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Hi,
please help me with these transformation exercise:

1/ People saw him steal your car
=> should it be "he was seen to steal your car"
or:
he was seen stealing your car

2/ He won't let you do that silly thing again
=> should it be "you won't be let to do that silly thing again"
or:
you won't be let do that silly thing again

Many thanks

P.S: three of my teachers have told me the exact answer for question 1 is "he was seen to steal your car". They said both sentences are correct but because the original sentence is not in the -ing form, the passive sentence shouldn't be, either. I told them I think "he was seen to steal your car" is wrong, but they told me it is right, and this rule appears in many grammar books. I'm so confused... (+_+)

For question 2, please tell me if is ok to use "be let to do something" or "be let do something"

please, I need help as soon as possible...

A zillion thanks
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Comments  
Your three teachers must all be from the same school. The present participle surely sounds better than the infinitive in this case. It seems to me that their argument against "ing" could be applied as well to the infinitive. Although I guess technically the original sentence does use the infinitive: People saw him (to) steal your car. That must be their point. The rules must be: "Change this active sentence to passive voice, keeping everything else the same."

In your second example, I've heard the "to" omitted, but neither form of the answer is frequently used. We'd more likely say, "You won't be allowed to do that silly thing again," and in this case the "to" may not be omitted.

Perhaps BrE is different from AmE. The Brits say, "Yes, I should have done," where we say "Yes, I should have."
thanks avangi. They are not from the same school, but they are from the same country Emotion: smile

I want to ensure: we never use "he was seen to steal your car" IN ANY WAYS, don't we?

For the second question, I'd like to ask: in other cases (not this one), can we used "be let do sth" or "be let to do sth"? or the verb "let" can never be in passive?

Thanks a lot
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I hope I am not stealing Avangi's thunder....
While you are waiting, here is my 2 cents worth.

Britney was seen…

(shopping on )

( half drunk in a club in )

( with her baby checking in at the airline counter)

All these are adverbial clauses describing what she was doing or where she was. With this approach, therefore, infinitive use of a verb is incorrect in my opinion.

"he was seen to steal your car" should be replaced with “stealing” .
I hope I didn't mislead you with my first reply. My understanding was that in both examples, 1 & 2, there were two solutions. Both were grammatically correct, but your teachers only allowed one in each case, because they wanted you to follow the example of the active sentence in formulating the passive.

There's nothing wrong with "he was seen to steal your car," except it's not conversational. It's something you'd expect in a court of law, especially in written briefs, but also in questions from attorneys, or in testimony by law enforcement personnel. The average person would not put something like that in the passive. He'd say, "Somebody saw him steal your car." If he had to use the passive, he'd say, "he was seen stealing your car." Often when people use the passive like this it's because they want to make a point that they're "not mentioning any names." (Otherwise they'd just say, "Sombody - some guy - saw him.")

Re "be let (to) do," again, there's nothing wrong with it, but it's quite rare. We'd say, "Please don't let him do it. He mustn't be allowed to do it!" That is, "let" in active voice; "allow" in passive.

Best regards, - A.
Hey, Goodman, no worries, there's plenty enough thunder to go around. You're welcome anytime. - A.

P.S. sorry for the delay, my internet connection was misbehaving - on my end this time.
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AvangiI hope I didn't mislead you with my first reply. My understanding was that in both examples, 1 & 2, there were two solutions. Both were grammatically correct, but your teachers only allowed one in each case, because they wanted you to follow the example of the active sentence in formulating the passive.

There's nothing wrong with "he was seen to steal your car," except it's not conversational. It's something you'd expect in a court of law, especially in written briefs, but also in questions from attorneys, or in testimony by law enforcement personnel. The average person would not put something like that in the passive. He'd say, "Somebody saw him steal your car." If he had to use the passive, he'd say, "he was seen stealing your car." Often when people use the passive like this it's because they want to make a point that they're "not mentioning any names." (Otherwise they'd just say, "Sombody - some guy - saw him.")

Re "be let (to) do," again, there's nothing wrong with it, but it's quite rare. We'd say, "Please don't let him do it. He mustn't be allowed to do it!" That is, "let" in active voice; "allow" in passive.

Best regards, - A.
Thanks Avanngi. I agree. In many contexts, the passive + infinitive construction is perfectly legal i.e. based on the same paralell, "realizing the cold public response, he was convinced to call off the campaign" is correct.But in the posted context, it's considered improper.
Hi Goodman,

In poking around the internet looking at other English sites etc. it seems when "was seen to" is addressed specifically, the rank and file agree it's illegal, but the gurus say it's correct and rare.

You may have noticed that this thread was started by a student protesting that three different teachers told him it was correct.

Best wishes, - A.
Thanks a lot, Avangi and Goodman. However I still have this query: In other cases where "let" is used in passive voice, should it be "be let to do something" or "be let do something"? Or "let" is just used in active sentences and VERY RARELY in passive?

Thanks a lot Emotion: smile
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