I read below line in News paper

"While the firing "has abated", tension remains high along a 200-km stretch of the border dividing the nuclear-armed rivals."

Question: Is use of "Has abated" in above sentence is correct.?

Firing is Transitive verb. Firing can not stop sponteneously some one has to stop firing. Firing can not stop by its own.

As per my knowledge it should be

While the firing "is abated",....... Means Status of firing is stoped now but still there is tension.


While the firing "has been abated",....... Means Firing has been abated by police but still there is tension.

2 Answers 2


The verb "abate" is both transitive and intransitive. The word "firing" is a noun, not a verb. Transitive and intransive are used for verbs, not for nouns.

"While the firing has abated" means that while the firing has become less strong. The verb "abate" has been used intransitively. So it is correct.

Firing abates, abated, has abated. Here the verb has been used as an intransitive verb. The verb needing no direct object is an intransitive verb. In these phrases, there is no direct object after the verb abate.

Firing is abated, was abated, has been abated (by the police).Here the verb has been used as a transitive verb. These phrases are in the passive voice. Let's change one of them into the active voice to know whether the verb is transitive. The police has abated the firing. In this sentence, the verb takes a direct object i.e. firing. So the verb has been used here as a transitive verb. In the passive voice, it will be "Firing has been abated (by the police).


The verb 'fire' can be used intransitively - "Guns fired throughout the night". 'Abate', except as a legal term, is generally used intransitively. Your original sentence is correct.

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