3

"Several subsequent voyages were made."

Is the verb "made" here stative or dynamic?

  • 4
    The verb made in this sentence is a past participle, part of a Passive construction. If the passive is important to the answer, you should be asking about it; if it's not, let's unwind it: X made several subsequent voyages. The made in that sentence is the only verb, and it's clearly active; i.e, it passes the syntactic tests for an active (you say 'dynamic') verb. It can be used in the imperative or the progressive, for instance; but not in the passive form, of course. Moral: don't ask generalized questions about specialized structures. – John Lawler Jun 18 '14 at 22:43
1

Definitely dynamic. It's an action.

Stative verbs indicate: being or existence (be, remain); qualities that appeal to the senses (taste, smell, etc.); possession (have, own); desires and feelings (want, like); and thoughts (believe, know). In other words, concepts that you know exist but can't see or hear, etc.

Note that most, if not all, stative verbs have their active uses. http://bayan.50webs.com/eng/grammar/tenses_files/state_verb.htm

That said, these rules do not apply in Scotland, where you can frequently hear statements like: "I'm really wantin' a bit of haggis right now."

| improve this answer | |
1

In an unsearchable and potentially ephemeral comment to the original posting, Professor Lawler kindly presented the following answer:

The verb made in this sentence is a past participle, part of a Passive construction. If the passive is important to the answer, you should be asking about it; if it’s not, let’s unwind it:

  • X made several subsequent voyages.

The made in that sentence is the only verb, and it’s clearly active; i.e, it passes the syntactic tests for an active (you say ‘dynamic’) verb. It can be used in the imperative or the progressive, for instance; but not in the passive form, of course.

Moral: don’t ask generalized questions about specialized structures.

I’ve marked this posting Community Wiki because it is John’s answer not my own, and so I deserve no reputation from it.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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