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Hello,

I have asked the same given question here before.

1. He is a teacher.

2.The apples taste sweet.

3. He weighs 30 kilos.

Are these senetnces in active or passive voice?

Mr.clive answered it, but did not tell whether all three sentences are active or passive.

I asked a person who is my senior at office.

He told " They are active, since all contain intransitive verbs, which possess only the active voice."

I could not understand the meaning what he wanted to say and also could not date to ask it as he is very senior to me.

Any here could explain the meaning of his logic( written in bold letters)?

Thanks.
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Comments  (Page 2) 
I share CJ's wariness, when approaching ergative verbs. But as far as I know, an ergative verb may be distinguished by the fact that, in the active voice, the subject of the verb is not the agent, e.g.

1. The house shook.

2. The wineglass shattered.

Here, "something or someone else" (an earthquake?) shakes the house; and "something or something else" (Caruso?) shatters the wineglass. So although "house" and "wineglass" are the subjects of the verb, they're not the agents in the action.

Cf.

3. MissQ screamed.

Here, MissQ is the subject of the verb, and she's also the agent in the action. So it's an ordinary intransitive verb.

MrP
MrPedanticI share CJ's wariness, when approaching ergative verbs. But as far as I know, an ergative verb may be distinguished by the fact that, in the active voice, the subject of the verb is not the agent, e.g.

1. The house shook.

2. The wineglass shattered.

Here, "something or someone else" (an earthquake?) shakes the house; and "something or something else" (Caruso?) shatters the wineglass. So although "house" and "wineglass" are the subjects of the verb, they're not the agents in the action.

Cf.

3. MissQ screamed.

Here, MissQ is the subject of the verb, and she's also the agent in the action. So it's an ordinary intransitive verb.

MrP

A good description, Mr P.
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AnonymousA good description, Mr P.

Would these be ergative?

The glass was broken for spite.

The car was crashed to collect insurance.
AnonymousWould these be ergative?

The glass was broken for spite.

The car was crashed to collect insurance.

Hello Anon

I would take those as ordinary passives.

I've seen some descriptions of ergative verbs that more or less equate the ergative with the passive voice, in terms of meaning; but it seems to me that the ergative is slightly more remote from the agent than the passive. Cf.

1. The car crashed.

– no agent is expressed; we don't know whether the crash was deliberate or not.

2. The car was crashed.

– no agent is expressed, but an agent is implied: it seems that the crash was deliberate.

3. He crashed the car.

– the agent is expressed; the crash was deliberate.

MrP
Anonymous
Anonymous
A good description, Mr P.

Would these be ergative?

The glass was broken for spite.

The car was crashed to collect insurance.

Nope.
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Anonymous
Anonymous
A good description, Mr P.

Would these be ergative?

The glass was broken for spite.

The car was crashed to collect insurance.

No, they are not. Here they are:

The glass broke.

The car crashed.
Anonymous
MrPedantic
Twice as transitive...

And ergatives? What are they?

Here are some:

burn - the cakes burned.

burst - his trousers burst

change - the programme has changed

close - her eyes closed

cook - the rice cooked

drop - the temperature dropped

join - their hands joined

melt - their hearts melted

move - the glass moved

open - the door opened

run - the bathwater is running

Good luck.
http://www.sfu.ca/person/dearmond/322/322.argument.assignment.htm

for mind-boggling material on ergatives and the related phenomenon: unaccusatives.

(Some writers say ergatives and unaccusatives are the same thing. Others make a distinction.)

CJ
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CalifJim(Some writers say ergatives and unaccusatives are the same thing. Others make a distinction.)

CJ

How about you? The same, or different?
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