Passive with two objects? [told, lent]

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tanp0p0

Member
Vietnamese
In the passive voice sentence with two objects, when we want to transform the object which is a thing, do we must put ‘to’ after verb? Or it depends on the verb? If it is, what kind of verb do we use 'to' after it?

She has told me the truth.

I was told the truth (by her).
The truth was told to me (by her).

They lent me their car.

I was lent a car (by them).
A car was lent to me (by them).

Thanks! :)
 
  • ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    Hello Tanpopo and welcome to the forum:)
    I'm not sure what grammar books have to say on this subject but I can tell you that in my variety of spoken English it's pretty common to drop that to:
    The truth was told me (by her) (in confidence) (on Tuesday) etc.
    A car was lent me (by them) (while I was on holiday) (to run around in) etc.

    But I think you should wait for a second opinion on this:)
     

    Starfrown

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Hello Tanpopo and welcome to the forum:)
    I'm not sure what grammar books have to say on this subject but I can tell you that in my variety of spoken English it's pretty common to drop that to:
    The truth was told me (by her) (in confidence) (on Tuesday) etc.
    A car was lent me (by them) (while I was on holiday) (to run around in) etc.

    But I think you should wait for a second opinion on this:)
    I agree with Ewie on this point completely.

    You will certainly find examples in which an indirect object, with a verb in the passive voice, will be used without "to." (It is not very common at all in my variety of English, however.)

    Mind you that the examples given would be much more likely to be written in the active voice in most situations.
     

    iconoclast

    Senior Member
    english - anglo-irish
    With three-argument verbs such as 'give, ask, tell, lend, show, send', the natural passive in Standard English is to raise the indirect object to subject position. At times, that's all one can do. Thus,

    They asked me to come at 10.

    can't passivise into

    *To come at 10 was asked of me.

    under any circumstances, but only into

    I was asked to come at 10.

    Nevertheless, in colloquial speech we commonly raise the direct object to subject position, and, as has been pointed out by previous contributors, will normally delete 'to', as in

    It was given me. (I was given it.)
    It was lent me. (I was lent it.)


    Mundo bizarro, English!
     
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