He was refused admittance.

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Senior Member
Korean - Korea
Q: There are three pairs of passive sentences below. I think #1,#3 are natural and #2 is awkward. But I am not sure. What is your opinion?

1. He was refused admittance.

2. Admittance was refused on him.

3. He was envied for his wealth.
  • Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    Sentence #2 is not correct, because admittance is not granted on people. As you say, it sounds awkward. That's because there's no clear reason for using the passive. In some context, it might be acceptable.
    By the way, there aren't 'three pairs' of sentences in your post.:confused:
    Last edited:


    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    Admittance was refused on him.:cross:
    Admittance was refused to him.:cross:
    Admittance was refused him.:tick:
    The guard refused him admittance.:tick:
    The guard refused to admit him.:tick:

    You can't use "on" with "refused". You can't even use "to", which is normal for an indirect object. "Refused" is unusual that way:

    The guard gave cookies to him.:tick:
    The guard gave him cookies.:tick:
    The guard refused him cookies.:tick:
    The guard refused cookes to him.:cross:
    The guard refused to give him cookies.:tick:
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