When to use Was Taken and Took Place in Sentence? Are both the versions correct?

a) The Accident was taken place in our neighborhood.

b) The Accident took place in our neighborhood.

for me,

1) Both the sentences gives same information about past accident.

2) Sentence a) is Passive voice and sentence b) is Active voice.

3) To take is an intransitive verb which need subject to do it. Accident can not be taken place by its own some one has to do accident hence for me sentence b) is incorrect.

4) But Sentence b) can also be ordinary version of sentence. Which gives Idea about past accident without any details like who did it, how it happened etc.

Please help,

Additional explanation for bounty

Can we use Taken Place as an Past Participle in my above given example?. e.g.

Accident (which) was taken place in our neighborhood. In which 3 people were killed.

Through Passive voice we can define subject. In my example Accident is subject and I am defining it by giving additional information of like when it taken place, How many people were killed, accident occurred in past. ....etc.

  • 3
    'was taken place' isn't grammatical English. Where did you hear or read it?
    – Sydney
    Commented May 6, 2019 at 12:24
  • spotlightnepal.com/2018/08/23/…
    – user4084
    Commented May 6, 2019 at 12:31
  • casemine.com/judgement/in/56eaabde607dba3c8ce408fa
    – user4084
    Commented May 6, 2019 at 12:32
  • 2
    @user4084 My answer is not out of date and explains your misunderstanding. :) Your editing of the question does not change the issue you raised at all. This sentence: Accident (which) was taken place in our neighborhood. In which 3 people were killed is not grammatical. Neither is your sentence: a)
    – Lambie
    Commented May 10, 2019 at 20:15

3 Answers 3


The verb to take place, occur and happen are intransitive verbs. That means they cannot have a direct object.

Intransitive verbs cannot be made into adjectives using a past participle.

We would not say: the occurred event or the happened accident.

  • The event occurred at sunrise.
  • The accident happened yesterday.
  • My birthday party took place amidst much confusion.

intransitive verbs

to take place is like take: take, took, taken

The accident took place [happened or occurred] in my neighborhood.

"The accident was taken place" is therefore ungrammatical.

Intransitive verbs by definition cannot be used in the passive form. Passive forms are for action verbs only.

  • The man stole the boy's money.
  • The boy's money was stolen by the man.

Actions verbs can be used to create an adjective:

The stolen [past participle used as an adjective] money was on the table.

  • 1
    Your great answer here could be extended to address the "past participle" question, and probably 'was' vs 'has' in the present perfect 'has taken place', in answer to the additional information required in the question's edit. :)
    – Johnny
    Commented May 10, 2019 at 10:26
  • I agree that you can edit your answer to address the use of taken place as the past participle adjective -- or rather, explain why it can't be used. "The event taken place" is not grammatical, but at the moment I can't explain why this is so.
    – Andrew
    Commented May 10, 2019 at 21:35
  • There is no past participle adjective anywhere in sight. "taken place" cannot be an adjective. Think about it... for just a minute. Do you want me to tell him that? A stolen dog never lies. stolen=past participle adjective. I think you native speakers are getting mixed up. Ok, I added something.
    – Lambie
    Commented May 10, 2019 at 21:45
  • @Lambie Intransitive verbs can have a past participle form, e.g. "the tree was fallen" Why then is "the accident was taken place" wrong? Is there a reason? Or, like so many other things in English is it "just because"? It seems to me this is the crux of user4084's question, and the bounty requires some rigor.
    – Andrew
    Commented May 10, 2019 at 21:59
  • @Andrew I gave the answer: to take place is intransitive, like happen and occur. It cannot take an object and cannot be used as an adjective. I was extremely rigorous. That is the reason we don't say: the event was taken place. And why we don't say: the taken place event. We say: "the event had taken place" because that usage is intransitive. Re your tree: the tree fell [transitive] on the lawn. The fallen [adjective] tree was not chopped up. I would not generally say: the tree was fallen. I would say: the tree was felled [by lightening].
    – Lambie
    Commented May 10, 2019 at 22:18

It is correct to say "The accident took place in our neighborhood."

It does not seem correct to say "The accident was taken place in our neighborhood." You do not use "was" (past tense) + "taken" (past participle) in modern English. You could say was taking place (past tense continuous) or has taken place (past perfect).

Both articles you have linked in the comments, which use "was taken," are from India.

  • can we use "was taken place" in any other context. Like "he has stated that the accident was taken place due to the rash and negligent driving"
    – user4084
    Commented May 6, 2019 at 13:05
  • No. Was + taken cannot go together.
    – Jan
    Commented May 6, 2019 at 13:05
  • Ok, Can we use Was happened, Was occurred instead?
    – user4084
    Commented May 6, 2019 at 14:01
  • "In past tense you can use "was" only when you have no other verb." That's not true: I was taken to the hospital. Unless you're talking only about the sentence in the question . . . Commented May 7, 2019 at 15:34
  • I should probably say you cannot use was + a verb in an active form in the past tense?
    – Jan
    Commented May 7, 2019 at 15:46

Simple past vs. present perfect:

Specific (simple past): The accident took place in our neighborhood. It was a specific event.

Non-specific (present perfect): The intersection needs a stop sign. Too many accidents have taken place there. Non-specific events over a period of time.

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