Passive form of causative sentences
Thread poster: zabit2005

zabit2005  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 02:51
Member (2014)
English to Turkish
+ ...
Mar 13, 2014

Hi to all dear friends.

I have a trouble in transforming the sentence below into passive form.

Could anyone help me please?

Normal sentence: The prosecutor will make the police to prepare the report.

Passive form of this sentence that makes "the police" subject(in fact not true subject, let's say so called subject):

"The police will be made to prepare the report by the prosecutor." I think this is OK. But here comes the one confusing me:

Passive form of the sentence in which "the report" is so called subject:

"The report will be made prepared by prosecutor by police." What on earth is that ? Or is it:

"The report will be made,by prosecutor, prepared by police.", or;

"The report will be made,by prosecutor, to be prepared by police."

I am really confused.

Could you please offer something?

Thank you.


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Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 07:51
Chinese to English
Can't do it that way Mar 13, 2014

I haven't got a source to hand, but the answer is that you can't build a sentence that looks like that in English. There's no way the "made" can go with the "report".

You can use an alternative construction like:

The report was prepared by the police, as required by the prosecutor.

Fronting can help:

At the prosecutor's request, the report was prepared by the police.

Or even:

The report demanded by the prosecutor was prepared by the police. (NB. here the prosecutor did not necessarily want the police to do it; she just wanted the report and the police happened to do it)

The report was prepared, as demanded by the prosecutor, by the police. (NB. This sentence is ugly because of the two "by the" phrases, and in this case the sentence is entirely about who made the report. Everyone knew the report was going to be done, but the prosecutor demanded specifically that the police do it.)

Hope that helps!


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Neil Coffey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:51
French to English
+ ...
Not readily possible in English Mar 13, 2014

zabit2005 wrote:
Normal sentence: The prosecutor will make the police to prepare the report.


A minor detail: in English, causatives have the odd feature that the infinitive doesn't have 'to' in the active, but does in the passive. So you would actually say:

"The prosecutor will make the police prepare the report." (no 'to')
"The police will be made TO prepare the report." ('to' in the passive)

Now, with regard to your actual question, it's actually rare in English to passivise a verb that's so far embedded in the sentence. You can just about do it:

?? "The report will be made to be prepared by the police."
?? "Several words have been forgotten to be translated."

but I think most native speakers will agree that it sounds odd. I don't have any references to hand, but I *think* this phenomenon of 'how far down the tree structure you can passivise' varies from language to language.


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Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 01:51
Italian to English
Turn it round Mar 13, 2014

If readability is a greater priority than literal accuracy, the passive voice is best avoided.

Another problem is that Turkish moves in mysterious ways, at least from an English-speaker's point of view, and causative verbal suffixes are probably one agglutination too far for an English verb phrase to handle with any elegance!

The best way to deal with this particular example is probably to identify the agent and start from there, including the notion of causation in a dynamic verb such as "instruct":

Prosecutors will instruct the police to prepare a report


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Michael Wetzel  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:51
German to English
unmotivated passive always questionable in English Mar 13, 2014

I don't see any reason to avoid the passive in general, but I would never use it in English if it makes harder instead of easiert to write a clear sentence.

"The police were made [or: told/ asked/ forced, etc.] to write the report." This is what passive is there for in English - when the subject is unknown or unimportant or is intentionally suppressed.

"The police will be made to write the report by the prosecutor." Ninety percent of the time, I would say that even this sentence probably ought to be written in an active form in English. As soon as "by" enters the equation, passive usually doesn't serve much purpose.

Regarding your question:
"The report was ordered by the prosecutor and prepared by the police." [or vice versa]: That is perfectly fine as a sentence, but it's not exactly what you mean, it's not equivalent to "The prosecutor made the police write the report."

I guess Neil's suggestion is right, but the complete version is even worse: "The report will be made to be prepared by the police by the prosecutor." If that is gramatically correct, it is certainly a (grammatical) false friend/false cognate.

The English translation is simply "The prosecutor will make the police write the report."


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Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 01:51
Italian to English
Make or instruct? Mar 13, 2014

Michael Wetzel wrote:

The English translation is simply "The prosecutor will make the police write the report."



