As you know the verb "to replace somebody / something" means "to take the place of somebody / something" or "to supersede somebody / something." I was wondering what form is correct in the following sentences? If both are correct, then what is the meaning of each sentence if I want to paraphrase them?

Example 1:

The previous teacher is a little old and cannot manage to come to the school on a daily basis and now:

1.a. I'm being replaced with him.
1.b. I am replacing with him.

For more clarification, let me bring up another example:

Example 1:

2.a. In modern life, email has been replaced the traditional business letter.
2.b. In modern life, email has replaced the traditional business letter.

Note: as we know, the verb "replace" is a transitive verb. So it cannot be used in a passive tone. These all are confusing me a little! Maybe I am missing something here!

1 Answer 1


"Replace" is, as you say, a transitive verb, and therefore can be used in the passive:

A replaces B

B is replaced by A.

It can also be used as a causative verb:

C replaces B with A (eg My boss wants to replace me with a machine!)

B is replaced by C with A. (eg That poster is being replaced by the creative director, with this new one. A comma is not always necessary in this structure, but often makes it clearer)

Your 1a and 2b make sense. Your 1b and 2a are incoherent.

  • It seems to be an excellent answer and perhaps what I need @Colon Fine, but I cannot understand the role of the C and the meaning of "by" / "with" in causative form! I'm absolutely confused. Please kindly simplify / paraphrase these strictures.
    – A-friend
    Sep 18, 2019 at 9:43
  • @A-friend: I've added some examples: does that help?
    – Colin Fine
    Sep 18, 2019 at 11:51

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