0

No sooner had the tree been fallen than it's branches were cut off.

No sooner had the tree fallen than it's branches were cut off.

Can you tell me which is right?

1
  • 2
    I think you're confusing two different verbs here. Intransitive to fall = to drop to the ground, to collapse is correctly used in your Past Perfect example #2. But there's also transitive to fell = to cause to fall (typically, as in The lumberjack fells the tree by chopping it down with an axe). In your "passive" construction #1 (where the "agent" who felled the tree is unspecified) the correct verb form would be No sooner had the tree been felled than its branches were cut off. But that's nothing to do with no sooner than. Jun 7, 2020 at 16:43

1 Answer 1

1

There are two possibilities that are both correct. They also assume a slight change in the indication of the possessive: in this case, it should be its, not it's.

✔ No sooner had the tree fallen than its branches were cut off.
✔ No sooner had the tree been felled than its branches were cut off.

Fallen is an intransitive verb, and it's being used as such in the first sentence.

But in the second sentence, it's talking about a tree being caused to fall by something else. So, it requires a transitive verb in the passive voice.

Which you want to use depends on where you want to put the emphasis and what you're trying to describe. Did the tree fall down on its own, or was it cut down by somebody? (Or, if it was cut down by somebody, is that important?)

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .