be given birth to

vphuocloc

Member
Vietnamese
Can I say, " My sister was given birth to 16 years ago"?
is it different from "My sister was born 16 years ago" in any sense?
In what situations can I use "be given birth to" in stead of "be born"?
Thanks,
Loc
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    You should probably avoid trying to use this statement as you have in your first sentence, Vphuocloc. You could say that "my mother gave birth to my sister sixteen years ago", but trying to use the passive here is awkward. The most natural way to say that your sister was born sixteen years ago is to say exactly that:"My sister was born sixteen years ago."
     
    Last edited:

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    Very interesting!

    In terms of someone being born is sounds plain daft because we have a verb to do that job already: to be born.

    verb "to give birth to" has to be used in certain way.

    e.g. My mother gave birth to my sister that year.

    Or political unrest gave birth to street violence.

    Using this verb as a passive contruction is not common, but if you could theoretically do it with the second one ..

    Street violence was given birth to by political unrest.
     

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    Well indeed, I never said it was a good expression! BUT I'm trying to answer the OP's post.

    It seems ridiculous to use the passive for people and birth, and slightly less odd to me to use a passive for something inanimate.
     

    vphuocloc

    Member
    Vietnamese
    Thank all. I myself find it ridiculous to use passive for "give birth to" in the sentence but one of my friend said that it was OK to say so. Now I have the evidence to show him what I say is right.

    Thanks again ^^
     
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