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Reply to "be made "ing""

Hi, Deepcosmos and Gustavo—I think it's important to note that the sentence "The movie was made using a lot of special effects" is in the passive voice, and that the sentence can be transformed to the active voice as follows:

  • They made the movie using a lot of special effects.

Even though it is possible to parse "using a lot of special effects" there as a postmodifier of "movie" ("the movie that used a lot of special effect"); however, we know that that parsing does not accord with the intended meaning.

The sensible way to parse "They made the movie using a lot of special effects" is with "using a lot of special effects" as an participial adverbial adjunct modifying "made the movie." Here is how I would paraphrase the sentence:

  • They used a lot of special effects in making the movie.

As for the passivized version ("The movie was made using a lot of special effect"), I parse "using a lot of special effects" as an participial adverbial adjunct modifying "was made."

As Gustavo says, the participial phrase answers the question "How did they make the movie." While we can posit a deleted preposition like "by," I don't think the syntax requires it.

Hi, David, you did answer to me, thanks a lot!

I've come to understand what you mean. I prefer the active version to the passive one, since I assume in the passive one - "The movie was made using a lot of special effect" there happens 'misrelated participles' because the subject of the main clause and the implied subject of the participle clause do not match.

Anyhow, always and really appreciate your great helps.

Last edited by deepcosmos
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