"to be board certified" - noun inside passive?

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Senior Member
Good day!

Example from en.oxforddictionaries.com:
I was board certified in general surgery in 1991, and in plastic surgery in 1993.

1) Does it mean:
I was board certified = I was certified by board
2) Is there any rule that let us put a noun inside the passive? I could't find it.

Last edited:
  • dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    1) I was board certified = I was certified by a board

    2) I think this is a special case, not a general rule.

    Robby ate the sandwich.:tick:
    The sandwich was eaten by Robby.:tick:
    It was a Robby-eaten sandwich.:cross:


    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    In the U.S., there are specific boards that certify the qualifications of physicians in every specialty. A urologist is certified by the American Board of Urology, and so on. A physician is certified by the board that deals with his or her specialty, not just any board.

    In this case, general surgeons are certified by the American Board of Surgery, and plastic surgeons are certified by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Other countries probably have their own certification procedures.


    Senior Member
    American English
    "Board-certified" is an adjective. Don't treat the two parts separately. It's a type of compound word. (Remember that we have hyphenated compound words and even "open" compound words, like "ice cream". They might not look like a single word, but they act like it in a sentence.)

    Nouns work just fine in that sentence structure in cases where "noun-adjective" is really a compound word (an adjective).
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