blow / blown

KANMIZ

Member
Japanese Japan
Hi everyone,

I'm confused with the usage of " blow / blown " as an active voice or a passive voice.

My hat had blown off.
I don't want let my hat get blown away.
The wind blew my hat off.

I think in the second one, it is used as a passive voice while used as an active voice in others.
But subject in the first one and the third one are different.

Are these sentences correct?
If so, the word " blow " can be used as both an active voice and a passive voice?
Is there any way to know which to use?

Thank you
 
  • srk

    Senior Member
    English - US
    The first one is active and uses the past perfect tense, which needs "blown," the past participle of "blow." You'd use the tense to sequence the event of your hat blowing off with other events: "I started to turn into the building, but my hat had blown off, and I had to retrieve it." The hat blew off before you started to turn.

    The third is active and simply reports a past event. "..., but my hat blew off, ...." The hat blew off at the same time you started to turn.
     
    Last edited:

    GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    If so, the word " blow " can be used as both an active voice and a passive voice?
    Almost any verb that describes an action that has a recipient can be used both actively and passively:

    The wind blew the clouds away.
    The clouds
    were blown away by the wind.

    The boy
    ate the rice.
    The rice
    was eaten by the boy.

    An earthquake
    had destroyed the town.
    The town
    had been destroyed by an earthquake.


    Is there any way to know which to use?
    Which do you want as the subject of the sentence -- the performer of the action, or the recipient of the action?
     

    KANMIZ

    Member
    Japanese Japan
    Thank you everyone. I understood that the first one is active and uses the past perfect tenses. But if the third is correct, can't the first one be like it ?

    My hat had been blown off ( by the wind ).

     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    My hat blew off.
    The wind blew my hat off.

    I think the difference is similar to that in The kettle boiled; I boiled the kettle.
    This is more like a reflexive verb than a passive, and I think there is a special term for such verbs. The name escapes me for the moment.
     

    KANMIZ

    Member
    Japanese Japan
    I see. I'm curious about this kind of verbs.
    Thank you all for your quick responses. It's very helpful for me.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    I see "My hat blew off" as belonging to this category:

    Many English verb allow this possibility: an active but intransitive use, equivalent to a passive. They're often used with adverbs:

    These books sell quickly.
    This paint spreads easily.
    This bread cuts easily.
    The stain washes out completely.
     
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