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The passive voice

hirashin

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Dear native English speakers,
Would you check my sentences in the passive voice?
1) This tree was cut down by my father.
2) My bike was stolen yesterday morning.
3) These computers are made in Japan.
4) These letters were written by a Japanese about a hundred years ago.
5a) English is taught all over Japan.
5b) English is being taught all over Japan.
6a) Kumamoto was attacked by big earthquakes in April.
6b) Kumamoto was hit by big earthquakes in April.
7) This house was built thirty years ago.
8) This postcard was sent from London last month.
9a) Japan is often attacked by a big earthquake.
9b) Japan is often attacked by big earthquakes.
10a) These books are read all over the world.
10b) These books are being read all over the world.
10c) These books have been read all over the world.
11) That tree was planted by my grandfather twenty years ago.
12) Mary is loved by everyone/everybody.

Thanks in advance.

Hirashin
 

lincstreff

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In my opinion, the following sentences are perfect (natural, grammatical English, with no need for any improvements at all):
1, 2, 3, 5a, 5b, 6b, 7, 8, 10a, 10b, 10c, 11, 12.
As for the ones not listed above, these are my comments / feedback:
4 - OK, but more natural to replace "a Japanese" with "a Japanese man", "a Japanese woman", or "a Japanese person".
6a, 9a, 9b - We do not usually use "attack" when describing an earthquake.
9a - "a big earthquake" means a one-time occurrence only, so you can not use it in this context.
 

hirashin

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Thanks for the help, lincstreff.

We do not usually use "attack" when describing an earthquake.
Oh, I didn't know that. Thank you for the information.
Don't you use "attack" when describing a storm or a typhoon, either?
How about these?
9c) Japan is often hit by big earthquakes.
13) Japan is often hit by typhoons.

Hirashin
 

OoTmaster

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I would agree with lincstreff on everything they said, I would personally say "has" instead of "hit by" for those new examples that you put. I would say those new examples are correct though, maybe "has" is just my personal preference.
 

lincstreff

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We do not typically use "attack" for any kind of natural disaster.

To determine what words are most commonly used, you can sometimes let Google do the work for you.

For example, to try to determine the verbs most commonly used with "typhoon", I put the following example text in quotes and did a Google search: "by a typhoon last year", then looked at all the various sentences that came up, narrowed down to the ones that were in the appropriate context (referring to a country or region), and checked the verbs used.
Here is what came up:
hit (also: hit hard, heavily hit, etc.)
struck
swept
devastated
battered

"Hit" and "struck" were the two most common verbs used.

Sentences 9c and 13 both sound fine to me.
 

hirashin

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Thanks for the help, OoTmaster and lincstreff.
I would agree with lincstreff on everything they said, I would personally say "has" instead of "hit by" for those new examples that you put. I would say those new examples are correct though, maybe "has" is just my personal preference.
OoTmaster, I'm sorry, but I'm not sure what you are saying.
Do you prefer "Japan often has big earthquakes" to "Japan is often hit by big earthquakes"?

Hirashin
 

OoTmaster

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I personally prefer "Japan often has big earthquakes". I hear people say the other all the time though so I'm sure it's correct.
 
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