passive or active

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geneticist

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hi guys
i have a question about the passive and active voice.
which form (active or passive ) is correct in the following sentences?why?is there any rule here?

1.the room was filled with smoke
2.the room filled with smoke

1.the sails was filled with wind
2.the sails filled with wind

thanks
 

mykwyner

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Your examples are all passive voice. The following are the active voice forms:

The smoke filled the room.
The wind filled the sails.

The passive voice is when the subject of a sentence (smoke, wind) is replaced by its object (room, sails) and the subject is then moved into a prepositional phrase (with smoke, with wind).
 

riverkid

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hi guys
i have a question about the passive and active voice.
which form (active or passive ) is correct in the following sentences?why?is there any rule here?

1.the room was filled with smoke
2.the room filled with smoke

1.the sails were [was] filled with wind
2.the sails filled with wind

thanks

++++++++++++++
Mike wrote:

Your examples are all passive voice.

++++++++++++++++++

I don't think that number 2 in each set are passive, Mike. The passive needs some form of the 'be' verb {depending on the "tense" shown}+ the past participle.
 

geneticist

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++++++++++++++
Mike wrote:

Your examples are all passive voice.

++++++++++++++++++

I don't think that number 2 in each set are passive, Mike. The passive needs some form of the 'be' verb {depending on the "tense" shown}+ the past participle.
===============================
i think all of them are passive although the number 2 in each set aren't passive grammatically but they make sense passive.
what do you think of that??
 

mykwyner

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Riverkid is, as usual, correct. The passive voice sentence must include some form of the copular verb to be. However, neither the room nor the sails were doing the filling even though they appear to be the subjects.
 

geneticist

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i think you didn't understand me yet, i mean (and think) there are some words in english make sense both passive and active,for e.g the word fill is explained in oxford dictionary as
1.to make sth full of sth ----- this means active---- e.g. the smoke filled the room

2.to become full of sth --------this means passive ----e.g. her eyes suddenly filled with tears or the sails filled with the wind (the latter is written in oxford dictionary)
as i said before,it is passive but not grammatically.in your opinion am i right?
have fun;-)
 

mykwyner

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I agree with you that the sentences are passive in nature, but they fail to pass the grammatical test as passive constructions.
 

geneticist

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I agree with you that the sentences are passive in nature, but they fail to pass the grammatical test as passive constructions.
mike! as a native speaking english,which form you prefer to use in spoken &written english?

her eyes were filled with tears
or
her eyes filled with fear
 

mykwyner

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mike! as a native speaking english,which form you prefer to use in spoken &written english?

her eyes were filled with tears
or
her eyes filled with fear


I would use either, depending on which I thought would work better with what I was writing. The key to good writing is to be critical of your own work and revise, revise, revise!
 

Wuisi

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As far as I know they are not passive sentences. It is just a participle used as an adjective (subject complement) as in 'I'm annoyed with you' or 'The hil was covered in snow'.
 

mykwyner

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The argument can be made that, "I'm annoyed with you," and, "The hill was covered in snow," are passive versions of, "You annoy me," and, "Snow covered the hill."

The classic example of an active/passive sentence pair (the one I ask my students to memorize) is as follows:

active: The boy saw the dog.
Boy is the subject, saw is the action verb, and dog is the direct object.

passive: The dog was seen by the boy.
The direct object, dog has taken the subject position, a form of the stative verb, to be, was, is used with the action verb in its participle form, seen, and the previous subject has been put into a prepositional phrase, by the boy, in the direct object position.
 

Wuisi

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Ok, the funny thing is that The hill is covered in snow is not a passive structure -and Michael Swan is on my side. It consists of simply Covered -adjetive, from a participle- and 'in snow' which complements that adjective-participle. I do agree with you all as far as meaning is concerned but grammatically speaking these sentences are similar to 'I'm tired of it all'. Of course, it is not my own idea or opinion -if only I were that smart-, it is Michael Swan's. It is not really important but if we were ever to choose active or passive when sitting an exam, we'd better tick the active.
 

mykwyner

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I still disagree. In the sentence, "The hill was covered in snow," the agent of the action, snow, is not functioning as a the subject of the sentence. It is, therefore, passive. It is a transformation of the active-voice sentence, "Snow covered the hill."
 

riverkid

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I still disagree. In the sentence, "The hill was covered in snow," the agent of the action, snow, is not functioning as a the subject of the sentence. It is, therefore, passive. It is a transformation of the active-voice sentence, "Snow covered the hill."

The argument can be made that, "I'm annoyed with you," and, "The hill was covered in snow," are passive versions of, "You annoy me," and, "Snow covered the hill."

Mike,

Don't, "I'm annoyed with you" & "The hill was covered in snow" describe their respective states of being rather than actions?

Even, "The hill was covered by snow" doesn't, to my, admittedly, at this point, confused mind, make 'snow' the agent.

Major :-?

"You annoy me", too is kind of a state in that it represents ongoing or habitual, whereas, "I'm annoyed with you" seems more transient in nature.

More major :-?
 

Wuisi

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She was frightened by a mouse is passive (frightened is part of the verb) but She was frightened of dying is not (frightened is an adjective).
I was annoyed by the way she spoke is passive but I was annoyed with her is not
I was surprised by her visit is passive but I was surprised at your attitude is not.
His whereabouts are known to the police is not passive
The hills are covered in snow is not passive
The room was filled with thick smoke is not passive.

I don't really know that much but, to my mind 'The hill was covered with flowers' is passive 'Someone covered the hill with flowers' but 'The hill was covered in snow' is not the passive of 'Snow covered the hill', 'He was soaked with rain' doesn't seem to be the passive of 'Rain soaked him'.I reckon that when the preposition is not 'by' (when dealing with participles used as adjectives) there is no real agent and so there is no passive.
When they are not participles used as adjectives but real participles we have instrument.
'The car was painted with a pencil' is passive but not 'A pencil painted the car' but 'Someone painted the car with a pencil' is the active it derives from.
I don't know as much as you do but I must confess I really enjoy this kind of discussion (and I must also admit that I do agree with you but there's no telling with grammar and the real problem is that exam exercises always say something like tick the best option).
 

riverkid

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I don't really know that much but, to my mind 'The hill was covered with flowers' is passive 'Someone covered the hill with flowers' but 'The hill was covered in snow' is not the passive of 'Snow covered the hill',

Hi Wuisi,

Language is intriguing, isn't it?

Could not the hill getting covered in/by flowers also be an act of Mother Nature, much as the snow example and not by someone/"someones"?
 

Wuisi

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Of course, and so it is. The MEANING is passive but not the grammar, 'the volcano was covered in lava' -who/what did what? did the lava covered the volcano or rather the volcano covered itself with lava- FOOD FOR THOUGHT
 
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