Reflexive pronoun in the passive

2017-12-06 04:21:42

Would anybody explain how to change the following sentences into the passive?

He did it himself.

He killed himself.

He washed himself.

When you convert a sentence from active voice to passive voice, the subject becomes the agent (by...) or is omitted completely, and the object becomes the patient (the subject of the passive voice sentence).

The most common usages of passive voice are if

you want to focus on the active-voice object

you don't know who the active-voice subject is

you don't want to say who the active-voice subject is

You use a reflexive pronoun when the subject and object are the same, so there is no point in focusing on the active-voice object, as it is the same as the active-voice subject. You do know who is the active-voice subject. The only remaining justification for using passive voice would therefore be if you did not want to say who was the active-voice subject. In this case, the second and third sentences become:

He was killed.

  • When you convert a sentence from active voice to passive voice, the subject becomes the agent (by...) or is omitted completely, and the object becomes the patient (the subject of the passive voice sentence).

    The most common usages of passive voice are if

    you want to focus on the active-voice object

    you don't know who the active-voice subject is

    you don't want to say who the active-voice subject is

    You use a reflexive pronoun when the subject and object are the same, so there is no point in focusing on the active-voice object, as it is the same as the active-voice subject. You do know who is the active-voice subject. The only remaining justification for using passive voice would therefore be if you did not want to say who was the active-voice subject. In this case, the second and third sentences become:

    He was killed.

    He was washed.

    Note that the meaning of himself in the first sentence is somewhat different: in this case, the reflexive pronoun really means by himsel

    2017-12-06 04:57:59