Can this sentence "I have applied for samples that you requested." be replaced by this sentence"Samples that you requested have been applied"?

As far as I know, when the word "apply" means "ask", its part of speech is intransitive.But I have seen some sentences that use "apply" as passive voice. So it's quite confusing to me.

  • There are lots of different meanings of apply. The passive tends to be for the transitive meaning. Look in a dictionary. Nov 3 '17 at 4:18
  • 2
    Agree ^^. In this context you'd say "The samples that you requested have been applied for"
    – gpr
    Nov 3 '17 at 6:50
  • The natural reading of your “... have been applied” version is that the samples have been used.
    – Lawrence
    Nov 3 '17 at 9:49
  • No wonder they always call me back when I mail that message to them...
    – Neish Wu
    Nov 3 '17 at 15:33
  • 1
    No, it can’t. I have applied for samples that you requested lacks, at least, an article, as in I have applied for the samples… Samples that you requested have been applied is worse and means nothing like the correct form, … have been applied for. Part of the problem is that apply never means ask. To apply and to apply for share nothing. We apply rules or bandages, various chemicals; perhaps even ourselves. We apply for passports, permission, positions, visas and the like. There is no comparison. Nov 3 '17 at 21:08

I believe your confusion is that the verb applied is indeed intransitive, but this is a phrasal verb that is actually being used here. This is indeed correct below.

Samples that you requested have been applied FOR.

What is happening is that this is the phrasal verb-

Apply for



Please refer to this entry in the Free Dictionary about this phrasal verb.

A preposition at the end of a sentence in this example is correct because for is a particle of the verb phrase...


Passive words for the apply are as follows:

Implement Use Infuse Impose

  • Sorry, Zincha. It's true some of your words sometimes share meanings with apply but have you actually tried substituting and of them? Samples that you requested have been implemented/used/infused/imposed would generally be worse than applied. Nov 4 '17 at 19:18

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