prepositional passive

last changed in 2002

A prepositional passive is a passive in which the complement of a preposition has been 'promoted' to subject of the passive verb, leaving the preposition 'stranded'.

(1) This bed has been slept in.

Here this (bed) is the subject, but it is also the complement of in. Some prepositional passives are quite complicated because the preposition is quite far removed from the passive verb. My favourite example (which I once said) is (2).

(2) This paper has been written on one side of.

It is not at all clear how best to handle prepositional passives in WG. EWG contains an analysis, but it is miserably complicated and nothing to be proud of.







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