be slung mud at..

Verra

Senior Member
Belarusian
Dear all,

Could you please prompt me how to form a passive construction meaning that smb is throwing mud at smb in a metaphoric sense,

He is slung mud at by his enemy.

He is mud-slung by his enemy.


And what if I need to expand an expression: He is slung mud of slander at by his neighbour ?

I'm extremely puzzled, to be honest..
 
  • Glenfarclas

    Senior Member
    English (American)
    There is no passive construction of that expression. The closest you will come is "He has mud slung at him by his enemy." In all cases it would be better phrased actively, however.
     

    sound shift

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I've been thinking about this over lunch. What we can't do here is create a passive that uses "he" as the subject: :cross:"He was thrown mud at by his enemies." This must be difficult for learners because we can say "She was given plenty of time."
     

    cando

    Senior Member
    English - British
    In the example cited: "A lot of mud was slung at the government", the subject of the sentence is "mud", while "the government" is the object. So the target is not taking the passive verb, it's the mud. On this pattern, we could say: "Mud was slung at him by his enemies".
     

    london calling

    Senior Member
    UK English
    In the example cited: "A lot of mud was slung at the government", the subject of the sentence is "mud", while "the government" is the object. So the target is not taking the passive verb, it's the mud. On this pattern, we could say: "Mud was slung at him by his enemies".
    Right. That confirms what SS said, indeed.
     

    Verra

    Senior Member
    Belarusian
    Thank you for your answers!

    Intuitively, the passive construction with 'he' as the subject also seems odd to me, but till I wanted to believe :)

    london calling, I wanted to use the construction with 'mud 'to render a similar Russian expression into English. It was like ' we are being poured with mud of slander..." I think these mud-construction sound stronger than there synonyms both in Russian and English, maybe even stronger than ' are being vilified', as other translator put it.

    I my view, it contains not only a metaphorical aspect, but also almost a physical perception of an action, even sense of disgust. I wanted to convey all these meanings in the English translation.

    And also I had to make a close-to-the-original translation, so to preserve the original rhythm I decided on using a passive construction..
     

    Verra

    Senior Member
    Belarusian
    I see, Verra.:)

    So basically you are trying to say 'A great deal of mud is being slung at us', right?
    Yes, it's even an extanded idiom, if it's possible to say so. A great deal of mud os slander is being slung at us' would probably be closer to the idea I'm trying to convey.

    In the end, I used ' we were slander'. Does it sound right?
     

    london calling

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Slander (The Free dictionary), I quote:

    n. oral defamation, in which someone tells one ormore persons an untruth about another which untruth will harm the reputation of the person defamed. Slander is a civil wrong (tort) and can be the basis for a lawsuit.

    The bold is mine: be careful .;)
     
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