3

Silent and terrified, the animals crept back into the barn. In a moment the dogs came bounding back. At first no one had been able to imagine where these creatures came from, but the problem was soon solved: they were the puppies whom Napoleon had taken away from their mothers and reared privately. Though not yet full-grown, they were huge dogs, and as fierce-looking as wolves. They kept close to Napoleon. It was noticed that they wagged their tails to him in the same way as the other dogs had been used to do to MR Jones.

I am wondering if the bold part is a passive form of a verb?

What is more, would you analyze that in a more readily way so that I could get it better?

Thanks

  • 1
    Animal Farm, bringing the old memories, +1 – It's Over Jan 10 '15 at 16:20
  • 1
    A very interesting question! I'm glad you're into literature now, Nima. It will help you advance your English skills. – CowperKettle Jan 10 '15 at 17:17
  • 1
    Often, I find it useful to think of "used to" as "accustomed to." – wordsmythe Jan 12 '15 at 19:11
1

You are familiar with "used to" and "would", when these two are used with expressing the habits or preferred actions in the past, among all of their other usages.

I have been used to tidying my room every Friday.

Here, "been" does not demonstrate the passiveness of the sentence; thus, the sentence is not passive. Instead, it's "the usual verb" (to be) that comes with "used to", in the present perfect.

It was noticed that they wagged their tails to him in the same way as the other dogs had been used to do to Mr. Jones.

Along with these sentences, Dickens wanted the readers to compare the world of "Jones" and the world "Snowball" is to build his territory on. In this example, he said that

Dogs wagged their tails to Snowball the same way as they did to Mr. Jones.

The dogs were used to doing this for Jones; plus, the verb must be in past perfect, so we get "had been used to".

Hope I've helped. :D

  • 2
    +1 But there's no "been" in your first example. – StoneyB on hiatus Jan 10 '15 at 16:45

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.