the question was in one of my grammar course books. Is it possible that the same question could be written in active voice? How would it be then?

1 Answer 1



AV: He stole a watch. PV: A watch was stolen.

AV. What did he steal? PV. What was stolen?

  • But there's no "he" in the discourse, if you're starting from the passive, so it would have to be something like "What did someone steal?"
    – Colin Fine
    Aug 11, 2020 at 9:21
  • @Yes, but without a subject (at least hypothetically), isn't it difficult to show an example of this kind. Hence I started it with 'Assume'... :)
    – Ram Pillai
    Aug 11, 2020 at 9:54
  • 1
    Certainly it's difficult to show an example of this kind. Grammar tests which want people to "put it into the passive", or into the active are usually completely divorced from how people actually speak. But "What did someone steal?", though pragmatically unlikely, is grammatical and possible, and a closer fit to the question.
    – Colin Fine
    Aug 11, 2020 at 10:35

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