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Intransitive verbs and the passive voice

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Intransitive verbs and the passive voice

Postby Deccius » Fri Sep 30, 2005 9:37 pm


I am working on the passive voice right now, and I was wondering what D'Ooge means by "personal subjects" in the following:
166. Intransitive verbs, such as maturo, I hasten; habito, I dwell, do not have a passive voice with a personal subject.
Does this mean that intransitive verbs can never be in the passive voice, or that their use is very limited?

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Postby benissimus » Fri Sep 30, 2005 9:47 pm

I suppose he is hinting at the fact that intransitive verbs can be used impersonally in the passive. You can have a form such as itur (passive of it "he/she/it goes"), which roughly means "someone goes". The rule D'Ooge gives is mostly true of prose, but you do find intransitives in the passive with personal subjects occasionally: e.g. invideor "I am envied" (impersonal: invidetur mihi).
flebile nescio quid queritur lyra, flebile lingua murmurat exanimis, respondent flebile ripae
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