For example,
http://www.uiowa.edu/~histwrit/passive and active voice.htm

Asserts that you can identify the use of the passive voice by finding instances of the verb "to be".
But if I write...
I remain amused by flying monkeys.
Is that not the a passive way of writing the active:

Flying monkeys continue to amuse me.
?
Does anyone recognize a classification which would classify my first example above as using the passive voice? After all, I could change "remain" to "am", putting the sentence clearly into the passive voice, and change the meaning of the sentence very little. One could find lots of analogous examples.
Does anyone recognize a classification which distinguishes assertions (noun "to be" adjective) as a different type of passive voice from the use of "to be" together with a participle or gerund, with an actual or implied indirect object? (And does or does not the indirect object in "by flying monkeys" indicate the passive voice just as much as the verb "to be"?)
Do I engage here in some well-known fallacies?
Can anyone point me to a list of verbs, in addition to "to be", that writers can use to construct sentences which some authorities would consider to be in the passive voice?
Or has life filled me with unpleasant substances?
Adrian.
And I did do some web-searching first...
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For example, http://www.uiowa.edu/~histwrit/passive and active voice.htm Asserts that you can identify the use of the passive voice by finding instances of the verb "to be".

Examples on that page such as
"On July 14, 1789, there were poor people who stormed the Bastille",

"My professor, Steinberg, was right in categorizing the late nineteenth century as the "Gilded Age", and
"Everyone was aware that..."
aren't passive voice, they're just active sentences in the past tense, which doesn't give much credibilty to the rest of it. The writer's being fair enough if he wants to describe the examples as woolly, but passive voice they aren't.
And as for the start:-
"Your professor has probably told you to eliminate passive voice from your writing."
I was expecting "well this is a gross over-simplification"...

I think maybe I detect the ol', "I'm a lecturer in the Deptartment of History, let me tell you about the English style I like to see in my students assignments" syndrome. Shame really, the Iowa Uni articulatory phonetics site at http://www.uiowa.edu/~acadtech/phonetics/about.html is brilliant.
DC
For example, http://www.uiowa.edu/~histwrit/passive and active voice.htm Asserts that you can identify the use of the passive voice by finding instances of the verb "to be". But if I write... I remain amused by flying monkeys.

Sorry, a quick PS... another way of thinking of this is that 'amused' is a past participle adjective, rather than passive voice (could we ever identify an agent doing the amusing? Probably not). In the same way:

'I remain drunk'
'I remain unconvinced'
'I remain brought low by flu'
'I remain green with pink spots'...
DC
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
Django Cat (Email Removed) wrote,
For example, http://www.uiowa.edu/~histwrit/passive and active voice.htm Asserts that you can identify the use of the passive voice by finding instances of the verb "to be".

Examples on that page such as "On July 14, 1789, there were poor people who stormed the Bastille", "My professor, ... it. The writer's being fair enough if he wants to describe the examples as woolly, but passive voice they aren't.

Yea, the web search be a source of much confusion and misinformation.

Nothing could I find dealing with the passive voice at http://www.alt-usage-english.org/index.shtml
Looked I not hard enough? Or be that section yet to be written?
Adrian.
Django Cat (Email Removed) wrote,
For example, http://www.uiowa.edu/~histwrit/passive and active voice.htm Asserts that you can ... But if I write... I remain amused by flying monkeys.

Sorry, a quick PS... another way of thinking of this is that 'amused' is a past participle adjective, rather than ... way: 'I remain drunk' 'I remain unconvinced' 'I remain brought low by flu' 'I remain green with pink spots'... DC

I was never saying that all uses of "remain" would indicate a use of the passive voice, and you say that the presence of the verb "to be" does not indicate it either.
Alright...
I am amused by flying monkeys.
As opposed to:
Flying monkeys amuse me.
Is or is not the first sentence in the passive voice?
Doesn't the "by flying monkeys" pretty automatically identify the agent? That is, doesn't the use of "by something" in conjunction with usually a form of "to be" and a gerund or participle indicate an agent which has been turned into an indirect object through the use of the passive voice? Sentences containing "by" can fairly mechanically be turned around to be "different" even if one isn't actually making them "active" instead of "passive".
I really do wish I had been taught this in school...
If people convince me that
I am amused by flying monkeys.
is not using the passive voice, my discussion will end up being about something quite different. And probably even more FAQworthy.
Adrian.
(Email Removed) (Adrian Pepper) wrote,
That is, doesn't the use of "by something" in conjunction with usually a form of "to be" and a gerund ... can fairly mechanically be turned around to be "different" even if one isn't actually making them "active" instead of "passive".

Okay, that specific claim was definitely a bit too general...

I was walking by the lake.
In that case it is truly difficult to identify an agent operating on "I". Might that be a very good example of a non-passive use of the verb "to be" ?
Adrian.
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Doesn't the "by flying monkeys" pretty automatically identify the agent? That is, doesn't the use of "by something" in conjunction ... or participle indicate an agent which has been turned into an indirect object through the use of the passive voice?

I don't think passive voice can use a gerund, except "being" and "getting" as part of a continuous-tense construction: I was being yelled at, I am getting beaten. And "by " part is certainly not necessary (although arguably is always implied, and at least possible).

I don't see why a construction like X remained Y (by Z) should not be considered passive, given that 'X became Y (by Z)' would, I assume, normally be so considered. Likewise "X gets Y (by Z)". "To be" is certainly not the only possible verb.
That is, doesn't the use of "by something" in conjunction ... if one isn't actually making them "active" instead of "passive".

Okay, that specific claim was definitely a bit too general... I was walking by the lake. In that case it ... operating on "I". Might that be a very good example of a non-passive use of the verb "to be" ?

It's an example of a standard construction known as the progressive (or continuous) aspect (or tense). Any form of "be" with the -ing form (sometimes called "present participle") of a verb can be used to form the progressive. The progressive is in the active voice. At the risk of suffering a counter-example, I'll hazard the statement that there is no passive progressive.
Do not confuse this with the passive, which uses a form of "be" plus the past participle, as in "The dog was walked by John." You don't need an expressed agent to have a passive "John was hit in the face." By whom? The sentence doesn't tell you.

Bob Lieblich
Passively progressive
Robert Lieblich (Email Removed) wrote, in article (Email Removed):
It's an example of a standard construction known as the progressive (or continuous) aspect (or tense). Any form of "be" ... the active voice. At the risk of suffering a counter-example, I'll hazard the statement that there is no passive progressive.

What about "was being"?
"The dog was being walked by John." ?
Do not confuse this with the passive, which uses a form of "be" plus the past participle, as in "The ... expressed agent to have a passive "John was hit in the face." By whom? The sentence doesn't tell you.

Yes, I never thought you needed an expressed agent.

But I always thought that if you could add "by something", where "something" was in fact the agent (and the root verb was in fact transitive) then that was an indication of the passive voice.

So what about my original examples?
I was amused by flying monkeys.
I remain amused by flying monkeys.
versus
Flying monkeys amused me.
Flying monkeys continue to amuse me.
Now, it's true the flying monkeys probably didn't conspire to amuse me, but that doesn't stop them from being an agent, does it?

And my question was is "I remain amused by flying monkeys" an example of the passive voice? Even though the verb "to remain" is used and not "to be".
But along the way I'm clearing up some of my own and others' other misconceptions about what is and is not the passive voice.
Adrian.
"The dog was walked by the lake."
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