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Which sentence is correct?

a) The car somersaulted several times in the air.

b) The car was somersaulted several times in the air.

According to me "was somersaulted" Is correct use because someone has to somersault the car. Hence passive voice should be use.

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    Your example a) is correct. The verb "somersault" is intransitive so it cannot occur in passive clauses like the one in b).
    – BillJ
    May 2, 2019 at 11:39

1 Answer 1

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Both versions are correct grammar.

  • the car somersaulted is the ordinary version; the car did the action
  • the car was somersaulted emphasises that something forced the car to do it, perhaps by hitting it: "The train hit it so hard the car was somersaulted several times through the air."
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    How can b) be correct. "Somersault" is intransitive so it cannot take direct objects and hence cannot be passivised.
    – BillJ
    May 2, 2019 at 11:48
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    I can only say it reads perfectly well to my mostly UK native speaker ears. I clarified my answer a little.
    – jonathanjo
    May 2, 2019 at 12:43
  • I agree - it doesn't sound unnatural when the cause of the somersaulting is included.
    – Smock
    May 2, 2019 at 16:37

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