"Make" rather suggests that the police are unwilling to write the report, which may of course be the case, but if we're talking about legal procedure, a verb like "instruct" is perhaps more appropriate.

[Edited at 2014-03-13 16:39 GMT]


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Michael Wetzel  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:51
German to English
Make etc. Mar 13, 2014

You're absolutely right about "make", I suggested several alternatives, but "instruct" certainly seems better than any of them.

The verb "make" is from the original question. I suppose it sounded strange to me and that's why my suggestions continued along those lines without my really becoming conscious of what was going on.


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zabit2005  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 02:51
Member (2014)
English to Turkish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Mar 13, 2014

Thank you all for your very instructive comments.

At first, i thought the reason not being able to state the situation in passive form as my fault and i was sad about it. Now it is clear that this is not a grammatical mistake but nature of the philosophy of English.

Thank you all again.

Have nice days full of sweet translations.


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Josephine Cassar  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:51
Member (2012)
Italian to English
+ ...
do you need 2 passives? Mar 13, 2014

If you don't, what about: The report will be made/prepared by the police for the prosecutor

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Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 02:51
Turkish to English
+ ...
Turkish syntax is far more flexible than English syntax Mar 14, 2014

This is a big headache for translators in the Turkish to English pair and often paraphrasing is the only solution. In the Kudoz question you refer to, I suggested "Arrangement shall be made by the public prosecution for the police to compile the report" if you wish to retain the passive voice in the target sentence. This is an example of what I mean.

[Edited at 2014-03-14 07:58 GMT]


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Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 02:51
Turkish to English
+ ...
Precisely Mar 14, 2014

Giles Watson wrote:

If readability is a greater priority than literal accuracy, the passive voice is best avoided.

Another problem is that Turkish moves in mysterious ways, at least from an English-speaker's point of view, and causative verbal suffixes are probably one agglutination too far for an English verb phrase to handle with any elegance!

The best way to deal with this particular example is probably to identify the agent and start from there, including the notion of causation in a dynamic verb such as "instruct":

Prosecutors will instruct the police to prepare a report


"Turkish moves in mysterious ways, at least from an English-speaker's point of view, and causative verbal suffixes are probably one agglutination too far for an English verb phrase to handle with any elegance!"

A beautiful way of putting it, if I may say so.


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:51
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Not normal Mar 14, 2014

zabit2005 wrote:

......

Normal sentence: "The prosecutor will make the police to prepare the report"

....





That "normal sentence" is gramatically incorrect - even before you start trying to reconfigure it.

As it is, the sentence means something like "The prosecutor will use his magical powers to specially create police officers, who will then prepare the report".

[Edited at 2014-03-14 08:32 GMT]


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zabit2005  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 02:51
Member (2014)
English to Turkish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
"To make" is one of magical verbs in English Mar 14, 2014

Tom in London wrote:

zabit2005 wrote:

......

Normal sentence: "The prosecutor will make the police to prepare the report"

....





That "normal sentence" is gramatically incorrect - even before you start trying to reconfigure it.

As it is, the sentence means something like "The prosecutor will use his magical powers to specially create police officers, who will then prepare the report".

[Edited at 2014-03-14 08:32 GMT]


If you refer to the use of infinitive, to prepare, i have just tried to correct it but i could not since the site did not allow. I should have done it before when Neil told about it. Sorry. But if you refer to the use of verb " make", nothing to do with it since it has more than 20 meanings. It is a magic itself.

Thank you.



[Edited at 2014-03-14 09:15 GMT]


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Michael Wetzel  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:51
German to English
Thank you Tim and Tom Mar 14, 2014

An English sentence that ably translates a grammatical construction that I can't even distinctly grasp mentally - the whole topic is sort of fourth-dimension for my puny mind. (And I don't care if Tim's version is good or bad in terms of a localization into English; it works and is convincing grammatically, regardless of whether or not it is necessary or appropriate.)

And Tom is able to unhinge his mind and read the content hidden within what I could only see as a grammatical mistake. That's a genuine sleight-of-something ...

Thank you both for a little magic to start my day.


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Passive form of causative sentences

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