Monthly Archives: July 2012

Subjects don’t do anything

Subjects are often described as the person or thing that “does the action” in a sentence. Similarly, objects are commonly understood to be the thing undergoing the action of the sentence. These are simple and intuitive definitions, and they work for most cases, but unfortunately they are still inaccurate. The most obvious counter example to this is the passive voice:

Alice ate a poisoned donut.
A poisoned donut was eaten by Alice.
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Filed under Linguistics