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When I studied EIKEN Grade 1 exam, a kind of English examination in Japan, I could not understand which word is the verb.

The sentence is below.

Furthermore, the raw, naturalistic acting the Method elicited proved perfectly matched to the art of filmmaking, with its revealing close-up shots.

From EIKEN Grade 1 2012-1 Stanislavski and the Craft of Acting

Which is the verb in this sentence? Elicited, proved or matched?

What part of speeches are "elicited," "proved" and "matched" in this sentence?

I thought the sentence is more understandable if the sentence is changed to below one.

Furthermore, the raw, naturalistic acting (the Method elicited) proved perfectly (it was) matched to the art of filmmaking, with its revealing close-up shots.

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    They are all verb forms, though only proved is the matrix verb (the main verb of the main clause) of the sentence. All the other verbs are in subordinate clauses and are reduced to participles. Though saying proved is "the verb" is wrong; they're all verbs. The question is confusing part of speech with grammatical function. – John Lawler Sep 12 '17 at 7:13
  • @JohnLawler, Sir, would you rephrase the whole sentence by elaborating the reduced parts and make it easily understandable? My intuition is that the matrix verb is matched and the main clause is: the raw, naturalistic acting matched to the art of film making. Is it right? – mahmud koya Sep 12 '17 at 7:52
  • "proved" is the main verb, you need not know about others. To clarify, they are all verbs but the person utilized different grammar elements to write this sentence. – user36767 Sep 12 '17 at 8:05
  • Dear, John Lawler, mahmud koya and xersi. Thank you for your responses. I think the sentence is changeable below one, is it correct? Furthermore, the raw, naturalistic acting (the Method elicited) proved perfectly (to be) matched to the art of filmmaking, with its revealing close-up shots. – Taka Sep 12 '17 at 8:20
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    The matrix verb is "proved", and the subordinate verb is "elicited". "Matched" is not a verb here, but an adjective. – BillJ Sep 12 '17 at 9:15
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It helps to show how an active verb has been made into a passive by using the past participle. Below is the parse of the sentence (it helps to break things down into manageable parts).

"Furthermore, ||the raw, naturalistic acting the Method elicited|| proved perfectly matched to the art of filmmaking||, with its revealing close-up shots."

The bit at the end is irrelevant for our purposes here, so let's ignore it.

The first clause can be rewritten (for purposes of structural explanation) as:

Method acting elicited raw, naturalistic acting --> [the] raw, naturalistic acting Method acting elicited.

You can see there how an active clause has been made passive without an agent.

Now the sentence's meaning should be clearer. This is a transposition from active to passive:

Here is another example:

Passengers needed attention on the plane and it was not easy to provide--> The attention passengers needed on the plane was not easy to provide.

This transposition is: what is an object in an active sentence becomes the subject of a passive sentence and the active verb is given as a past participle.

Please note: in my example, "attention" becomes "the attention", but that is another subject altogether.

I try to avoid too much grammar but try to show the main thing that is operant in the question.

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  • Furthermore, the raw, naturalistic acting ( which the method elicited ), proved perfectly matched...

The rest of the sentence is intentionally left out as is not related to the problem area. The subject of the principal clause is 'acting' with 'proved' as its finite verb. Here 'proved' is a linking verb or a stative verb with 'matched' as its complement— a past participal adjective. The portion bracketed is a subordinate adjective clause. We can now easily get to the intended meaning.

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