Following is the question on active-passive voice transformation from an exercise. Which option will be correct out of (1) and (3) and please explain the reasoning behind. I opted for (3) but the answer given is (1).

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  • The answer is 1 because you do not have to repeat ‘I’ twice in the sentence. By saying that ‘I’ was the one who couldn’t be moved, you’re already establishing ‘I’ as the subject. Thus, 3 isn’t necessarily wrong but it is not the best option because it contains redundant/ repeated information.
    – danielloid
    Commented Dec 17, 2017 at 9:39
  • But in the active voice 'me' is used two times separately in both the clause. Shouldn't we go by that construct.
    – Sanat
    Commented Dec 17, 2017 at 9:44
  • 1
    Sorry, I’m not very sure why. I’ve always determined whether to repeat a pronoun in a clause based on whether it is clear who it was referring to. In this case, it might be because in the original sentence, the people was the subject, so it might not be clear that the doctor was operating on you but in the passive voice, ‘I’ became the subject, so it’s more clear that the operation was being done on you.
    – danielloid
    Commented Dec 17, 2017 at 10:03
  • I also think that ‘so’ should be used instead of ‘and’ to indicate a causal relationship between your inability to be moved and the doctor’s having to operate on you at home.
    – danielloid
    Commented Dec 17, 2017 at 10:41
  • BTW what is wrong with the option (4).
    – Sanat
    Commented Dec 17, 2017 at 10:54

1 Answer 1


Comparing sentences (1) and (3) (the ones you asked about):

(1) I couldn't be moved to the hospital and was operated on at home by the doctor.

(3) I couldn't be moved to the hospital and I was operated at home by the doctor.

The extra "I" is optional and irrelevant.

The reason that sentence (1) is correct is that it includes the word "on", which sentence (3) omits.

"The doctor operated on me" becomes (in the passive) "I was operated on (by the doctor)".

"The technician operated the computer" becomes "The computer was operated (by the technician)".

In "the doctor operated on me", the verb phrase is "operate on", not just "operate". When you form the passive, you can't omit the preposition.

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