2

Do the following two sentences have the same meaning?

  1. The picture is shown on the screen.
  2. The picture shows on the screen.

The first one seems better to me. I'm not sure if the 2nd one has the same meaning.

  • What kind of picture? What kind of screen? – user6951 May 7 '15 at 2:53
  • Good question, picture is like a photo, screen is like a computer screen or monitor – Freewind May 7 '15 at 2:55
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    I changed more correct to better in your question (and made a couple other edits). But something is usually correct or it is not. We generally do not say 'more correct' or 'more wrong'. – user6951 May 7 '15 at 3:00
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I think the first sentence is used when you're describing software (as an example) or generally what you or a device performs:

First, a picture is shown on the screen and then the program records the response of the user ..

The subject is not the picture but your focus is on the program which does this.

But in the second sentence the focus is on the picture itself.

Picture shows on the screen and if one moves the mouse it hides

4

Both seem correct to me. But it depends on the 'time' or 'period' you are talking in.

the picture is shown on the screen

seems to be of a little bit past event. As if you are telling a story to someone.

Yes, I visited that place. It's quite interesting. When you sit in the hall, the picture is shown on the screen and then, they explain the art

On the other hand,

the picture shows on the screen

talks more about the recent activity. And when you speak this, either it's of current event (going on) or you are telling this to someone but in present tense.

Say...

You go...sit. And the picture shows on the screen and then they explain the art (telling someone using present tense).

Or

Hey, check out, the picture shows on the screen (current event)

You may think that how does 'picture show' itself? But then, I remember, I had ask quite a similar question that hand an answer that 'movie releases' is 'movie getting released'. 'Movie' itself is not 'releasing' something.

We also use present tense to make a statement or to describe an event which is quite sure to happen. Say -the train departs in 5 minutes. However, it may require a time frame.

The picture shows on the screen in 3 minutes.


BTW, when it is about 'picture' and a 'screen', 'display' seems to be a better word to me.

The picture is displayed (or displays) on the screen.

3

The first sentence is cast in the passive voice, the second in the active.

If the picture is shown on the screen, this implies that someone or something shows the picture.  In other words, the passive voice implies the transitive sense of the verb "to show."

If the picture shows on the screen, this implies that there is no external agent which shows the picture.  In other words, the active voice and the lack of direct object imply the intransitive sense of the verb "to show".  In effect, the picture shows itself. 

What does the showing?  In the first sentence, we don't know, except that we do know it's not the picture.  In the second sentence, we do know, because it is the picture that does the showing.

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  1. The picture is shown on the screen

  2. The picture shows on the screen.

Both the sentences in the present tense are grammatically correct, without any difference in meaning. But syntactically, they are different.

The sentence #1 is in the passive voice. The verb "show" has been used as a transitive verb. In the active voice, we may say "(They/We) show the picture on the screen". This sentence like the #2 is in the present simple and expressive of the action that happens regularly in the present.

As for the sentence #2, the verb has been used as an intransitive verb. This picture is showing on the screen tonight.

  • They could both mean the same thing. However, (2) could also have the connotation of the picture being reflected from or projected on the screen unintentionally, or remaining as "ghosting", and (1) would rule out that connotation. – david Oct 9 '15 at 17:49

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