FR: transforming indirect object sentences to passive voice

Discussion in 'French and English Grammar / Grammaire française et anglaise' started by lumiere137, May 12, 2011.

  1. lumiere137 Senior Member

    Mandarin Chinese
    When you write a sentence in passive voice, can the indirect object become the subject? Does it depend on the particular verb? For example, Il me conseille de ne plus fumer.-> Je suis conseillé de ne plus fumer. Is the second sentence correct?
  2. Cheshire Cat's Smile Senior Member

    Paris, France
    This form is not correct...
    "Fumer m'est déconseillé"
  3. Welshie

    Welshie Senior Member

    England, English
    You usually have to reformulate the sentence using "On" : "On m'a conseillé de ne plus fumer".

    I've been told => "On m'a dit"
  4. CapnPrep Senior Member

    You can use an impersonal passive, but this means that the indirect object stays where it is and does not become the subject: Il m'est conseillé de ne plus fumer.
  5. lumiere137 Senior Member

    Mandarin Chinese
    Thanks. So is it a point where French differs from English? In English, one can say, "I was given the chance", even if "I" is the indirect object of "give".
  6. jamsmasher Member

    German/British English
    Yes. An indirect object cannot re-emerge as a subject in French.
  7. Cheshire Cat's Smile Senior Member

    Paris, France
    if you consider the following sentence : "The students offered flowers to their teacher", in English both "flowers" and "their teacher" can be used as passive subject without changing the verb.
    In French, you will have two solutions :
    "Des fleurs ont été offertes à l'institutrice (par les élèves)" OR
    "L'institutrice a reçu des fleurs de ses élèves"... To use the indirect object as a subject, you will have to use another verb.
  8. CapnPrep Senior Member

    OR without changing the verb: L'institutrice s'est vu offrir des fleurs.

    This construction is also available in principle for lumiere137's example: Je me vois conseiller de ne plus fumer.
  9. lumiere137 Senior Member

    Mandarin Chinese

    Is the "se ... voir" structure a general rule or does it apply only to certain verbs?
  10. timpeac

    timpeac Senior Member

    English (England)
    Only s'entendre as far as I know, and that's rare (and only when the context allows it too). Il est rare qu'une femme de ménage s'entende dire ça" is something that I remember reading somewhere.
  11. ascoltate

    ascoltate Senior Member

    Montréal, QC
    U.S.A. & Canada, English
    It's permitted with the verbs of perception (voir, entendre, etc.), as well as "faire" and "laisser"... The meanings are, of course, slightly different, in line with the verb used.

    Elle s'est vu voler son portefeuille. = She had her wallet stolen (on her).
    Elle s'est fait voler son portefeuille. = She got her wallet stolen (on her).

    (for "She was robbed of her wallet.")

    Actually, I'm not explaining the nuance very well, but there is one... Maybe someone else can help...
  12. timpeac

    timpeac Senior Member

    English (England)
    Interesting point. I think you translate the difference of nuance well with "had" versus "got". The "got" suggests more action (either on her part or the theif's) in the stealing, more blame (although not necessarily - I think both could often be synonymous just reflecting a passive event). Not so sure about the "on her" with either sentence, though.

    I think it reflects the active usage of both - "selling stolen goods got him put in prison" (his action) as opposed to "his mother had him put in care" (passive on his part).
    Last edited: May 13, 2011

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