Retained objects in the passive voice

Discussion in 'Ελληνικά (Greek)' started by panettonea, Aug 11, 2013.

  1. panettonea Senior Member

    In English, when converting an active sentence into a passive one, we often end up with a retained object. For example:

    John gave Mary the book.

    To change this sentence into the passive, we have 2 main possibilities:

    1) The book was given to Mary by John.
    2) Mary was given the book by John.

    In 2), the book has now become a retained object.

    To translate 1) into Greek, I believe it would be:

    1) Δόθηκε το βιβλίο στη Μαρία από Γιάννη.

    What about 2)? Is it possible to express the passive with a retained object in Greek?
  2. Perseas Senior Member

    1) Or "Το βιβλίο δόθηκε στη Μαρία από τον Γιάννη" to sound more natural. Yours version would be OK, if there was an interrogation mark at the end.

    2) We don't have an equivalent in Greek, as far as I know. My question is if "Mary" is the subject and "book" the object (I think yes). If so, maybe we could express this meaning like this: "Η Μαρία έλαβε το βιβλίο από τον Γιάννη". The verb here is "λαμβάνω".
  3. panettonea Senior Member

    Oh, that's right--thanks. Silly mistake.

    That would make a difference? Didn't know that.

    I suppose that would be close enough.

    OK, we have to use a different verb then, since the passive won't work. The meaning is pretty close, though. French is the same way, I believe--no way to directly express retained objects.

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