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Is it correct to say "People were survived", or its better to say "People Survived"?

For example yesterday there was a war between government & people, people were survived at last.

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It looks like you've misunderstood exactly what the verb to survive (to remain alive or in existence) means. In your example sentence, I think you want a different word - for example, won, triumphed, or prevailed. –  FumbleFingers Nov 15 '11 at 19:14

2 Answers 2

up vote 10 down vote accepted

When you survive a disaster it is proper to use active voice:

He survived the plane crash.

He survived the war.

If something outlives you, it is proper to use passive voice:

He is survived by his son.

They were survived by their children.

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Just to clarify, the idiom "is/was/were survived by" means that the object of the verb was still alive when the subject died. That is, if you say, "Mr Jones was survived by his wife", that means that Mr Jones died but at the time of his death his wife was still alive. This is the only construction I can think of where you would say "were survived" or "was survived". –  Jay Nov 15 '11 at 19:29
    
Yeah, that's a better way of saying what I was trying to say with the second example. –  Lynn Nov 15 '11 at 19:42

"People survived" and "People were survived" mean completely opposite things. To survive means "to live longer".

So if the people survived, they are alive and someone else is dead.

If the people were survived, then they are dead and someone else is still alive.

If I understand your example sentence correctly, you might write:

Yesterday there was a war between the government and the people. When it was all over it was the people that survived.

This would mean that the government lost the war and was destroyed.

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