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Grammar Hi Is it ok to use the verb "start" in passive voice here? : He believes that the fire was started accidentally. or it should be stated like this : ........the fire started accidentally. ? Thanks
Aug 20, 2018 8:03 PM
Answers · 2
Both your alternatives are correct, but they are different in meaning. "The fire started accidentally" means that it was not started by deliberate action, e.g. there was an electrical fault or a lightning strike. "The fire was started" implies some agency - somebody started it. To say it was started accidentally means that whoever started it did so without intending to start a fire - perhaps it was a child playing with matches.
August 20, 2018
First one is the action itself, the second one is with help of someone else (often followed with "by...") Concerning the first choice you could also say "A fire is believed to have started accidentally."
August 20, 2018
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