He doesn't like people making fun of him [in passive voice]

Hugo can

New Member
Spanish
Can anyone tell me how to express this sentence in the passive form?
He doesn't like people making fun of him.
Thank you very much.
 
  • dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    Hello, Hugo can! Welcome to the forum!

    For am active sentence to have a passive form, the verb must have a direct object.

    The active sentence direct object becomes the passive sentence subject.
    The active sentence subject becomes a "by" clause, or is omitted.

    He doesn't like people making fun of him
    The main verb is "like" and the direct object is the phrase "people making fun of him". That becomes the subject, so the passive form is:

    People making fun of him is disliked by him.
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Welcome to the forum, Hugo :)
    People making fun of him is disliked by him.
    Quite true, but it seems to me that forcing your sentence into the passive results in something unnatural, i.e. something a native speaker is highly unlikely to say.
    This happens frequently here. So frequently that it seems to be a vital item ignored by many ESL teachers.
    You might also note that good writing coaches emphasize the avoidance of the passive voice where possible.;)
     

    Hugo can

    New Member
    Spanish
    Hello dojibear and sdgraham,
    Thank you so much for your reply. The fact is that this sentence is in a book and I find it sounds quite unnatural in the passive form, but the exercise says to do in the passive. Anyway, I'll tell my students the answer to complete the exercise, but I will explain that is not common to say that.
    Thank you so much.
     

    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    Does it sound natural in English? Would you use it or is it more common to use it in the active form?
    I would accept that as reasonably common and natural (especially where you don't know, or don't want to specify, who these 'people' are). :)
     

    Hugo can

    New Member
    Spanish
    I would accept that as reasonably common and natural (especially where you don't know, or don't want to specify, who these 'people' are). :)
    Thank you for your reply DonnyB. It's very useful for me as an English teacher in Spain. Obviously, only a native speaker can know in some situations what sounds more natural.
     
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