Conversion of Passive to Active voice

Shreneken

New Member
Nepali
What will be the answer when the sentence "The couple was threatened to pay the money within three days." is converted to active voice?
Thanks. :)
 
  • SevenDays

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    What will be the answer when the sentence "The couple was threatened to pay the money within three days." is converted to active voice?
    Thanks. :)
    The passive voice is missing an agent, and the agent is required in active voice:

    Passive: The couple was threatened [by someone] to pay the money within three days
    Active: [Someone] threatened the couple to pay the money within three days

    In this passive context, what's needed is "with," as in, for example, The couple was threatened with bodily harm unless they promised to pay the money within three days. I don't know if this longer sentence, or something along those lines, is what the teacher had in mind, which was then shortened to the sentence that you've shown us here.

    Then again, perhaps the teacher felt that an infinitive complement that works in one context (The couple threatened to quit; The couple threatened to pay a hitman) would work in another context (The couple was threatened to pay the money).

    Hard to know, unless you ask the teacher.
     

    GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    The passive voice is missing an agent, and the agent is required in active voice:

    Passive: The couple was threatened [by someone] to pay the money within three days
    Active: [Someone] threatened the couple to pay the money within three days

    In this passive context, what's needed is "with," as in, for example, The couple was threatened with bodily harm unless they promised to pay the money within three days. I don't know if this longer sentence, or something along those lines, is what the teacher had in mind, which was then shortened to the sentence that you've shown us here.

    Then again, perhaps the teacher felt that an infinitive complement that works in one context (The couple threatened to quit; The couple threatened to pay a hitman) would work in another context (The couple was threatened to pay the money).

    Hard to know, unless you ask the teacher.
    But the problem still remains that you cannot threaten someone to do something.

    As you noted, You can threaten someone with something (as in the robber threatened the storekeeper with a knife; the judge threatened the defendant with a lengthy jail sentence), or you can threaten to do something yourself (as in the robber threatened to stab the storekeeper unless the storekeeper opened the cash register.) However, while you can warn someone to do something, or advise someone to do something, or encourage someone to do something, you cannot use threaten that way, and threaten someone to do something.
     
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