Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

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.

share|improve this question
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

1 Answer 1

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.

share|improve this answer
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

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.