CHAT: Linux etc. was(Re: Zelandish (was: 2nd pers. pron. forGod))
|From:||Nik Taylor <yonjuuni@...>|
|Date:||Tuesday, September 24, 2002, 5:29|
> >> yep. one of my favourite things about the english
> >> language is its tendency to get active and passive
> >> muddled up ( and also the use of the passive with the
> >> active's indirect/prepositional object as subject : 'i
> >> was given a book'
Actually, that's arguably because English doesn't have a direct/indirect
object distinction, but rather a primary/secondary object distinction,
Subj Prim. Obj Subj Passive
I saw the man --> The man was seen
Subj Prim. Obj Sec. Obj Subj Passive Sec. Obj.
I gave the man the book --> The man was given the book
Subj Prim. Obj Sec. Obj Subj Prim. Obj Prep. Phrase
I gave the man the book --> I gave the book to the man
Subj. Passive Prep. Phrase
--> The book was given to the man
Only the primary object may be made into the subject of a passive
sentence. To make the secondary object into a subject, you must first
convert it into a primary object by demoting the previous primary object
to a prepositional phrase.
> >> 'i could tell i was being talked
> >> about', 'she always liked being looked up to' &c. )
Which is a different construction, as indicated by the fact that the
preposition remains. *"The man was given the book to" is ungrammatical.
> >But that's one of the beauties of the whole shebang. Mind you, you can say -
> >and be understood - "the house was abuilding" for "the house was being
That would mean "The house was building" (and would thus sound very odd,
how can a house build anything? :-)). "A- ... -ing" is simply the
archaic form of the progressive.
"There's no such thing as 'cool'. Everyone's just a big dork or nerd,
you just have to find people who are dorky the same way you are." -
AIM Screen-Name: NikTaylor42