The Free Dictionary  
mailing list For webmasters
Welcome Guest Forum Search | Active Topics | Members

'When I said that your English had (been) improved,' (Passive or Active) Options
A cooperator
Posted: Saturday, November 3, 2018 6:51:14 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/27/2011
Posts: 2,967
Neurons: 11,044
Location: Ḩāḑírah, Hadramawt, Yemen
Hi Everyone!

Now that "English" is a moveless subject, then how could 'English' be the subject of an active action. I.e. I am expecting '.....your English had been improved....'

When I said that your English had improved, I did not necessarily mean you knowledge of the grammar books, but the way you ask your questions, your actual use of the language.


Whoever doesn't own what he promises to those who do not deserve must not promise it.
RuthP
Posted: Saturday, November 3, 2018 7:20:24 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/2/2009
Posts: 5,232
Neurons: 63,618
Location: Drain, Oregon, United States
A cooperator wrote:
Hi Everyone!

Now that "English" is a moveless subject, then how could 'English' be the subject of an active action. I.e. I am expecting '.....your English had been improved....'

When I said that your English had improved, I did not necessarily mean your knowledge of the grammar books, but the way you ask your questions, your actual use of the language.

In an active sentence, "your English" would be the object of the action.
You improved your English a lot over the last year.

In a passive sentence, the object becomes the subject.
Your English is much improved over last year.
Tyoma
Posted: Sunday, November 4, 2018 1:26:44 AM
Rank: Newbie

Joined: 10/31/2018
Posts: 27
Neurons: 147
A cooperator wrote:
Now that "English" is a moveless subject, then how could 'English' be the subject of an active action. I.e. I am expecting '...your English had been improved.'

The word “improve” has two meanings, “to get better” and “to cause something to get better”.

“Your English has improved” means “Your English has gotten better”.
Tyoma
Posted: Sunday, November 4, 2018 1:33:10 AM
Rank: Newbie

Joined: 10/31/2018
Posts: 27
Neurons: 147
RuthP wrote:
Your English is much improved over last year.

Is this a grammatically correct sentence? Shouldn't it be "Your English much improved over last year"?
A cooperator
Posted: Sunday, November 4, 2018 3:53:18 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/27/2011
Posts: 2,967
Neurons: 11,044
Location: Ḩāḑírah, Hadramawt, Yemen
RuthP wrote:
A cooperator wrote:
Hi Everyone!

Now that "English" is a moveless subject, then how could 'English' be the subject of an active action. I.e. I am expecting '.....your English had been improved....'

When I said that your English had improved, I did not necessarily mean your knowledge of the grammar books, but the way you ask your questions, your actual use of the language.

In an active sentence, "your English" would be the object of the action.
You improved your English a lot over the last year.

In a passive sentence, the object becomes the subject.
Your English is much improved over last year.


Thanks a lot,
Yes, I agree with your examples, but in my example why an active verb "improve" used. As long as "English" is a moveless subject, and cannot get better by itself, then how could 'English' be the subject of an active action? That is, I am expecting that a passivised verb which must be used '.....your English had been improved....'

Whoever doesn't own what he promises to those who do not deserve must not promise it.
A cooperator
Posted: Sunday, November 4, 2018 4:13:47 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/27/2011
Posts: 2,967
Neurons: 11,044
Location: Ḩāḑírah, Hadramawt, Yemen
Tyoma wrote:
RuthP wrote:
Your English is much improved over last year.

Is this a grammatically correct sentence? Shouldn't it be "Your English much improved over last year"?


Unless your sentence is meant to be "Your English got much better over last year.", I don't think "your English" itself could improve itself.

Whoever doesn't own what he promises to those who do not deserve must not promise it.
Tyoma
Posted: Sunday, November 4, 2018 4:37:15 AM
Rank: Newbie

Joined: 10/31/2018
Posts: 27
Neurons: 147
A cooperator wrote:
in my example why an active verb "improve" used. As long as "English" is a moveless subject, and cannot get better by itself, then how could 'English' be the subject of an active action?


It is just the way it is with inanimate objects in English.

Houses shake during an earthquake.
Balls roll on the ground.
Waves break against the shore.

A cooperator
Posted: Sunday, November 4, 2018 7:23:33 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/27/2011
Posts: 2,967
Neurons: 11,044
Location: Ḩāḑírah, Hadramawt, Yemen
Tyoma wrote:
RuthP wrote:
Your English is much improved over last year.

Is this a grammatically correct sentence? Shouldn't it be "Your English much improved over last year"?


Why do you always tend to use "Your English" with the active form of the verb "improve"? This is why you didn't expect that the Ruth's sentence should be "Your English was much improved over last year.".

I think Ruth said "Your English is much improved over last year." since my English is getting better everyday over last past year. And though, I think the tense should be in the past in order for be consistent with the past wording "last year", like in "English was learnt over last year."
"Your English was much improved over last year."

Whoever doesn't own what he promises to those who do not deserve must not promise it.
Tyoma
Posted: Sunday, November 4, 2018 7:49:21 AM
Rank: Newbie

Joined: 10/31/2018
Posts: 27
Neurons: 147
A cooperator wrote:
"Your English was much improved over last year."

"Your English was much improved over last year" sounds like someone else improved your English while you were in a hypnotic sleep.
Romany
Posted: Sunday, November 4, 2018 10:00:13 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/14/2009
Posts: 14,763
Neurons: 46,157
Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom
When we're talking about a person's skill with language the name of the language is a kind of short-form.

"Your Latin has improved since the new teacher came." = "Your proficiency with Latin has improved......."

"Your English is worse now because you haven't used it in a while." "Your poficiency/use of English is worse now......"

"Your Japanese has suddenly improved! Must be because of your new Japanese boyfriend!" "Your ability/fluency in Japanese has suddenly improved."

I don't know if there is any "rule" or explanation of this in textbooks: but this convention is used and understoood in all forms of English: formal or informal.

"Your English/Japanese/Latin" = "Your proficiency/fluency/understanding of X Language...."
A cooperator
Posted: Thursday, December 6, 2018 12:16:31 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/27/2011
Posts: 2,967
Neurons: 11,044
Location: Ḩāḑírah, Hadramawt, Yemen
Tyoma wrote:
A cooperator wrote:
"Your English was much improved over last year."

"Your English was much improved over last year" sounds like someone else improved your English while you were in a hypnotic sleep.


Tyoma,
I'd agree with you, but the Ruth's sentence below, "Your English is much improved over last year.", you, yourself, commented on with "it should be.... ", also sounds like someone else improves your English while you are in a hypnotic sleep."
Tyoma wrote:
RuthP wrote:
Your English is much improved over last year.

Is this a grammatically correct sentence? Shouldn't it be "Your English much improved over last year"?



I said "My English is/was/has been improved" since I am thinking of it like "English is/was/has been improved [by me]." - which means "I, myself, improved my English." And not "my English, itself, improved itself."
The same logic is in "The letter was written [by me]." - which means "I wrote the letter.", and not "The letter, itself, wrote itself."
In both sentences, "Letter" and "English" are moveless (inanimate) subjects, which means they cannot do anything by themselves.


Also, as in,
English is/was improved.
English is/was learnt/taught.
I mean "improvement" or even "learning" was not earned/obtained by English, itself, however through self-study done by me.





Whoever doesn't own what he promises to those who do not deserve must not promise it.
Users browsing this topic
Guest


Forum Jump
You cannot post new topics in this forum.
You cannot reply to topics in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.

Main Forum RSS : RSS
Forum Terms and Guidelines | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2008-2018 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.