In this speech…

I love meeting and getting to know new people. One of my favorite things in life is cooking, mostly for other people. I'm looking for someone who enjoys trying new food, from my kitchen and others'. Also love travel and adventure. And being forced out of my comfort zone from time to time. I've been to a few amazing places, but there's so much more I want to see and do. Love love movies, pretty much all genres, and I love going to the theater as much as staying in watching movies too. I'm a funny, energetic, sharp-witted woman who appreciates all the little things in life. I love learning and I'm always trying to expand my horizons. "The day you stop learning is the day you die." I like people who make me laugh because honestly, I love to laugh. Looking for a fun, intelligent, driven, open-minded, down-to-earth, silly, sarcastic person who doesn't take themselves too seriously. Life is short, eat dessert first, right?

  1. What does the speeker mean by saying being forced and comfort zone ?
  2. Is being forced grammatically passive or active phrase? I mean to say is it refering to act with force or something else?

1 Answer 1


to force (a verb):

to make someone do something they do not want to do

This doesn't have to include a violent physical act, although one of the meanings of force as a noun is exactly this one and the origins of both are linked to this meaning. It usually means an involuntary or unwilling action caused by an exterior source - it might be a person, or just circumstances.

  1. The rain started and we were forced to go inside.

  2. Mother always forced me to eat spinach, even though I hate it.

  3. Facing serious financial problems, he was forced to start working again.

comfort zone

your comfort zone is the range of activities or situations that you feel happy and confident in

Edit from comment: 'outside one's comfort zone' is idiomatic (and often preceded by a verb). One can step/move/go/stretch etc. outside their comfort zone.


Being forced out of my comfort zone

Means that something has made me do something outside the range of activities or put myself in situations different than dose I'm used to and feel confident in.

(Definitions from LDOCE)

A passive voice construction would be made like this:

New rules of this cooking competition forced me out of my comfort zone. (active)

I was forced out of my comfort zone (by the new rules of this cooking competition). (passive)

However, being forced out of my comfort zone is not a complete sentence. Forced out of my comfort zone is a participle phrase and being forced out of my comfort zone fits the definition of a passive participle phrase (from the reference provided in the comments).

  • It might be worth adding as a footnote that to be "verbed outside of one's comfort zone" is somewhat idiomatic. I might be nudged outside of my comfort zone, or I might step outside of my comfort zone. For example: Having grown up in a rural town, I was a bit scared to take a job in New York, but I figured it was time for me to step out of my comfort zone.
    – J.R.
    Commented Apr 28, 2015 at 21:47
  • @J.R. I had to look up what inadvertently means :-). Thanks for the edit! I'll add the part about 'outside one's comfort zone' being idiomatic.
    – Lucky
    Commented Apr 28, 2015 at 21:50
  • I added a link to Passive Participial Phrases in a book in my comment to the OP above. Please feel free to use the information in the page as you see fit. Commented Apr 28, 2015 at 22:43
  • Thanks , it is a great resource :-). I haven't realized I drifted too far from the OP's construction in my answer. But when I think about it carefully something bothers me. The sentence actually reads: I like being forced out of my comfort zone. Sicne 'like' is always transitive, this construction functions as its direct object. Can it still be a passive participle phrase or is it something more complicated?
    – Lucky
    Commented Apr 29, 2015 at 6:40

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