I threw away the bread having got bitten by the dog

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JJJenifer

Senior Member
Taiwan/Chinese
Hi, everyone,

Is it correct to say "I threw away the bread having got bitten by the dig."
or
"I threw away the bread bitten by the dog."?

or are both of them are correct?

Thank you in advance.
 
  • Kwistax

    Senior Member
    français - Belgique
    the bread that got bitten by the dog

    that the dog had bitten/ bit.


    your first instance isn't correct if the dog bit in the bread....
     

    Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    Then the first version is incorrect. The second is workable, but we would probably say "I threw away the bread that the dog had chewed on." In general, dogs bite people or other animals; they chew on food and toys.
     

    JJJenifer

    Senior Member
    Taiwan/Chinese
    Thank you, Florentia52 and Kwistax.

    So is it correct to conclude that
    English mother language speakers prefer active to passive
    to describe a relative pronounce or a antecedent?
     

    Langton's Aunt

    Senior Member
    British English
    So is it correct to conclude that
    English mother language speakers prefer active to passive
    to describe a relative pronounce or a antecedent?
    I don't think so. There's nothing intrinsically wrong with the passive here. To me there is no big difference betwen "I threw away the bread the dog had chewed on" and "I threw away the bread that had been chewed by the dog"
     

    Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    So is it correct to conclude that
    English mother language speakers prefer active to passive
    to describe a relative pronounce or a antecedent?
    I would not be prepared to make such a general statement based on one example.

    [Cross-posted with Langton's Aunt]
     

    JJJenifer

    Senior Member
    Taiwan/Chinese
    I don't think so. There's nothing intrinsically wrong with the passive here. To me there is no big difference betwen "I threw away the bread the dog had chewed on" and "I threw away the bread that had been chewed by the dog"
    Thank you, Langton's Aunt and Florentia52.
    Can I try another sentence here?

    1. I found the colleague who had been fired by our boss.
    2. I found the colleague who had got fired by our boss.
    3. I found the colleague who our boss had fired.
    4. I found the colleague having been fired by our boss.
    5. I found the colleague fired by our boss.

    Could you please tell me which one is the best and the second, and so on?
     

    Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    #1 and #3 are fine. #2 would probably sound better to a BE speaker than to an AE speaker: we'd say "gotten fired."

    #4 is incorrect.

    #5 is grammatically correct but has the potential to be ambiguous.
     

    Langton's Aunt

    Senior Member
    British English
    Yes, 1 and 3 are fine; I'm happy with 5 as well; in 2 'got fired' is a bit colloquial but OK. Only 4 is not correct, and it is wrong in a similar way to the way that the original 'dog' sentence is wrong: 'having been fired' cannot refer to the colleague.
     

    JJJenifer

    Senior Member
    Taiwan/Chinese
    Thank you, Florentia52,

    I amend my conclusion as below:

    "English mother language speakers prefer active to passive
    to describe a object when ommiting the relative pronounce or a antecedent."

    Is it correct now?
     

    JJJenifer

    Senior Member
    Taiwan/Chinese
    Yes, 1 and 3 are fine; I'm happy with 5 as well; in 2 'got fired' is a bit colloquial but OK. Only 4 is not correct, and it is wrong in a similar way to the way that the original 'dog' sentence is wrong: 'having been fired' cannot refer to the colleague.
    Thank you, Langton's Aunt.
    I just thought that I should still show that the "got fired" happened earlier than "I found" even thought there wasn't a relative pronoun or a antecedent.
    But now I know it's wrong.

    Is "When there isn't a relative pronoun or an antecedent, we should nott describe the object with perfect + passive." more correct?
     

    Langton's Aunt

    Senior Member
    British English
    "English mother language speakers prefer active to passive
    to describe a object when ommiting the relative pronounce or a antecedent."
    When there isn't a relative pronoun or an antecedent, we should nott describe the object with perfect + passive
    Neither of these is clear to me, sorry. I would prefer to explain it like this, sorry if it is not clear to you!

    "having been fired" is (I suppose - I've never had the need to call it anything) a perfect passive participle, and "having been fired by our boss" is therefore a participle clause. Participle clauses do not have marked subjects; the subject of the participle clause is the subject of the main clause. So in "I found the colleague having been fired by our boss" the person 'having been fired' is 'I'.
     

    JJJenifer

    Senior Member
    Taiwan/Chinese
    Thank you for patience, Langton's Aunt!
    I think that I had had wrong understanding about perfect passive participle or participle clause for a long long time.
    I will study some grammar rules about it.
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    I find these sentences very hard to discuss because I have no idea what 'I found the colleague' means. I do realise that probably one could write 'I (anything-ed) the colleague' without changing your basic question and the grammar considerations.
    I'll start with this:
    ... "I threw away the bread the dog had chewed on" and "I threw away the bread that had been chewed (on) by the dog"
    These are my opinions. Of course I think they are among the best if not the best

    I very much prefer "I threw away the bread the dog had chewed (on)".
    "Avoid the Passive" is my recommendation, whenever possible.

    Going back to this:
    Can I try another sentence here?

    1. I found the colleague who had been fired by our boss.:cross:
    2. I found the colleague who had got fired by our boss.:cross::cross::cross:
    3. I found the colleague who our boss had fired. :cross::cross:
    4. I found the colleague having been fired by our boss.:cross::cross::cross:
    5. I found the colleague fired by our boss.:cross:
    Why would we say 'by our boss'? Who else would have fired him?
    Apart from that consideration, #1 is the best and #4 and #4 are the worst. #5 doesn't work if we take out 'by our boss'. #2 totally lacks style;#3 is possible, but opens the who/whom question.


    It's best to stick to the active, in the relative clause too.

    I would advise against making generalisations about 'native English speakers' preferring anything. We here on the forum do not constitute a
    consensus.
     
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