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I need help in passive of this sentence

Spain expected to win the world cup

My answer was

The world cup was expected to be won by Spain

but the book's answer is

it was expected by Spain to win the World cup

Why " to win" is not changed in passive in the book?

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  • "Spain (is) expected to win the world cup" is already passive, though the verb "is" has been omitted as is typical of newspaper headlines and similar. The subordinate clause "to win the world cup" cannot be passivised here.
    – BillJ
    Commented Dec 21, 2017 at 10:15
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    @BillJ The original doesn’t need to be read as a headline. It can be read as a statement of Spain’s expectation.
    – Lawrence
    Commented Dec 23, 2017 at 0:48
  • That sentence should not be converted to the passive voice. You can say "Spain was expected to win the world cup," where the person expecting is not named (implied: everyone), but to retain the original meaning (Spain expects) all the options are awkward. Commented Dec 22, 2018 at 22:39
  • It’s clear from the comments that there are two possible explanations which are different. Adding an answer to clarify this. Commented Apr 23, 2019 at 2:22

2 Answers 2

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There are two very different possible meanings of this phrase:

Spain expected to win the World Cup

If this is a newspaper headline — without a period at the end— it could mean

Some people expect Spain to win the (upcoming) World Cup.

Spain is expected by some people to win the (upcoming) World Cup.

The “some people” could be experts, a majority of people in a survey, oddsmakers, and so on. The subject of the verb is unstated.

“Expected” here is used to mean “is expected” — headlines typically omit the verb “to be”.

If this is a complete sentence — with a period at the end— then it could mean

The people of Spain expected to win the World Cup.

The soccer team of Spain expected to win the World Cup.

The sentences are talking about a past World Cup. (Maybe the most recent one, maybe a previous one. Maybe they won it, maybe they didn’t – but they had the expectation that they would be the winner.)

This is not the passive voice at all. It’s just the past tense. “Expected” here means the same as:

Spain had expected to win the World Cup.

The people of Spain had expected to win the World Cup.

The soccer team of Spain had expected to win the World Cup.

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Because in the sentence "Spain expected to win the world cup", the verb that needs to be turned passive is "expected" and not "to win".

You're inverting the subject and the target so that by rewriting the verb passively, the meaning is not lost. The verb "to win" and everything which follows is just the clause.

If the sentence had been "An early spring was expected by the Spanish people" (The Spanish people expected an early spring), there'd be no second verb whatsoever. By adding the clause "to win the World Cup", you need not handle any differently.

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  • "Spain (is) expected to win the world cup" is already passive, though the verb "is" has been omitted.
    – BillJ
    Commented Dec 21, 2017 at 9:59

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