I have sentence

They left the house without being seen by anybody

in this sentence why being seen is used can you tell me the grammar

migrated from english.stackexchange.com Apr 18 at 22:55

This question came from our site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts.


We can divide this sentence into two: 'They left the house' (active voice) and 'They were not seen by anybody' (passive voice). The connecting word 'without' accepts as an object only a noun or gerund (in this case gerund 'being seen'). 'not' from the verb phrase 'were not seen' is included in 'without'. And thus we receive the sentence in question 'They left the house without being seen by anybpdy'.


Subject is they. Seeing is by another ... not by they. In fact, the subject they here, is the object of the verb see. So subject is not seeing, but being seen.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy