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Message de vaiana posté le 03-08-2019 à 16:57:52 (S | E | F)
Could somebody tell me why 'I have been explained' can't be said while 'I have been told' can?
Thank you very much!
Modifié par lucile83 le 03-08-2019 21:02
Réponse : Why /be explained de vaiana, postée le 03-08-2019 à 16:58:37 (S | E)
Of course, I would like to say "on m'a expliqué..."
Réponse : Why /be explained de gerondif, postée le 03-08-2019 à 18:42:03 (S | E)
Both need an object:
I have been told a secret.
I have been told why I couldn't come.
I have been explained the reason why I couldn't come.
Réponse : Why /be explained de vaiana, postée le 03-08-2019 à 19:04:28 (S | E)
I think your third sentence is wrong, and that's actually the point I'd like someone to clarify on this topic.
I found on the Internet:
c) la non-passivation de certains verbes
Attention! Certains verbes ne sont pas passivables : He walked across the square ; We finally explained to John that the manager had detained us →
Réponse : Why /be explained de gerold, postée le 03-08-2019 à 21:24:54 (S | E)
J’aurais dit moi aussi “I have been explained” mais je n’ose plus depuis que j’ai lu Michael Swan, Practical English Usage. Je n’ai pas le livre sous la main, donc pas la référence exacte, mais, selon lui, cette structure est impossible parce qu’on dit to explain something to somebody et non *to explain somebody something. Le complément de personne introduit par une préposition ne peut pas être sujet du verbe passif. Cela vaut aussi pour to suggest.
Réponse : Why /be explained de vaiana, postée le 04-08-2019 à 01:16:00 (S | E)
Hello Gerold and thanks for the precision
So...that means Gerondif's sentence should have been: "it has been explained to me the reasons why I couldn't come", shouldn't it?
Would have been the sentence "the reasons why I couldn't come have been explained to me" correct?
By the way, can "I was written a letter" (for translating "on m'a écrit une lettre") be said or is it incorrect?
Réponse : Why /be explained de lucile83, postée le 04-08-2019 à 10:23:10 (S | E)
"I was written a letter" ne veut rien dire car ce n'est pas moi qui peux être écrit, c'est la lettre.
On dira alors 'I was sent a letter' ...en principe quand on reçoit une lettre c'est qu'elle a été écrite.
Réponse : Why /be explained de vaiana, postée le 04-08-2019 à 22:33:15 (S | E)
Thanks! Indeed, it is logical I must have been tired when writing that post
Réponse : Why /be explained de maggie, postée le 05-08-2019 à 19:52:50 (S | E)
I think that "I have been explained" is not correct because a direct object is required here and that direct object would become the subject of the sentence in passive voice. I can say "Someone has explained the answer to me" and in passive voice, I can say "The answer has been explained to me by someone. That would be the equivalent of "on m'a expliqué la réponse." It's the answer that get explained, not me and in English, the emphasis is on "the answer", not on "someone." Therefore, "someone" is not necessary.
Modifié par lucile83 le 05-08-2019 21:04
Réponse : Why /be explained de traviskidd, postée le 07-08-2019 à 07:17:38 (S | E)
Hello, I don't think "explain" is one of the verbs that allow the construction verb+indirect object+direct object, which is necessary for the indirect object to become the subject of the passive voice. That said, if you told me "I have been explained the answer", I would understand you.
Réponse : Why /be explained de maggie, postée le 07-08-2019 à 11:34:00 (S | E)
I agree with Traviskidd. Verbs in this category include "announce, describe, explain, repeat and suggest". There are others as well.
I think the reason has to do with the fact that they came into the English language later than verbs that take a direct object and an indirect object, such as to give and to tell. Therefore, when I say "I explained the situation to him, "to him" is not considered the same type of object as in "I gave the book to him". In these examples, we can say "I gave him the book" but not "I explained him the situation".
Furthermore, I believe that the verbs in my first list (announce, etc,) cannot be used in the passive voice beginning with the object "to him", etc. changed to "he", etc., because "to him" is not considered to be an indirect object in strict grammatical terms. I think this is why we should not say "He was explained the situation." but we can say "He was given the book." The same goes for "I told him the truth, and "He was told the truth".
Réponse : Why /be explained de vaiana, postée le 07-08-2019 à 11:46:41 (S | E)
Thank you very much! I got it!
Maggie, I will write down the verbs you provided; I guess it is useful to learn them. thank you!
Réponse : Why /be explained de lemagemasque, postée le 07-08-2019 à 20:58:21 (S | E)
In order to translate the French pronoun "on", you can use other ways than the passive voice, which can be sometimes cumbersome, especially for long sentences.
Bonne journée !
Réponse : Why /be explained de traviskidd, postée le 07-08-2019 à 21:52:40 (S | E)
Hello; I think it is better to learn the list of verbs that do allow the construction V+IO+DO than the list of verbs that don't. The latter is, I believe, much larger. (By the way, "write" is in the former, so you can indeed say "I was written a letter.")
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