passivization (2)

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chan

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'Many short rivers flow into the ocean. ' There is a subject and there is an object, but why can't this sentence be passivized?
 

Casiopea

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chan said:
'Many short rivers flow into the ocean. ' There is a subject and there is an object, but why can't this sentence be passivized?

Subject and object have nothing to do with it per se. (Note, by the way, 'into the ocean' is not the object of the verb flow. It's a complement.) It's the verb's meaning that determines whether a verb can be placed in the passive voice or not.

Max hit Pat.
Pat was hit by Max.
=> Max acts out on Pat.

The river flows.
=>The river acts out on nothing. The river flows ('flows' describes the state of the river)

All the best,
 

Tdol

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We can use other verbs in the passives- lakes are filled by rivers, but not flow. ;-)
 

MikeNewYork

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chan said:
'Many short rivers flow into the ocean. ' There is a subject and there is an object, but why can't this sentence be passivized?

That use of the verb "flow" is intransitive, i.e. it doesn't take a direct object. Only transitive uses can be made into the passive voice.
 
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