In the following podcast at 1:57 the reporter appears to say: "How is your life changed in the last few years?"


I'd like to understand why not "has changed" is being used and what the justification for "is changed" is. Anybody, please?

I appreciate your kind help.

  • 2
    I'm quite certain that she said has changed. I think it would've gone unnoticed if I listened to it without your mentioning of "is changed". – Damkerng T. Mar 26 '15 at 15:40
  • 1
    I think she's quite clearly saying is, but I don't attach any significance to this because 1) - she's obviously not a native speaker, and 2) it's perfectly credible (certainly in a "conversational" context, or to any but the most extreme pedant) to use present tense anyway. – FumbleFingers Mar 26 '15 at 16:57

Is changed uses the passive voice. It's a way of reporting on the state of the thing you're talking about. "Has changed" would have the same meaning, but it uses the active voice instead.

If the subject performs the action, we're using the active voice. If the subject has an action performed on it, we're using the passive voice:

  1. The event has changed your life (active)
  2. Your life has been changed by the event (passive)
  • 1
    I don't see how active/passive is relevant to OP's specific question (which is "active" voice regardless of whether the question is framed as How is it changed? or How was it changed?). – FumbleFingers Mar 26 '15 at 17:01
  • "How is it changed? or How was it changed?" --- those aren't the two choices OP gave, they asked for the difference between "How is your life changed" and "How has your life changed" Explaining the two voices answers why "has changed" wasn't used, and explaining what the passive voice is used for answers the question: "What the justification for is changed is" – Mark Mar 26 '15 at 17:49
  • 1
    Also, "How is it changed?" or "How was it changed?" are most certainly in the passive voice, not active. See the link in the answer: grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/passive.htm – Mark Mar 26 '15 at 17:57
  • I can see what you're getting at, but it's not obvious to me that "How is it changed?" representd "passive voice", as opposed to, say, "How is it different?" (of which I assume you'd make no such claim). – FumbleFingers Mar 26 '15 at 19:55
  • 2
    FYI, I contacted the publisher with the same question and here's what I received as a reply: "Having checked the video podcasts are authentic interviews with real people who obviously make mistakes especially when they are being interviewed (and especially if they are not native speakers). The podcasts are designed to help learners cope with language as it is really spoken ...not how it appears in text books. So the answer is that it is a mistake but it's not something we would want to correct as that would impair the authenticity of the material." – user5872 Mar 27 '15 at 16:39

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.