113

OP is right to suspect active/passive has a bearing on preferred usage. From Google Books... 1: Active voice favours with... The company replaced workers by machines - 3 results The company replaced workers with machines - 405 results 2: Passive voice favours by... Workers were replaced by machines - 280 results Workers were replaced ...


47

The wording was delivered of was used in the official announcement at Buckingham Palace (image from the Press Association via BBC News): OED has 3 a. To disburden (a woman) of the fœtus, to bring to childbirth; in pass., to give birth to a child or offspring. Rarely said of beasts. (The active is late and chiefly in obstetrical use.) which is a use of ...


24

When talking about birth, to deliver does not (originally) mean to bring, like "the stork delivered the baby to us" or "UPS delivered the baby". Rather, it means to relieve (somebody of something) as in "deliver us!" or "seeking deliverance". So, the unborn baby is seen as a burden the mother has been carrying, and at birth she is relieved of, or delivered ...


23

Actually the answer is much simpler than those already provided. The mother is not the one doing the "delivering", that is the doctor. So the doctor delivered the baby and the Duchess was "delivered of" the baby.


22

Only transitive verbs can form passive constructions and be is not a transitive verb.


22

ᴛʟᴅʀ: Yes, this construction is perfectly grammatical* in English, and perfectly common as well. There are subtle restrictions on it, however, so not all such transforms produce things that sound right, or at least good, to a native speaker. ɴᴏᴛᴇ 1: It requires preposition stranding, which some decry — but they’re wrong. :)ɴᴏᴛᴇ 2: Like Pullum, I won’t be ...


19

If I throw a ball at someone; that is active. Correct. Throw a ball is an active predicate. If someone throws a ball at me - and it hits me in the face; that is passive. Incorrect. Throw a ball is an active predicate (see above), and so is hit me in the face. Active and Passive are grammatical terms in English that describe constructions; they don't ...


18

John ate the worms. becomes: The worms were eaten. Because "the worms" is the object of the first sentence. "The worms" becomes the subject of the new passive-voice sentence. John tried to eat the worms. Here "the worms" are not the object of the sentence, so they can't become the subject in a straightforward transformation to passive voice. The ...


18

Both of those choices are bad, but if given only them as choices for completing the analogy, choose the second, because although it is clumsy, it is correct, in grammar if not quite in sense. The grammar of the other choice is in error. However, phrasing like "An attempt was made to eat the worms" should be used if the question is open-ended. Edit: ...


17

The simple expression I am humbled is full of emotional, relational, and cultural complexity with ancient connotations. To some extent, saying I am humbled is tantamount to saying I am in touch with my humanity, because the English words humble and human seem to share the same Latin root humus: human mid-15c., humain, humaigne, from Old French ...


15

You can only form a passive out of a transitive verb. To stay when used transitively does not mean the same thing as used intransitively. The word you might be looking for is lodged. People can be lodged in or at a hotel.


15

This may seem flippant, but: This question was not to be closed. = Spoken by Gandalf. This question shouldn't have been closed. = Spoken by everybody else.


15

“He is wished to be here” is marginally grammatical, but in practise very unlikely. Although he may be cast in the “object” case with an infinitival complement (I wish him to be here), it is not an actual object of the verb wish. It is actually the subject of the clause complementing wish, (I wish that he were here) and only formally ...


13

There is a long discussion in the Cambridge Grammar of the English Language (p1441-1443) of the typical contexts in which the get-passive is more likely than the be-passive. The CGEL notes that: i Get-passives tend to be avoided in formal style, ii Get-passives are found only with dynamic verbs, iii Get-passives are more conducive to an agentive ...


12

How about: The worms were stolen, taken to John's house, and an attempt to eat them was made


12

The usage you question is definitely a usage that is frequently criticized. "Grammar Girl" Mignon Fogarty writes: most grammar sources I checked (2, 3, 4) agree that ‘is comprised of’ is an incorrect phrase. She cites many of the usual suspects in schoolmarm-style prescriptive rules of this sort: Garner's Modern American Usage, Bryson’s Dictionary for ...


12

Both are possible, grammatical, and idiomatic, but "my email ID has changed" simply means that the ID is no longer the same, while "my email ID has been changed" puts more stress on the fact that someone is responsible for actively changing the ID.


12

All of these participial usages are examples, as you suggested, of a syntactic rule that deletes a subject relative pronoun and an auxiliary be from a relative clause. The rule is called Whiz-Deletion. The name is a mnemonic. The Wh- part of Whiz-Deletion comes from the fact that relative pronouns start with wh-. The -iz part of Whiz-Deletion comes from ...


11

Locate is a transitive verb and so can form a passive. The active The three travellers located the source of the river 50 miles inland. becomes, in the passive, The source of the river was located by the three travellers 50 miles inland. However, in the construction X is located in Y, the -ed form of the verb is a participial adjective acting as ...


11

There is no grammatical error in the sentence. If you've been told by an English teacher that there is a problem, then they are referring to a stylistic error (according to whatever guidelines they adhere to). It is possible that someone would expect you to use active voice here because the agent of the verb is known. For example, if the sentence is about ...


11

Quit is not really transitive with the noun job; it's too intimately linked with its object, and that object is usually an Object Complement clause, because the normal meaning is to stop performing some activity permanently, or at least for some time. (There are also Subject Complements, but not in this example.) He quit smoking. There is also an economic ...


11

Besides tchrist's suggestion of lodged, you could also say Passengers can be sent to their destination on a different flight or be housed at a hotel. (In this instance, house has the definition of: to give shelter to; harbor; lodge Or you could say: Passengers can be sent to their destination on a different flight or be put up in a hotel. Or you ...


11

The question touches on several issues. Stated as it is, there's no single answer. However, many of the issues touched on are fairly well understood. First, terminology. Passive refers to a syntactic process only. It does not refer to meaning. Consequently one cannot "express the Passive voice by means of the active voice". Or by any means. Passive is not "...


11

The first site is wrong: He has been being treated for imbecility for almost twenty years and has not yet recovered his wits. In 2007 he had been being treated for imbecility for ten years and had not yet recovered his wits. He will be being treated for imbecility on Monday when you arrive, and may not be able to greet you. By then he will have been ...


10

I would go with: The worms were stolen, taken to John's house and very nearly eaten. Alternatively, The worms were stolen, taken to John's house and almost successfully eaten. I don't see any good way to get around implying the attempt, rather than stating it.


10

I don't know why someone downvoted, 39 - I'm having quite a job finding corroboration in online dictionaries for the following. Some verbs in English have a dual usage, where a transitive usage may be switched to an intransitive one, the direct object becoming the subject: Bill closed the door - the door closed Phil broke the window - the window ...


10

There is nothing grammatically incorrect about His room is being painted by John. However it doesn't carry the exact same meaning as John is painting his room. The first (passive) means that John is painting someone else's room, where as the second (active) could mean that, but it's more likely that it means that John is painting his own room. You ...


10

I think it would be best to avoid trying to talk about meaning in terms of voice at all. It's confusing, like talking about time reference in terms of "tense", because people often use terms like "voice" and "tense" to refer to purely morphological categories. I would advise only using the term "voice" to talk about the morphological form of verbs, since ...


9

"The channel is being built with the aid of the latest technologies available today." "Is being built," "has been built," "will be built," etc. are all passive forms. "Build" is active: (a subject) may build (an object).


9

Quiet is a predicate adjective, and almost all predicate adjectives are intransitive. Passive can only apply to a transitive predicate. Be is an auxiliary verb, required to hold the tense for the predicate adjective; no auxiliary verb ever governs Passive. Indeed, the Passive construction uses be itself.


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