Greetings.

'Most adjectives can be changed into adverbs by  adding "-ly" '

 

I'm wondering if "adding" in the sentence above can (or should)be replaced by "being added", considering the fact  that its implied subject is "most adjectives".

 

 

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Hi, Robby zhu,

"add" is not a ditransitive verb, where both the direct and the indirect object can become the subject of the passive. Let's compare with ditransitive give:

- Most people can be made happy by being given what they need. (People are made happy / People are given what they need -> "people" is the subject of both verbs in the passive.)

The verb add is only a transitive verb, with to introducing an adverbial complement (the thing to which something is added).

Apart from saying:

- Most adjectives can be changed into adverbs by adding "-ly" (to them). ("to them" is not an indirect object that can be turned into the subject of the passive voice, and the subject of "adding" is tacit "us," which can make that adverbial sound somewhat dangling)

we can say:

- Most adjectives can be changed into adverbs by having "-ly" added to them. (Here, both verbs share the same subject, which is "most adjectives." -> Adjectives are changed / Adjectives have "-ly" added to them.)

1,   So if the verb is ditransitive, both of the following sentences are correct and mean the same ?

-Most people can be made happy by being given what they need. 

-Most people can be made happy by giving them what they need. 

 

2, I recall a sentence which seems dangling:

The movie is filmed by using an old camera.

Is that acceptable?

 

Robby zhu posted:

'Most adjectives can be changed into adverbs by  adding "-ly" '

I'm wondering if "adding" in the sentence above can (or should)be replaced by "being added", considering the fact  that its implied subject is "most adjectives".

If you made that replacement, the sentence would be ungrammatical:

*Most adjectives can be changed into adverbs by being added "-ly."

You could, however, say:

Most adjectives can be changed into adverbs by "-ly" being added to them.

I prefer the original sentence much more, though, provided "to them" is added:

Most adjectives can be changed into adverbs by adding "-ly" to them.

The understood subject of "adding" is generic. Compare:

They can be changed by anyone into adverbs by adding "-ly" to them.
You can change most adjectives into adverbs by adding "-ly" to them.

Similarly:

The car can be turned on by pressing a button.
You can turn the car on by pressing a button.

Stress can be alleviated by laughing.
You can alleviate stress by laughing.

The batter can be thickened by adding an egg to it.
You can thicken the batter by adding an egg to it.

Robby zhu posted:
Thanks, david. I just came up with another version( according to GUSTAVO's "not ditransitive" analysis): Adjectives can be changed into adverbs by being added to with "-ly". Is that okay? I know it's redundant though.

No, that doesn't work. I see what you're trying to do. You want to rescue your passive construction from ungrammaticality by changing it to a prepositional passive. The problem is not simply that "Adjectives can be changed into adverbs by being added to with '-ly'" is a hideous (though grammatical) sentence.

The problem is that "X is added to with Y" does not mean that "Y is added to X."  Compare: "The dirt pile was added to with dirt" does not mean that dirt was added to the dirt pile. Consequently, we can't say "The dirt pile can be increased by being added to with dirt." An instrument interpretation is more likely: "The dirt pile can be increased by being added to with bulldozers."

bulldozer

P.S. I don't know why you're addressing me as "david" and Gustavo as "GUSTAVO." Please follow the standard English practice of capitalizing the first letter of a first name, and the first letter only. I am David. Gustavo is Gustavo. Please do not continue this silly practice of using all caps or no caps at all. If you persist in this silliness, I will interpret it as a sign of disrespect.

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Thanks. I get it. In that construction , "with" introduces a tool.

Sorry about the capitalization. I so address you because I remember you as "David" and "GUSTAVO", thinking you specifically made your name that way. But now I find that this website displays your name sometimes in all capitals and sometimes with only  the first word capitalized. The "David" and "GUSTAVO" spelling was according to my first impression, sorry. 

IMG_20191203_162619IMG_20191203_162550

 

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