It pushed them with a great force.

I can think of the following:

  • They were pushed by it with a great force. [passive voice]
  • With a great force it pushed them. [is it correct? sounds unnatural]
  • A great force exhorted by it pushed them.

Is there any other possible combinations?


  • In your third example you brought in the word 'exhorted', which usually means "to urge, advise, or caution" (Dictionary.com). This seems like poor diction. Besides this, if you're allowing yourself to depart from the vocabulary of the original sentence, there will be far too many variations to list. Thus, the question is too broad.
    – DyingIsFun
    May 25, 2016 at 20:49
  • @Silenus I agree with you on both points. I was looking for a word suggested by Devana. Interestingly enough Google Books search shows at least one book (albeit an old one) that use this adjective in combination with the word "force". "At Imola, the papal force, exhorted by priests, made a respectable stand, but was of course routed; when imperial Austria was driven from the field, the pontiff could hope nought, save from submission." My third example was wrong I was trying to avoid introducing new words. If you will be strict enough, first example is wrong too as I changed "them" to "they".
    – user18993
    May 26, 2016 at 0:09
  • "It kicked their butts."
    – Hot Licks
    May 26, 2016 at 0:53

1 Answer 1


"Exhorted" seems like a strange participial adjective to use here; the verb choice seems wrong. "Exerted" is probably the word for which you were looking, and it's a better choice. I also suggest that the third sentence is not the same as the original, since it is now the force that is pushing "them" and not "it." The meaning is somewhat different.

To answer your question, the second wording is correct. To make plain the grammar of that sentence, I suggest the prepositional phrase's comma: "With a great force, it pushed them." Placing a prepositional phrase before the nominative of a sentence is grammatically acceptable.

Aside from the active and passive wordings of this sentence, I think all other wordings would change the original meaning, even slightly. Even something like "It exerted a great force in order to push them," would alter the main verb.

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