it <was accompanied> by terrible risks

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park sang joon

Senior Member
Korean
The first successful blood transfusion was performed in the seventeenth century, but the practice was outlawed because of dangers it posed to the patient. The practice was revived in the nineteenth century, but it was accompanied by terrible risks, like blood clots and kidney failure.
[Source: Reading for Results Ninth Edition by Laraine Flemming]

I can't figure out the intention the author used the passive voice in the underlined clause, not the active voiceㅡit accompanied terrible risks.
So I'd like to hear opinion from you.
 
  • Chez

    Senior Member
    English English
    I see the confusion, but no, you can't use the active in this sentence.

    Active: The risks accompany the practice.

    Passive: The practice is accompanied by the risks.

    The practice is the 'main protagonist' – we're talking about the practice and saying that it 'brings along with it' some risks.

    We're not talking about some risks and saying they 'bring along' a practice. It's like they're not an equal partenrship. We wouldn't be talking about the risks except for the fact that they accompany this practice we're talking about.

    Confusing, I know.Don't know if that helps at all.
     

    park sang joon

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Thank you, Chez, for your kind answer. :)
    Then, I'd like to know if I can't also use "The risks accompanied terrible risks."
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    You could say "terrible risks accompanied the practice":
    "The practice was revived in the nineteenth century, but terrible risks accompanied it". It seems more natural to use the passive, and keep the main focus on "the practice".
     

    park sang joon

    Senior Member
    Korean
    OP said:
    The first successful blood transfusion was performed in the seventeenth century, but the practice was outlawed because of dangers it posed to the patient. The practice was revived in the nineteenth century, but it was accompanied by terrible risks, like blood clots and kidney failure.
    I'm so sorry for my belated question.
    I'd like to know what you think about " the practice accompanied terrible risks."
     

    pob14

    Senior Member
    American English
    I'm so sorry for my belated question.
    I'd like to know what you think about " the practice accompanied terrible risks."
    That would have the same problem that Chaz pointed out above - it sounds like the practice follows the risks:
    We're not talking about some risks and saying they 'bring along' a practice. It's like they're not an equal partenrship. We wouldn't be talking about the risks except for the fact that they accompany this practice we're talking about.
     

    GoKyu

    Member
    US English
    That doesn't sound right...a native speaker might be able to guess at the correct meaning, but nobody would actually ever say it that way.

    A similar term you *could* use, if you wanted to keep that same structure, would be: "the practice CARRIED (with it) terrible risks." (the "with it" is optional, but would be commonly heard.)
     
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