Wendy Monika
Can you please tell me what it is ? He was given 10 minutes to answer the questions. He was given applaud by the audiences. She was given a book by one of her friends. I was told that I need to be careful if I am going to do this. I was told by him that I have to come to office by 5 PM. My questions are the words,Given and Told,are verbs or adjective in these sentences above?Can you please tell me what they are for each sentence? Thank you !
Aug 13, 2018 4:24 PM
Answers · 3
They're all verbs : past participles used in passive constructions.
August 13, 2018
They are not adjectives, in any of those sentences. An adjective modifies a noun. A noun names a thing. Examples of nouns include house, day, and story. An adjective modifies a noun by adding additional details: a red house, a large house; a hot day, a dark day; a funny story, a true story. You can see that "given" and "told" are not modifying nouns in any of these sentence. I am not sure that I would say that "given" and "told" are verbs. I'm not sure I have the terminology right, but I would say that "given" and "told" are the "past participles of verbs." In this case, they are the past participles of "to give" and "to tell. What is happening here is that they are joined with the word "was" to form a verb. That is to say, "given" is not a verb, but the two-word combination "was given," taken together, is a verb. The verb forms "was told" and "was given" are in the past tense and are also the passive voice. The writer could have said "One of her friends gave her a book" but instead, the writer said "She was given a book by one of her friends." Notice that we can leave out the the last phrase and say "She was given a book." In this case, we don't know who gave her the book. It is true that the past participle can sometimes work as an adjective, but it isn't happening here. Here are two examples of using them as adjectives. "At 8 am, sometimes that road is clear and sometimes it is jammed. You can't predict what will happen on any given day." "Someday, perhaps, we will learn the untold story of just how great-grandfather Lem amassed the money to start that first business." Here it is obvious that "untold" is an adjective modifying "story." "[Life is but] a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." (Shakespeare). "Told" can be an adjective, but it usually follows the noun and usually is followed by a phrase saying who is doing the telling.
August 13, 2018
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