1

They were being commanded to wait till the signal was given.

A) commanded

B) given command

My books says the correct option to replace the bold part of sentence is option A reason being we need been verb in passive but why is it so ? For my ears even option B sounds good.

1

The verb must be in the passive because 'they' are not commanding but they are receiving commands. When you are not the doing the action but someone is doing the action to you, then the verb must be in the passive.

As for b), you could say:

They were given commands.

In that case 'were given' is still passive and 'commands' is now a noun. You could also say: 'they were given a command'.

  • Or indeed "given the command". – rjpond Sep 24 '17 at 19:39

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