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ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > It was + verb-ed / V3 ->> Passive / ACTIVE ?    

It was + verb-ed / V3 ->> Passive / ACTIVE ?

Czech Republic

It was + verb-ed / V3 ->> Passive / ACTIVE ?
Hi friends,
It is well after midnight here and I am stuck.
One of my ss asked me whether the sentences with this structure are always passive. Are there any exceptions?

I believe the sentences "It is/was + V3." are always passive...

eg: It (a thing, box) was moved to the attic. (passive)

BUT: I was moved by the film. (active) (moved = adjective (?)

"I am/was + V3." might stand for
"I am/was + adjective." = I am/was bored.
or "I am +V3.-passive" = I am/was arrested by the police.

How can I explain the difference between passive verb and
"verbal adjective"
(V3 past participle used as a adjective?)
Can I say that the verbal adjective is always placed before the noun and it modifies the noun?

The bike is broken. x The broken heart never heals. x I have broken my leg.
This bread was baked by Granny. x I don �t like baked beans. x I have baked a cake. (present perfect simple)

18 Apr 2011      


As for teaching, I would split this grammar forms into several lessons:
1. I would take a lesson on ed and ing adjectives, the defference between them � �the breaking heart lyrics" vs" the broken heart never heals"
2.I have broken my leg -- I would teach a present perfect tense with a function for an action which took place in the past but relates to the present
3. passive forms. Stative use: to describe continuing states. used exatly as an adjective. The students already know from the lesson on ed and ing: It �s broken. She �s bored.

18 Apr 2011     


Oh dear...you need a grammar expert and I �m not that but these are my comments with some examples:

It (a thing, box) was moved to the attic. (passive) ....yes

I was moved by the film. (active) (moved = adjective (?) Not an adjective - a past perfect verb.

to move = to affect emotionally. It is a moving film. - adjective
The film moved me. active (The film affected me emotionally)
He is happy. (adjective)
The bike is broken. (adjective) The adjective is after the verb to be.
It is a broken bike. (adjective)
The bully broke little Tom �s bike. (active)
Tom �s bike was broken by the bully. (passive)
The arrested man was put in jail. (adjective) - but we can �t say" He is arrested." but
He has been arrested. ( verb)
The police arrested the man. (active)
The man was arrested by the police. (passive)

18 Apr 2011     

Czech Republic

It was broken. This sentence can be both active and passive... ?

It didn �t work. = It was broken. = It was + adjective. =  = active?
It was broken (by the wind). = It was + past participle. = passive

How can we see whether the sentence is passive or active sentence with an adjective ending in -ed/-en?

It was colourful/coloured (picture). = It was coloured. + adjective? = active?
It was painted with colours by Mum. = It was coloured (by Mum) + past participle? = passive

When is "verb+ed" called an adjective?

18 Apr 2011     


The window was broken describes an ongoing state in the past. Adjective

The window was broken every second night - a repeated process. Passive.

18 Apr 2011     

Czech Republic

Thanks a lot MapleLeaf! Thanks a lot Apodo!
Are there any verbs (from the list below) which can be put into this sentence to form both active and passive? 
It was ........... (V3) . (=active / passive)
-> He wasn�t dressed. = He was naked +adj. (A) / He was dressed (by the butler). (P)
-> They were imported. = They�re foreign. +adj. (A) / They were imported (by French). (P) (+V3 past participle (imported))

accept, accompany, allow, answer, apply, arrange, arrest, ask, attach, attend, bake, base on, bear, beat, book, break, broadcast, bring, build, burn, buy, call, cancel, care by, cause, celebrate, chase, change, check, choose, clean, clone, close, colour, compare, complete, compose, conduct, connect, consider, convince, cook, coordinate, copy, cover, create, criticize, cut, damage, decide, decorate, delay, deliver, describe, design, destroy, develop, direct, discover, discuss, distribute, divide, do, draw, drink, drive, dub, duplicate, eat, employ, equip, escort, estimate, examine, exchange, expect, explain, export, fasten, feed, fill, film, find, finish, fix, flood, forget, form, follow, give, guard, help, hire, hold, hospitalize, hunt, identify, illustrate, import, inform, introduce, invent, invite, involve, iron, keep, kill, kidnap, launch, leave, locate, look after, lose, make, mark, mend, murder, name, need, offer, open, order, organize, pack, paint, paralyze, pay, penalize, perform, permit, place, plant, play, power, prepare, present, print, promise, publish, punish, purchase, put, read, receive, record, reduce, remove, renovate, rent, repair, replace, require, rescue, rob, run, save, say, see, sell, send, serve, service, set, shoot, show, situate, smoke, solve, spill, steal, store, study, surprise, take, tidy up, train, transport, transmit, treat, type, use, visit, warn, wash, watch, water, write ...

18 Apr 2011     


Lots of these can be used in those forms, though some uses are limited or work better with another word. If you need a sentence with usage, just ask ...and I did these in a hurry so there could be errors 8-) 
These are the most commonly heard:
accept, answer, apply, arrest attach bake, book, break,broadcast, burn ,cancel,celebrate
change check choose clean clone closecolour, complete, connect,cook, copy cover criticize cut damage decorate,deliver,destroy, develop, divide, employ, estimate,expect finish, flood, forget,hire, hospitalize,hunt, illustrate, import, introduce,invite,involve,iron,keep,kidnap,lose,mark mend,murder, organize, pack, paint, paralyze,prepare present, print, promise, publish, punish, record, reduce,renovate,  rent, repair, rescue,save, send,service,set,  shoot, smoke,solve, spill, steal, store, surprise, train, transport, transmit, treat, type,use, wash,
Possibles, but only in certain uses: accompany, allow arrange attend, build chase  compose consider delay,describe,distribute, drive, duplicate,  escort, exchange, export find, fix, follow, identify, name, open,permit power,purchase, read,receive,remove, study,watch,
Not these*: ask, base on, bear, beat, bring,built , buy, call,, care by,? = care for cause compare, , conduct, convince,  coordinate,, create decide, direct, do, , drink, , dub,  ,  examine,  , explain,, fasten, , fill, film   give, guard, help, , hold,   inform, invent,  ,   kill,  launch, leave, locate, look after,  make, , offer,  order, ,  pay, penalize, ,perform,  place, plant, play, , put,    replace, require, rob, run,  say, see, sell, serve, show, situate,   take, tidy up,  visit, warn, water, write ...
*but many of them can be adjectives with another word: architect designed, newly built,
recently dicussed , hand drawn, half eaten ,well equipped,well fed, well formed,
much needed,etc

18 Apr 2011     

United Kingdom

You asked "When is "verb+ed" called an adjective?". Merriam-Webster (MWDEU) points out that �a distinguishing feature of the adjective as opposed to the participle � is premodification by very. (eg �The car was moved by the police � vs �I was very moved by the film �)

Obviously, this applies to �gradable � adjectives (how �defeated � can an enemy be?).

This is the bit which sums up the problem quite neatly:

"If very sounds all right before a participle to you, that participle is an adjective for your purposes. But since the participle-into-adjective process is still going on, you will have to accept the fact that what is a participial adjective to you may only be a participle to someone else, and vice versa."

18 Apr 2011     

Czech Republic


18 Apr 2011