1

which sentence is correct?

they undergo such instruction.

they are undergone such instruction.

when do we use undergo in passive form? I couldn't find any example for "undergo" in passive form but I read that it is transitive.

  • When do you use any passive form? – M.A.R. Apr 2 '15 at 15:20
  • What do you mean? Have you ever read my question? – user115688 Apr 2 '15 at 15:30
  • Well I'm indicating that the verb undergo gets passivized just like any other verb. Whether you should do it or not is contextual, and usually depends on the author. FWIW, your second sentence is weird enough that I dare say the first sentence is correct. – M.A.R. Apr 2 '15 at 15:40
  • Are you sure that "undergo" has passive form as well??? give me an example. – user115688 Apr 2 '15 at 15:42
7

Passive undergo is pretty rare because the word itself expresses an essentially "passive-ish" meaning. The Direct Object of the verb is typically something which is done to you, not something which you do.

Selected patients underwent an experimental operation to remove the tumor.
The people of Waziristan have undergone many invasions.
Candidates will undergo an examination to determine their fitness for the position.

Nonetheless, there are occasions when undergo is cast in the passive voice. This works exactly like any other passive: the Direct Object, the experience or treatment or whatever you undergo, is recast as the Subject of the sentence, and the verbform is transferred into the passive construction BE + PastParticiple:

The operation was undergone by seven patients, and was successful in five cases.
Many invasions have been undergone by the people of Waziristan.
Examinations for the position will be undergone on April 30th.

This is a cumbersome use, and you will probably not find much occasion for it outside the classroom.

Note that your second example is ungrammatical, because instead of the Direct Object it uses the Subject of the active version as the Subject of the passive version:

They are undergone such instruction.
OKSuch instruction is undergone by them.


marks an utterance as ungrammatical

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.