Are they both correct and have the same meaning?

  1. The cake eaten by Joe is delicious.
  2. The cake was eaten by Joe is delicious.

I found this sentence in learning past participle phrase.

The boy taken to hospital has recovered.

Taken to hospital is a past participle phrase. Why we don't add "was" before taken, I think the boy was taken to hospital. In a passive voice, it should add "was" to it.

  • I'm not sure of the proper explanation for it, but 1 is always preferred here. "eaten by Joe" is a shortened form of "that was eaten by Joe" (or who was taken to hospital in your second example.) The long version and the short version are entirely appropriate, but there is no middle ground. Aug 7, 2015 at 20:36
  • The boy who was taken to the hospital has recovered would make sense to a native speaker. Aug 7, 2015 at 20:43

1 Answer 1


You are right that in passive voice we use was (or any other form of the verb be) and a past participle. This means we can create phrases like these:

The cake that was eaten by Joe was delicious.

The boy who was taken to hospital has recovered.

You will notice that both of the sentences above contain a relative clause (i.e. that was eaten/who was taken), that we can reduce to remove the pronoun and be verb form. We do this to be more economical in our expression. That means the following sentences are equally valid:

The cake eaten by Joe was delicious.

The boy taken to hospital has recovered.

Your mistake was to not add "who/what" to describe the boy.

Some more information on participle clauses can be found here on the BBC.

  • Unfortunately you have a few errors in your sentence. If you have further questions, please ask a new question.
    – JMB
    Aug 7, 2015 at 21:07
  • 1
    "My heart was broken by the promises she failed to fulfil". Only one of the two verbs works in passive.
    – JMB
    Aug 7, 2015 at 21:49

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .