Dominik
could be seen - what is it a tense?

Hi, I read Harry Potter and i have sentence like this:  "Hagrid could be seen from the upstairs windows"

I don't understand first part of sentence, why there is III form of verbs (seen), it doesnt look like passive voice. please help


Jun 4, 2018 6:40 AM
Comments · 9
It is passive voice, simple past. Active voice: "People / One could see Hagrid." In other words, it was possible to see Hagrid. Passive voice is used because it doesn't matter who could see her, just where she could be seen from.
June 4, 2018
Tempus: I apologize for the gender bender. I haven’t checked in on Harry since reading “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” when it came out two decades ago, so I’m afraid some of those weird names have somehow slipped my mind. I’m afraid to ask if people are naming their children Hagrid these days? 

Yes, “Hagar” is a biblical / koranic name for girls — quite popular in Egypt to this day. Actually though, I was probably thinking of the name “Ingrid.”

In any event, I hope my answer to the original question was useful.
June 4, 2018

Phil,

Hagrid is a guy!  You must have never read Harry Potter.  Maybe you are confused by the name.  It does sound like Hagar. :)

June 4, 2018
He could be seen = It was possible for someone to see him.
It is passive voice indeed :)
June 4, 2018
Wasn't Hagar the Viking guy in the comics?
June 5, 2018
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