According to my understanding, since fail is an intransitive verb. So the correct one should be "the order has failed". What confuses me is that there are some sentences I saw before like "your order has dispatched". dispatch is a transitive verb here, so I think the correct one is "your order has been dispatched".

I just wonder what exactly rules apply here?

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    I don't know the actual underlying rule, but your thinking is good: "the order has dispatched" is wrong, and "the order has been failed" is also wrong.
    – randomhead
    Commented May 24, 2021 at 3:25

1 Answer 1


Your conclusion is correct, though I would quibble with your reasoning.

"Failed" can be transitive. You can say, for example, "Bob failed the history test." But in this case, the word "failed" is being used as an intransitive verb. The order didn't fail something, it just failed.

And yes, "dispatched" is transitive. The simplest sentence construction would be to say, "Our shipping department dispatched your order." You can make it passive like your example, "Your order has been dispatched."

There are two things going on here: transitive versus intransitive, and also who or what is the subject and who or what is the object. If someone said, "Your order has dispatched", that should lead to two questions: Has dispatched what? And, How can an order dispatch something? If someone said, "Bob dispatched order #1732", that makes sense. Bob is doing the dispatching, and the thing he dispatched is order #1732. But if you say the order dispatched ... How does an "order" dispatch something? Did the order put another order in a box and ship it? It doesn't make sense.

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    One can also say "Bob's teacher failed him". Commented May 24, 2021 at 4:48

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