Passives of Sentences with Indirect Objects

An active pattern VII sentence with a prepositional phrase indirect object makes only the regular kind of passive with the patient as grammatical subject. For example:

A pattern VIII sentence with a noun phrase indirect object, however, makes TWO passives. For example, this active sentence

has one passive counterpart in which the original indirect object has become the grammatical subject

and another passive counterpart in which the original direct object has become the grammatical subject

The second version, in which the original direct object has become the subject, is probably more acceptable to British speakers than it is to Americans, but its existence as a possible sentence of English is a piece of evidence for distinguishing two types of active sentences with indirect objects:


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Comments to: Sara Kimball
Last updated January, 2001