Type
English Teacher
Casiopea said:
Lina said:
Hello
When I'd like to ask about the agent of passive voice, can I use both sentences? Or is "By whom" not used in daily life?

For example:
1) By whom was the cake eaten?
2 Who was the cake eaten by?

Thank you. :)

I agree with X Mode. :D

The function of the passive is to take focus off the agent, the doer of the action, and emphasize the object. Though, in our example sentence the agent is emphasized:

Passive: Whom was the cake eaten by? (Agent)
Passive: Who was the cake eaten by? (Agent)

There's no need to use the passive to emphasize the agent. Active works best, as X Mode suggests:

Active: Who ate the cake?

By the way, 'by' is a preposition so its object should be 'whom', but some speakers will use 'who':

Passive: The cake was eaten by whom?
Passive: The cake was eaten by who?

All the best, :D


I think many speakers will use "who". I'm one of them.


8) :D :shock: :D

But as I said, I wouldn't use passive voice here anyway. So that settles that for me.

:shock: :D :) :D
 
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