Dear all,

I was told that in the sentence "His face was bruised" the word "bruised" is used as an adjective and the sentence was "not passive" but "active voice". I was also told that the sentence "My leg was injured in a scooter accident" is in passive form and its active form is "I injured my leg in a scooter accident." This things really confuse me. Here my question is "His face was bruised" by something. Can't we think like that? So can't we consider it as a passive form. I would like to get your valuable opinion on this.

Thank you.


Active and passive forms are used quite loosely in English, and I don't see much point in wondering about them. Years ago, CalifJim gave this excellent example: The chicken is ready to eat. Is the chicken going to eat something or are we going to eat the chicken? No one knows. 😁

Another example that I have mentioned several times: He was drowned in the river. Was it an accident or a crime? English just isn't the most exact language in the world, but it surely is one of the most interesting.



His face was bruised.

It's ambiguous.

It could be a passive clause describing an event ("Someone or something bruised his face"), or an active one describing a state, in which case "bruised" is an adjective.

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cat navy 425I would like to get your valuable opinion on this.

Many cases are ambiguous. The fewer words you have in the sentence which can explain the situation, the less chance you have of knowing how to classify the sentence as active or passive.

The door was closed. ??? ambiguous

When I got to his office, I was surprised to see that the door was closed.
(The door was not open.)

When I asked them their hours of business, they said to be sure to come before 6 pm because the door was closed at exactly 6 every day.
(The action of closing the door took place at 6 every day.)

In your 'injured leg' example, the mention of the accident (an event) helps to show that 'was injured' has to do with an action, not a state.



There is not enough information in the simple statement "His face was bruised" to tell which one it is.

Anna: Was he hurt in the accident?

Jon: His face was bruised.


She could see that his hair was a mess and his face was bruised.

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Thanks a lot.
Thank you.
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Thanks a lot.
I understand. Thanks a lot CJ Sir.
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