Thanks for your response.
I think my previous example sentence might be not good.
Here's a new one. No. 1 was written by me and No. 2 was the correction by a teacher. I wonder why No. 1 is wrong. :roll:
I'm afraid I don't agree with your teacher.
No. 1 is wrong, I agree; but no. 2 isn't a huge improvement:
#1 The door was referred to his office. :cross: - except in Anglika's (jocular) interpretation.
#2 The door was used in reference to his office
Alternatively, "The word 'door' was a
reference to his office."
To answer your question, '"door" refers to
his office' (verb in the active voice); 'his office is referred to
by "door"' (verb in the passive voice). You could
use the verb in the passive voice in your sentence by adding 'as', but the meaning would be different (and ridiculous ;-)):
The door was referred to as
his office. [This would mean that people mistakenly used the word "office" when they meant his door!]