1) What is the meaning of the sentences below? Do they have the same meaning?

2) Which one is correct to say in Reporting Speech?

3) Can met be used as both a transitive and an intransitive verb?


a) He was met with an accident yesterday.

b) He met with an accident yesterday.

2 Answers 2


Both 'was met' and 'met' are in the simple past tense of the verb 'to meet'. The difference is that 'was met' is in the passive voice and 'met' in the active voice.

A native speakers would use the active voice, 'met', in this context.

The passive voice is usually only chosen to show the action of the verb happened to the subject of the sentence, rather than something the subject chose to do.

The expression 'met with an accident' is idiomatic and already shows the accident happened to them, so there's no reason to use the passive voice as well to be clear that is what happened.

Compare your sentence with these two:

The man shot the rabbit.

The rabbit was shot by the man.

They mean the same thing, but note how changing from the active to passive voice requires the switching of the subject and object of the sentence.

If you follow that logic, these two sentences would mean the same thing:

The man met with an accident.

An accident was met by the man.

The second of those has no logical meaning, and from that you can conclude that the meaning of the first is idiomatic.

I hope this helps. It's not an easy one to explain.

  • So, do you mean to say that "He was met with an accident yesterday" may actually be correct? You have explained that there is need to use the passive voice, but, following the logic, may it be OK to say, for example, "he was come to the station" or "he was arrived at school"? These sentences are not correct grammatically. And so we have to say "He met with an accident yesterday." It's not a matter of choice, is it?
    – Enguroo
    Dec 25, 2018 at 6:41
  • @Enguroo I was trying to say that the idiom 'met with an accident' means something that is already passive-like (i.e. he did not intentionally meet with an accident), so there is no reason to change the verb to the passive voice too. So the 'was met' is definitely not correct. Dec 25, 2018 at 6:57

To meet with an accident is correct. To be met is not.

To meet with an accident means to unexpectedly experience an accident:

I met with an accident yesterday (Macmillan Dictionary).

If you want to use the verb in the reported speech, you can. For example:

He said he had met with an accident the day before.

"Meet" can be both transitive and intransitive:

He met her (transitive).

We met for lunch (intransitive).

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