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"It will take an hour for the room to get/be painted"

"It will take the room an hour to get/be painted"

i am thinking if they are grammatically correct sentences. As usually we say "It will take an hour for me to paint the room" and "It will take me an hour to paint the room" but instead of "myself" I actually highlighted "room itself" that they will be painted by someone in my query.

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  • More effort please. What about these sentences concerns you? How did you construct these sentences?
    – James K
    Apr 8, 2022 at 23:25
  • @James K actually i am thinking if they are grammatically correct sentences. As usually we say "It will take an hour for me to paint the room" and "It will take me an hour to paint the room" but instead of "myself" I actually highlighted "room itself" that they will be painted by someone in my query. Apr 8, 2022 at 23:40
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    The grammar is the same as "It will take an hour for the bride to get dressed", so that is fine. It does sound as though the room is taking an active role in its own painting though.
    – Peter
    Apr 9, 2022 at 0:55
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    Let us continue this discussion in chat.
    – Peter
    Apr 9, 2022 at 2:12
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    Questions asking, in general, whether some structure is grammatically correct are considered proofreading and are off-topic. You must explain what research you have done, why you are still confused, and what concerns or evidence you have that either construction is or is not valid.
    – randomhead
    Apr 9, 2022 at 4:08

1 Answer 1

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Both examples are perfectly grammatical, and a fluent speaker would understand and might use either.

It will take an hour for the room to get/be painted.

is the standard way to express this concept using the passive voice. There is no significant difference in meaning between the use of "get" and the use of "be" in this example, that is just a matter of style.

The equivalent using the active voice would be one of:

  • It will take the workers an hour to paint the room.
  • It will take the workers an hour to get the room painted.

Again there is no significant difference. The version using "get" emphasizes the result a bit more, while the version using "be" emphasizes the process a bit more. The version with "get" is perhaps slightly less formal. But the essential meaning is the same.

The forms

It will take the room an hour to get/be painted.

is a little more unusual. It is still in the passive voice, in that the subject of "be painted" is "the room" which receives the action, rather than performing it. The actual agent is unspecified, as is often the case in a passive construction. But this construction tempts the reader or listener to imagine that the room somehow paints itself. Indeed, these days it is just possible to imagine an automated room that does paint itself, perhaps with cartoon arms that sprout from the walls, wielding paint brushes.

This possible confusion can make the reader or listener stop and think, and thus break the flow of the text. That probably makes this a less desirable construction.

Again, the use of "get" focuses on the result, without changing the meaning significantly.

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  • as you said that "room" is a subject which is receiving the action,rather than performing it. But do you not think it is "subject" which performs the "action" and an "object" usually receives the action"? Apr 9, 2022 at 20:56
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    @Bilal Zafar No. It is most common for the subject to perform the action of the verb, but in some valid constructions the subject receives the action, as it does here. "John was hit by the bullet" John is the subject, and receives the action (and the wound). "John is taken for a ride by Jane" John is again the subject, and receives the ride. (We can't tell if this is a date or a scam without context.) John was fired last week. Again, John is the subject, and and receives the action (and the pink slip). "John was awarded a scholarship" Again, John is the subject. Apr 9, 2022 at 21:08

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