Active Sentences without a Passive Counterpart

The estimated time to read this article is 5 minutes

When using the Voice Conjugator to change the voice of a sentence from active to passive, you might find out that there are active sentences that don’t have a passive counterpart.

Intransitive verbs

Intransitive verbs like ‘rest’, ‘dine’, ‘die’, ‘fall’, etc. cannot be passivized at all.

The vase fell > *The vase was fallen

Verbs occurring without their complement

Many transitive verbs take a non-obligatory complement. When a verb occurs without its complement, it cannot be passivized.

He ate the bread > The bread was eaten by him
He ate > *[??] was eaten by him

Transitive verbs that do not passivize their object

Some verbs taking a direct object (sometimes with other complements following it) do not passivize their direct object.

This resort boasts the best beaches >
                  *The best beaches are boasted by this resort

This behavior becomes you > *You are become by this behavior

They want him to leave > *He is wanted to leave by them

They like this beer cold > *This beer is liked called by them

Verbs with clausal complements

Many verbs taking a clause as complement (marked with brackets in the examples below) do not passivize their clausal complement.

We complained [that he had left] > *That he had left was complained by us

She finished [painting the house] >
                          *Painting the house was finished by her

They expected [to receive more help] > *To receive more help was expected

You can read more about passivization in our article about the Voice Conjugator.

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