I might ask in this way: Why passive is used in this sentence? Which one make more sense? Is first sentence passive?

Many had to be wrestled into straitjackets.


Many had to wrestle into straitjackets.

1 Answer 1


The difference is just the passive/active verb.

To be wrestled into a straitjacket means that somebody else is putting the straitjacket on you - and I understand that would mean you don't want it and so you are fighting back. This is probably the sense you want.

To wrestle into a straitjacket means you are putting it on yourself (but it is kind of difficult, which is why you have to wrestle)

  • To be wrestled is hard to translate into my native language but can I say to be worn by someone or get worn by someone ? I didn't mean same meaning, I meant structurally.
    – user123960
    Dec 9, 2021 at 7:10
  • 1
    Worn is not a very good example, because only a garment can be worn by someone. You could say 'Many [people] had to be forced into straitjackets' or '...forced to wear straitjackets'. Dec 9, 2021 at 9:25
  • The important fact about "wrestle" is that it implies a struggle. Either it is difficult to put on the straitjacket, or the person is fighting against those who are trying to put a straitjacket on her.
    – James K
    Dec 9, 2021 at 18:10

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