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It's a movie subtitle and Morgan Freeman made the sentence that 'The only dog ever struck by lightning was right in here in Egypt''. I think there is a penalty there i dont know why he used like that. because this should be passive voice. But which on is true by grammerly?

  1. The only dog which has been ever struck by lightning was right in here in Egypt.
  2. The only dog which was ever struck by lightning was right in here in Egypt.
  3. The only dog which had been ever struck by lightning was right in here in Egypt.

If the correct one is second one, in what means ''ever'' used in this sentence? Can we use ''ever'' in simple past?

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    #1 is non-idiomatic as regards the position of ever. We'd usually say The only dog which has ever been struck by lightning was right in here in Egypt. (Except most of us wouldn't say it anyway, since it's so obviously not true! :) Sep 28, 2022 at 17:43
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    I don't really understand what you mean about not using a reduced relative clause with Present perfect passive. But you can certainly have The only dog ever to be struck by lightning... and The only dog to have ever been struck by lightning... In both of those versions, the position of ever can "validly" vary - but the sequence example #1 of your actual question text would never really be idiomatically acceptable. Oct 2, 2022 at 11:39
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    The dog which was ever struck by lightning.... isn't a valid construction in English, so I assume your friend isn't a native Anglophone. (Don't take lessons in English from him! :) Oct 2, 2022 at 16:17
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    But I think you need to spend more time learning how English verbs work, before you move on to less clearly defined things like acceptable positions for the adverb "ever" within an utterance. Oct 2, 2022 at 16:20
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    No.1 and No.3 are not grammatical. The word "ever" is in the wrong position and should be placed before "been". No. 2 is correct, and so is the original quote from Morgan Freeman. The only errors here seem to be the ones you have introduced yourself.
    – Billy Kerr
    Mar 25, 2023 at 20:57

2 Answers 2

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Morgan Freeman, of course, is correct.

His line means exactly the same as your sentence 2:

That the only dog which was ever struck by lightning, was right in here in Egypt.

Morgan Freeman's version is a reduced relative clause. This means the words "which was" are elided. The rule for a reduced relative clause is you can elide the relative pronoun ("which") and a "be"-verb ("was") if the relative pronoun is the subject.

In Morgan Freeman's line, "which" is the subject of "was struck", so we can reduce this clause.

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  • Yes, I think so too this one is correct: ''That the only dog which was ever struck by lightning, was right in here in Egypt.'' But using ''ever'' is simple past tense? what does ''ever'' mean here? Oct 2, 2022 at 10:26
  • "Ever" isn't part of any tense. It is often used with perfect tenses, but it can also be used with others: "Do you ever talk to your parents?", "Did you ever see Led Zeppelin live?" Here, it means "at any time", as usual.
    – gotube
    Oct 2, 2022 at 14:36
  • If meaning of ''ever'' is same in simple past, then it makes sense Oct 2, 2022 at 15:41
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All three sentences are grammatical and idiomatic, except that in numbers 1 and 3, the word "ever" should be placed before "been".

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  • But he used the sentence with reduced relative clauses. ''The only dog ever struck by lightning was right in here in Egypt'' In this case which one is correct? In my opinion the correct one is first sentence by meaning. But i knew that we cant use reduced relative clauses with present perfect tense passive. Can it be used in colloquial language? Oct 2, 2022 at 10:37
  • @Ismerengues They are all in a sense correct - as all are saying essentially the same thing. And the sentence "The only dog ever struck by lightning was right here in Egypt" is perfectly correct gramatically.
    – WS2
    Oct 2, 2022 at 13:19

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